Round 04 Spain

  • Marquez to Start Home Race From Front Row

    Marc Marquez will start the Spanish Grand Prix from the front row of the grid after qualifying a close third-fastest in a thrilling Q2 qualifying session.


Report

Marquez to Start Home Race From Front Row

CIRCUITO DE JEREZ – ANGEL NIETO, Spain, May 4, 2019

Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team RC213V) will start tomorrow's Spanish Grand Prix from the front row of the grid after qualifying a close third-fastest in this afternoon's thrilling Q2 qualifying session.

Marc Marquez

Marc Marquez

The reigning MotoGP World Champion, who won here last year, had been a close second fastest yesterday, just 0.012 seconds behind the fastest time, and topped the FP4 session that took place immediately before qualifying. This consistent speed throughout the last two days suggests that he has a very competitive pace going into the race, which is round four of this year's 19-race series.

The 26-year-old Spaniard rode as hard as ever in the 15-minute Q2, using a three-run strategy, but a big slide during his final run may have blunted his challenge for pole position. Nonetheless he was delighted to fulfil his main goal: a front-row start in front of his legions of Spanish fans, a mere 0.09 seconds off pole, which was taken by Fabio Quartararo. The 20-year-old French rookie thus becomes the youngest-ever premier-class pole sitter, taking the record from Marquez, who has held it since the 2013 Americas GP. Immediately after the session Marquez graciously congratulated the youngster for his performance.

Lap times at Jerez are dramatically faster this year – following a recent resurface – with the fastest 16 riders all within last year's pole time, established by Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda CASTROL RC213V), who this afternoon was fast enough to put himself on the second row.

The 33-year-old Briton had a heavy tumble in this morning's FP3 outing but bounced back bravely, running some super-fast lap times in Q2, less than three tenths off pole position. He may well have done better than sixth place if he hadn't lost grip at turn three on his final run and only just managed to remain on board.

Perhaps more importantly Crutchlow was very competitive in FP4, when most riders ride their machines in race-day spec. He was third fastest in that outing, just a tenth of a second slower than Marquez, so there's little doubt that once again he will be the podium fight tomorrow.

Marquez's team-mate Jorge Lorenzo (Repsol Honda Team RC213V) has a fantastic record at Jerez – where he has won five Grand Prix victories across two classes – and is finally back to full strength following two injuries sustained earlier in the year. The Spaniard, who celebrates his 32nd birthday today, had a great Friday, his best lap just over a tenth off the fastest time of the day, but today has proved more challenging.

Lorenzo's speed in free practice was enough to take him directly into the Q2 outing, where his hopes for a great performance were spoiled by a low-speed tumble at turn two. Thus Lorenzo will start his home Grand Prix from the fourth row of the grid in 11th position. However, the three-times MotoGP king will do everything in power to fight his way towards the front tomorrow.

Crutchlow's team-mate Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda IDEMITSU RC213V) will start the race from the middle of the third row after qualifying eighth fastest, between two full-factory riders. The 27-year-old from Chiba is contesting only his second season in the premier class, aboard a 2018-spec RC213V, so his performance so far is very impressive. Tomorrow the former Moto2 race winner aims for his fourth consecutive top-ten finish of 2019.

HRC test rider Stefan Bradl (Team HRC RC213V) is enjoying a superb weekend as he prepares for his first race since last November's Valencia Grand Prix, when he substituted for the injured Crutchlow.

The 29-year-old German has ridden brilliantly throughout the two days of practice and qualifying, running just nine tenths of a second slower than the fastest pace. He completed the Q1 qualifying session fourth fastest, just a tenth of a second outside promotion to the Q2 session. Bradl is evaluating various new parts here, which he will continue testing on Monday, when all the teams stay here for an important one-day test.

Moto2 pole position went to Jorge Navarro (HDR Heidrun Speed Up Speed Up), who scored Speed Up's first pole position in the class. The 23-year-old leads an all-Spanish front row, with Alex Marquez (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Kalex) and Augusto Fernandez (Flexbox HP 40 Kalex) just fractions of a second slower in qualifying.

The second row is led by 21-year-old Australian Remy Gardner (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team Kalex), whose father Wayne won the first-ever 500cc Grand Prix at Jerez in 1987, riding a Honda NSR500. Joining Gardner on row two are Nicolo Bulega (SKY Racing Team VR46 Kalex) and Lorenzo Baldassarri (Flexbox HP 40 Kalex), who leads the championship, thanks to victories in the first two races.

Team-mates Somkiat Chantra (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia, Kalex) and Dimas Ekky Pratama (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia Kalex) commenced their first European Grand Prix season with 21st and 29th positions on the grid.

Chantra is happy with his speed so far and will be hoping that his performance at round two in Argentina – where he raced from 19th on the grid into the top ten – bodes well for tomorrow's race. Yesterday the 20-year-old Thai rider had issues with rear grip which his crew helped him solve, so he will be going into the race with a bike that is ready to perform.

Ekky Pratama isn't happy with his position on the grid, but he is working hard at improving his pace by working on his riding technique, both when he is on track and when he isn't, by watching videos of other riders and examining his data.

The Moto2 top ten was completed by Fabio Di Giannantonio (HDR Heidrun Speed Up Speed Up), Americas Grand Prix winner Thomas Luthi (Dynavolt Intact GP Kalex), Gardner's team-mate, Tetsuta Nagashima (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team Kalex), the 26-year-old from Kanagawa, and Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo KTM).

Honda riders dominated Moto3 qualifying, with NSF250RW riders first, second, fourth and sixth fastest. The man who took pole position – for the first time in his career – was Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Leopard Racing Honda NSF250RW), who will tomorrow chase his first victory of the year. Currently the 21-year-old Italian stands third in the points chase, with one podium so far, at the season-opening Qatar GP.

Tatsuki Suzuki (Sic58 Squadra Corse Honda NSF250RW) equalled his best-ever qualifying performance in second place, just four thousandths of a second slower than Dalla Porta. This was a particularly impressive performance from  the 21-year-old from Chiba, who had to graduate into Q2 from the Q1 session and suffered a tumble earlier in the day.

The two Honda riders on the second row are Suzuki's team-mate Niccolo Antonelli (Sic58 Squadra Corse Honda NSF250RW) and Gabriel Rodrigo (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3 Honda NSF250RW), who will start tomorrow's race from fourth and sixth on the grid. Antonelli's best lap was only two tenths off pole and the 23-year-old Italian might have made it onto the front row if he hadn't had a nasty moment exiting the final corner near the end of the session.

Rodrigo's speed and his place on the second row should give him a good chance of battling for his first Grand Prix victory tomorrow.

Spaniard Marcos Ramirez (Leopard Racing Honda NSF250RW) qualified on the third row, just behind Rodrigo, with 2010 Jerez winner Romano Fenati (VNE Snipers Honda NSF250RW) rounding out the top ten and Ayumu Sasaki (Petronas Sprinta Racing Honda NSF250RW) in 11th.

Today was a challenging day for team-mates Ai Ogura (Honda Team Asia Honda NSF250RW) and Kaito Toba (Honda Team Asia Honda NSF250RW). Toba won the first race of the season in Qatar and finished tenth in Argentina, but was unable to make it into Q2 today after crashing at turn one during the Q1 session. The 19-year-old from Fukuoka will start this race from 24th on the grid, while his 18-year-old Tokyo team-mate will start from 20th, just six tenths of a second behind Dalla Porta.

This weekend's Spanish GP is the first of 11 consecutive rounds in Europe. Next stop on the MotoGP calendar is the French GP on May 19.

Cal Crutchlow

Cal Crutchlow

Comments

MotoGP

Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team: 3rd, 1m 36.970s

“I'm very happy for the front row, normally here we struggle a bit more to put one fast lap together. The most important part is that we have prepared well for the race and tomorrow we can understand our level compared to everyone else's. We have to wait a little bit to see what the temperature does tomorrow. Congratulations to Fabio Quartararo who took the record of youngest pole setter from me, he did a really good job today. Tomorrow it will be a good race with a mix of names at the front.”

Cal Crutchlow, LCR Honda CASTROL: 6th, 1m 37.175s

“We ran out of time this morning and we've not improved the settings of the bike as much as we would have liked since yesterday, so hopefully we can tomorrow. Overall today went not too bad, although obviously we're disappointed with the crash in FP3. But we took some positives in FP4 and we were able to make the second row of the grid. We would have preferred to be a bit further forward, but I did my best today and we'll have to look at the settings of the bike tonight and work as hard as possible to get it right for the race. The team and Honda have done a fantastic job this weekend and now we look forward to a good Sunday in front of a good crowd here in Jerez.”

Takaaki Nakagami, LCR Honda IDEMITSU: 8th, 1m 37.332s

“I'm not 100 percent happy. The lap time is quite good, in FP3 we improved quite a lot with the soft tire, but everybody was so close and the gap was so small that I was really happy to get through to Q2. The feeling on the bike here is better than at the other tracks and also I like this track and have confidence here. In qualifying we targeted the second row, but at the end we got P8. I was expecting a bit better than this so I have mixed feelings. Qualifying is qualifying though; it will be a very long race and we have to make sure we manage both the tires well.”

Jorge Lorenzo, Repsol Honda Team: 11th, 1m 37.496s

“The qualifying session was going quite well, I pushed quite a lot in the first run and then in the second run I tried to be more aggressive in braking. Unfortunately I closed the front and then crashed, luckily I am not hurt. Starting in the fourth row isn't ideal but it is where we will start. The launch from the line will be important to keep our position, as everyone is very fast. Here we are closer than ever to the front.”

Stefan Bradl, Team HRC: 14th, 1m 37.406s

“We had another good day today. The position is not as high as Friday, but we can be pleased with how we have improved. For the race tomorrow I think we can keep fighting forward and hopefully we will be able to pick up some good points. Overall, a productive day.”

Moto2

Jorge Navarro, HDR Heidrun Speed Up: 1st, 1m 41.182s

“It's been a long time since I was pole, so this is a great day! The team and I have worked really good this year – in preseason and at the first races, which is why I got my first Moto2 podium at the last GP. We have focused on race pace here, but in qualifying I knew I could do one fast lap if everything went to plan. But I made a big mistake and crashed yesterday, so I was careful not to make another mistake. My confidence on the bike keeps improving – we will see what tomorrow brings.”

Alex Marquez, Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS: 2nd, 1m 41.273s

“I am really happy to be on the front row for my home GP. Most importantly, we have worked very well with the new rear tire from Dunlop. Today worked hard at improving my speed through sector three and now I am feeling ready for the race. It will be a tough one, with a lot of other riders. I will try everything I can to make the podium in front of the fantastic Jerez fans.”

Augusto Fernandez, Flexbox HP 40: 3rd, 1m 41.323s

“I am very happy with this front row, especially after my recent injury. Together with the team, we are working very well all weekend. The mystery is how tomorrow I will be able to do the race with my injured arm. Let's see during the whole race. If it hurts, it will be hard to hold on, but I'll do my best because the objective is to try to fight for my first podium.”

Somkiat Chantra, IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia: 21st, 1m 41.932s

“Today I'm very happy, my best lap time is really good: 41m 9s.  FP3 was perfect, finishing so close to the top. Even during Q1 I had the option to go to the Q2. Everything is going in a positive way and I'm really excited for tomorrow's race.”

Dimas Ekky Pratama, IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia: 29th, 1m 42.756s

“In Q1 I tried some setting changes and also, I changed something in my ridding style, because in the first sector I was losing too much time. The most important thing is that I improved again during qualifying. The base setting we have is ready for the race, but in warm-up I will continue focusing on my riding style. For sure I'll do my best and enjoy the race.”

Moto3

Lorenzo Dalla Porta, Leopard Racing: 1st, 1m 46.011s

“I'm very happy. I have to say thanks to the team as they've worked a lot, the bike has been amazing today. Starting from pole position will be a big help and I'm pleased after getting my first pole position. It is curious, I didn't know I got the pole position until the moment I took a look at the big screen just after the flag, so it's been a big surprise. I can't wait for tomorrow's race!”

Tatsuki Suzuki, Sic58 Squadra Corse: 2nd, 1m 46.015s

“Today was a good day and I am satisfied with the job done. Starting from the front row is always positive and tomorrow we will push from the first corner.”

Niccolo Antonelli, Sic58 Squadra Corse: 4th, 1m 46.232s

“Today's goal was to set a lap time within the first five positions and we made it. I am satisfied with my qualifying and I am ready to fight in tomorrow's race which will be a tough one as usual.”

Ai Ogura, Honda Team Asia: 20th, 1m 46.629s

“In FP3 I was expecting to be a little bit faster, mainly after I tried to analyze my ideal lap time. In Q1 I had a good chance to go into Q2, but I still don't have enough speed to fight with the front group. My only option tomorrow is to push every lap.”

Kaito Toba, Honda Team Asia: 24th, 1m 47.146s

“I'm very disappointed. In FP3 I did my best lap ever in Jerez, but in Q1 I was too tense and I crashed again. Tomorrow is the race and I will try to be in the front group, I think I'm strong and the leading group will be very big.”

