Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez has secured the first pole of the season at the Losail circuit in Qatar with a time of 1’54.507, marking his 10th MotoGP career pole, from 19 starts in the class. Teammate Dani Pedrosa, despite being just 0.196s from Marc with 1’54.703, will start from the second row in 6th position.
It was an exciting session with fastest times being traded between several riders. Marc, who is still suffering from the injury that sidelined him from the last two Winter tests, took provisional pole on his first exit in Q2 before securing it with a faster time on his final lap of his second exit. He’s now found a setup he is happy with and will work on fine tuning it in tomorrow’s warmup session.
Dani was also happy with his pace after making positive setup changes in FP4 and will be looking for one of his trademark starts in tomorrow’s 22 lap race, that will begin at 22h00 local time.
Marc Marquez - 1st - 1'54.507
“I’m really happy and this pole position is a special one for me, because after coming back from injury it gives me a boost in confidence. In any case, we know that tomorrow is the day that counts and it’s in the race that points are decided, so we have to be very focused. It is going to be a very tough for me physically, because I don't have much strength in my leg and I have to compensate with my right arm. We are happy with how today went and seem to have found a good setup, with just a few details still to refine in tomorrow's warmup. It will be difficult, because many riders have pace within a tenth of each other, but we shall try to have a good race”
Dani Pedrosa - 6th - 1'54.703
"The qualifying session was really closely contested today - especially in the final laps. Looking at things objectively, we have a good pace and were able to set a fast lap in the session, even though in the end we qualified sixth by a really narrow margin. We're going to continue to be positive about things, believe in the work that we have been doing here so far this weekend, and tomorrow we'll give everything that we have to do well at the first race of the season"