Subscribe

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe

Argentina MotoGP poleman Marquez feared Q1 exit after late crash

Alex Marquez admits he feared failing to get out of Q1 in MotoGP Argentina Grand Prix qualifying after a late crash, before going on to take a surprise maiden pole.

Polesitter Alex Marquez, Gresini Racing

Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

The Gresini rider fell off of his Ducati while trying to pass Honda’s Joan Mir at the penultimate corner of the Rio Hondo track as he looked to cement his place at the top of the timesheets in a wet Q1.

Marquez quickly re-joined and retained his Q2 spot, though moments later he was forced to abandon his number one bike when it caught fire as a result of crash damage.

Gambling on slick tyres towards the end of Q2, Marquez beat VR46 Ducati’s Marco Bezzecchi by 0.172s to claim his first pole in MotoGP.

However, the younger of the Marquez brothers admits he feared dropping out of qualifying when he crashed at the end of Q1.

“I’m super happy. Q1 was so difficult with the wet tyres, I wasn’t really convinced to be on dries, it was too wet,” Marquez said after securing his first pole since the 2019 Moto2 Malaysian GP.

“Later I did a mistake in the penultimate corner trying to overtake Mir. In that moment I was coming really fast and I thought maybe I wouldn’t go to Q2.

“But fortunately, I did it. Later on, we had the problem with the bike, with the fire, so it was not easy because in Q2 when you have these conditions we had just one bike.

“I did my best with the wet tyres. Later on when I went in, I said there was no time to change the tyres but we changed to the slicks with a wet set-up and it worked.”

Marco Bezzecchi, VR46 Racing Team

Marco Bezzecchi, VR46 Racing Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

What the rest of the Argentina GP front row said

Joining Marquez on the front row for this weekend’s sprint and grand prix in Argentina, both Bezzecchi and championship leader Francesco Bagnaia also gambled on slick tyres at the end of Q2.

The former was the first to take the chequered flag of the slick runners and was denied a follow-up lap to the 1m44.053s that provisionally put him on pole having lost time switching bikes in pitlane.

“Well, honestly the first lap was not really fun because the first part of the lap was still wet,” Bezzecchi said.

“But I saw a small possibility and I tried. Unfortunately, I had an issue in the pitlane with Taka [Nakagami], I lost some time to change the bike and I took the chequered flag very early. Anyway, in these conditions to be so fast is very nice.”

Bagnaia added: “I was a bit scared to change to the slick tyres because, considering the amount of wet patches on track, it was a bit risky.

“The last lap I took a lot of risk in corner two on the entry, but in any case I’m very happy.

“The objective was to start on the first row, so I’m happy. If it’s conditions like this in the race, it could be very tricky.”

Read Also:

Be part of the Autosport community

Join the conversation

Related video

Previous article MotoGP Argentina GP: Alex Marquez takes maiden pole after slick gamble in wet session
Next article MotoGP Argentina GP: Binder wins sprint thriller from 15th on the grid

Top Comments

There are no comments at the moment. Would you like to write one?

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe