Marquez takes another Austin MotoGP pole but Lorenzo gets close

Marc Marquez maintained his perfect record of claiming pole position for Austin's MotoGP race, after seeing off a challenge from Jorge Lorenzo

Marquez takes another Austin MotoGP pole but Lorenzo gets close

Marquez has topped every session at the Circuit of the Americas this weekend, and while he claimed his fourth pole at the venue, Lorenzo made him work for it.

The Yamaha rider led Marquez by 0.786 seconds after the first laps of the session, with Lorenzo's 2m03.613s his fastest lap of the weekend by seven tenths.

Marquez responded on his very next lap with a time of 2m03.188s and while he did not improve late, it was ultimately enough to secure pole, as he also seeks a fourth-consecutive victory at Austin.

Lorenzo did make further inroads late to 2m03.257s, finishing just 0.069s behind the Honda rider.

Valentino Rossi will join Marquez and Lorenzo on the front row of the grid on Sunday, his best time 0.456s behind Marquez's.

Ducati's Andrea Iannone qualified fourth, but will drop three places to seventh on the grid, as a result of his penalty for colliding with team-mate Andrea Dovizioso on the last lap in Argentina last Sunday.

That will elevate Maverick Vinales to fourth, and he will share the second row with top satellite rider Cal Crutchlow and Dovizioso.

Dani Pedrosa was eighth, 1.191s behind Honda team-mate Marquez, while Aleix Espargaro and Scott Redding complete the top 10, ahead of Bradley Smith and Loris Baz, whose 12th is a career-best qualifying result.

Smith bounced back from a tough start - having been 19th on Saturday morning - as Tech3 introduced a radical new set-up on his Yamaha to make it into Q2.

The Briton led the way in the first phase with a time of 2m04.849s, with Suzuki's Espargaro also advancing, at the expense of his brother Pol Espargaro, by just 0.018s.

A total of 20 riders contested qualifying. Marc VDS' Jack Miller was ruled out after re-injuring his right ankle in a crash on Friday.

Follow the Austin MotoGP race as it happens with Autosport Race Centre Live from 7.45pm UK time on Sunday night

QUALIFYING RESULTS

Pos Rider Team Bike Time Gap
1 Marc Marquez Honda Honda 2m03.188s -
2 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha Yamaha 2m03.257s 0.069s
3 Valentino Rossi Yamaha Yamaha 2m03.644s 0.456s
4 Maverick Vinales Suzuki Suzuki 2m04.247s 1.059s
5 Cal Crutchlow LCR Honda Honda 2m04.265s 1.077s
6 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati Ducati 2m04.339s 1.151s
7 Andrea Iannone Ducati Ducati 2m03.913s 0.725s
8 Dani Pedrosa Honda Honda 2m04.379s 1.191s
9 Aleix Espargaro Suzuki Suzuki 2m04.408s 1.220s
10 Scott Redding Pramac Ducati Ducati 2m04.485s 1.297s
11 Bradley Smith Tech3 Yamaha Yamaha 2m04.988s 1.800s
12 Loris Baz Avintia Ducati Ducati 2m05.159s 1.971s
13 Pol Espargaro Tech3 Yamaha Yamaha 2m04.867s -
14 Hector Barbera Avintia Ducati Ducati 2m04.944s -
15 Eugene Laverty Aspar Ducati Ducati 2m05.425s -
16 Stefan Bradl Aprilia Aprilia 2m05.625s -
17 Michele Pirro Pramac Ducati Ducati 2m05.702s -
18 Yonny Hernandez Aspar Ducati Ducati 2m06.029s -
19 Alvaro Bautista Aprilia Aprilia 2m06.049s -
20 Tito Rabat Marc VDS Honda Honda 2m06.562s -


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