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Marquez dominates Motegi qualifying to take seventh pole of 2011

Marc Marquez Cataluna Suter 2011 German Grand Prix Moto2Marc Marquez dealt his Moto2 title charge a major boost with a commanding display in qualifying at Motegi, as current series leader Stefan Bradl could only qualify eighth.

Marquez was on top for almost the entire session, setting an early pace on the Catalunya Suter that left him 0.3s clear until times dropped in the final minutes.

His only serious competition came in the form of a late rally from Thomas Luthi (Interwetten Suter), who came within 0.07s of finally displacing Marquez at the top.

Marquez reacted to the charge and both riders were on faster laps as the chequered flag fell. While Luthi hit traffic in the third sector, Marquez was able to further extend his advantage, setting a 1m52.067s to seal his seventh pole in the last nine races.

Luthi ended up second, claiming his first front row start since the fourth round in France, while Andrea Iannone (Speed Master Suter) completed a front row sweep for Suter as he improved late on to take third.

That left Tech 3's Bradley Smith in fourth, from where he will share the second row with Yuki Takahashi (Gresini Moriwaki) and Simone Corsi (Ioda FTR).

Alex de Angelis (JIR Motobi) was another late improver, demoting Bradl (Kiefer Kalex) to eighth. Bradl's championship lead therefore looks precarious, the gap over Marquez having fallen from 82 points to just six over the past seven races.

Dominique Aegerter (Technomag-CIP Suter) and Mattia Pasini (Ioda FTR) rounded out the top 10 in a session that featured several heavy crashes.

Randy Krummenacher on the Kiefer Kalex was the first victim, a huge high-side at the final corner bringing his qualifying to a very early close.

Pol Espargaro was then lucky to escape from serious injury as he crashed on the final corner right in front of Kenny Noyes. Noyes had no time to react and squeezed his bike between Espargaro and the stricken Speed Up FTR.

With 10 minutes to go, Max Neukirchner (MZ) and Sergio Gadea - who stepped up to Moto2 on the G22 Moriwaki at the last race at Aragon - both ended in the gravel.

Pos  Rider                Team/Bike            Time       Gap
 1.  Marc Marquez         Catalunya Suter      1m52.067s
 2.  Thomas Luthi         Interwetten Suter    1m52.260s  + 0.193s
 3.  Andrea Iannone       Speed Master Suter   1m52.423s  + 0.356s
 4.  Bradley Smith        Tech 3               1m52.645s  + 0.578s
 5.  Yuki Takahashi       Gresini Moriwaki     1m52.694s  + 0.627s
 6.  Simone Corsi         Ioda FTR             1m52.696s  + 0.629s
 7.  Alex de Angelis      JIR Motobi           1m52.763s  + 0.696s
 8.  Stefan Bradl         Kiefer Kalex         1m52.789s  + 0.722s
 9.  Dominique Aegerter   Technomag-CIP Suter  1m52.799s  + 0.732s
10.  Mattia Pasini        Ioda FTR             1m52.853s  + 0.786s
11.  Jordi Torres         Aspar Suter          1m52.949s  + 0.882s
12.  Mika Kallio          Marc VDS Suter       1m53.082s  + 1.015s
13.  Aleix Espargaro      Pons Kalex           1m53.135s  + 1.068s
14.  Michele Pirro        Gresini Moriwaki     1m53.172s  + 1.105s
15.  Scott Redding        Marc VDS Suter       1m53.201s  + 1.134s
16.  Xavier Simeon        Tech 3               1m53.210s  + 1.143s
17.  Esteve Rabat         Blusens FTR          1m53.274s  + 1.207s
18.  Takaaki Nakagami     Italtrans Suter      1m53.291s  + 1.224s
19.  Kenan Sofuoglu       Technomag-CIP Suter  1m53.376s  + 1.309s
20.  Raffaele de Rosa     Forward Suter        1m53.430s  + 1.363s
21.  Pol Espargaro        Speed Up FTR         1m53.532s  + 1.465s
22.  Ricard Cardus        QMMF Moriwaki        1m53.638s  + 1.571s
23.  Anthony West         MZ                   1m53.715s  + 1.648s
24.  Axel Pons            Pons Kalex           1m53.755s  + 1.688s
25.  Mike di Meglio       Tech 3               1m53.779s  + 1.712s
26.  Ratthapark Wilairot  SAG FTR              1m53.818s  + 1.751s
27.  Jules Cluzel         Forward Suter        1m53.820s  + 1.753s
28.  Santiago Hernandez   SAG FTR              1m53.966s  + 1.899s
29.  Max Neukirchner      MZ                   1m53.969s  + 1.902s
30.  Kenny Noyes          Avintia FTR          1m54.161s  + 2.094s
31.  Valentin Debise      Speed Up FTR         1m54.341s  + 2.274s
32.  Yonny Hernandez      Blusens FTR          1m54.375s  + 2.308s
33.  Tomoyoshi Koyama     Technomag-CIP Suter  1m54.441s  + 2.374s
34.  Joan Olive           Castello FTR         1m54.740s  + 2.673s
35.  Mashel Al Naimi      QMMF Moriwaki        1m54.744s  + 2.677s
36.  Robertino Pietri     Italtrans Suter      1m54.911s  + 2.844s
37.  Sergio Gadea         G22 Moriwaki         1m54.911s  + 3.491s
38.  Randy Krummenacher   Kiefer Kalex         NC
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