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Results

MotoGP World Championship 2019
Round 04: Spain Qualifying

MotoGP Class

Rank Rider (Team)
1 Fabio QUARTARARO (Petronas Yamaha SRT)
2 Franco MORBIDELLI (Petronas Yamaha SRT)
3 Marc MARQUEZ (Repsol Honda Team)
4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO (Mission Winnow Ducati)
5 Maverick VIÑALES (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP)
6 Cal CRUTCHLOW (LCR Honda CASTROL)
7 Danilo PETRUCCI (Mission Winnow Ducati)
8 Takaaki NAKAGAMI (LCR Honda IDEMITSU)
9 Alex RINS (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR)
10 Francesco BAGNAIA (Pramac Racing)
11 Jorge LORENZO (Repsol Honda Team)
12 Joan MIR (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR)
13 Valentino ROSSI (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP)
14 Stefan BRADL (Team HRC)
15 Jack MILLER (Pramac Racing)
16 Aleix ESPARGARO (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini)
17 Pol ESPARGARO (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing)
18 Johann ZARCO (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing)
19 Bradley SMITH (Aprilia Factory Racing)
20 Tito RABAT (Reale Avintia Racing)
21 Karel ABRAHAM (Reale Avintia Racing)
22 Miguel OLIVEIRA (Red Bull KTM Tech 3)
23 Hafizh SYAHRIN (Red Bull KTM Tech 3)
24 Andrea IANNONE (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini)

Moto2 Class

Rank Rider (Team)
1 Jorge NAVARRO (HDR Heidrun Speed Up)
2 Alex MARQUEZ (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS)
3 Augusto FERNANDEZ (Flexbox HP 40)
4 Remy GARDNER (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team)
5 Nicolo BULEGA (SKY Racing Team VR46)
6 Lorenzo BALDASSARRI (Flexbox HP 40)
7 Fabio DI GIANNANTONIO (HDR Heidrun Speed Up)
8 Thomas LUTHI (Dynavolt Intact GP)
9 Tetsuta NAGASHIMA (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team)
10 Brad BINDER (Red Bull KTM Ajo)
11 Sam LOWES (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2)
12 Xavi VIERGE (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS)
13 Luca MARINI (SKY Racing Team VR46)
14 Marcel SCHROTTER (Dynavolt Intact GP)
15 Andrea LOCATELLI (Italtrans Racing Team)
16 Iker LECUONA (American Racing KTM)
17 Simone CORSI (Tasca Racing Scuderia Moto2)
18 Enea BASTIANINI (Italtrans Racing Team)
19 Stefano MANZI (MV Agusta Idealavoro Forward)
20 Bo BENDSNEYDER (NTS RW Racing GP)
21 Somkiat CHANTRA (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia)
22 Jorge MARTIN (Red Bull KTM Ajo)
23 Dominique AEGERTER (MV Agusta Idealavoro Forward)
24 Mattia PASINI (Sama Qatar Angel Nieto Team)
25 Marco BEZZECCHI (Red Bull KTM Tech 3)
26 Steven ODENDAAL (NTS RW Racing GP)
27 Joe ROBERTS (American Racing KTM)
28 Lukas TULOVIC (Kiefer Racing)
29 Dimas EKKY PRATAMA (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia)
30 Philipp OETTL (Red Bull KTM Tech 3)
31 Xavi CARDELUS (Sama Qatar Angel Nieto Team)

Moto3 Class

Rank Rider (Team)
1 Lorenzo DALLA PORTA (Leopard Racing)
2 Tatsuki SUZUKI (SIC58 Squadra Corse)
3 Celestino Vietti (SKY Racing Team VR46)
4 Niccolò ANTONELLI (SIC58 Squadra Corse)
5 Dennis FOGGIA (SKY Racing Team VR46)
6 Gabriel RODRIGO (Kommerling Gresini Moto3)
7 Aron CANET (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team)
8 Marcos RAMIREZ (Leopard Racing)
9 Albert ARENAS (Sama Qatar Angel Nieto Team)
10 Romano FENATI (VNE Snipers)
11 Ayumu SASAKI (Petronas Sprinta Racing)
12 Jakub KORNFEIL (Redox PruestelGP)
13 Andrea MIGNO (Bester Capital Dubai)
14 John MCPHEE (Petronas Sprinta Racing)
15 Jaume MASIA (Bester Capital Dubai)
16 Stefano NEPA (Fundacion Andres Perez 77)
17 Raul FERNANDEZ (Sama Qatar Angel Nieto Team)
18 Makar YURCHENKO (BOE Skull Rider Mugen Race)
19 Tony ARBOLINO (VNE Snipers)
20 Ai OGURA (Honda Team Asia)
21 Alonso LOPEZ (Estrella Galicia 0,0)
22 Kazuki MASAKI (BOE Skull Rider Mugen Race)
23 Sergio GARCIA (Estrella Galicia 0,0)
24 Kaito TOBA (Honda Team Asia)
25 Darryn BINDER (CIP Green Power)
26 Can ONCU (Red Bull KTM Ajo)
27 Riccardo ROSSI (Kommerling Gresini Moto3)
28 Filip SALAC (Redox PruestelGP)
29 Vicente PEREZ (Reale Avintia Arizona 77)
30 Tom BOOTH-AMOS (CIP Green Power)
31 Meikon KAWAKAMI (Fundacion Andres Perez 77)

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