One record down, one to go. By qualifying on pole in just his second MotoGP race, at the age of 20 years and 61 days, Marc Marquez becomes the youngest premier class polesitter in history, deposing the legendary Freddie Spencer of the crown he has held for 31 years. On Sunday, Marc Marquez will go after the next target: the record as the youngest winner of a premier class Grand Prix, also held by Spencer. If he fails to win on Sunday - a very distinct possibility - he still has until Indianapolis to take Spencer's record, making it very far from safe.
Press releases from the MotoGP teams and Bridgestone after qualifying at Austin:
Quotes from Yamaha Factory Racing Riders After Free Practice Nr. 3 at COTA (Austin, Texas - USA)
Austin (Texas, USA), 20th April 2013
Position: 3rd; Best lap time: 2'05.295
Press Releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after qualifying at Austin:
Redding storms to maiden pole position in Texas
Austin, Texas - 20 April 2013: Marc VDS Racing Team rider Scott Redding celebrated a major career milestone at the new Circuit of the Americas (COTA) this afternoon when the British rider stormed to a sensational maiden pole position.
Results and summary of qualifying for Moto2:
Results and summary of qualifying for MotoGP:
Marc Marquez continued his brilliant form grabbing pole position for the first-ever MotoGP race at the COTA circuit near Austin, Texas. The Repsol Honda rookie was fastest in nearly each session on every day at the new track. He finished two-tenths up on teammate Dani Pedrosa, who qualified second. Jorge Lorenzo, on the top-qualifying Yamaha, filled out the front row as third fastest but remained a daunting second behind leader Marquez.
Dani Pedrosa's place at the top of the timesheets was short-lived as teammate Marc Marquez dropped into the 2'03s and rose to the top of the timesheets, making it appear as if it Sunday will be a race for second. Pedrosa was four-tenths back of his teammate and a very unhappy World Champion Jorge Lorenzo was another five-tenths back -- nearly a full second off Marquez's time heading into QP2.
Results and summary of qualifying for Moto3:
Pol Espargaro found his line and his confidence in FP3 moving up six places from the previous session and taking the top spot away from Scott Redding -- but not by much. Espargaro shaved a full two seconds from his prior practice time and it was barely enough to clip Redding by eight-hundreths of a second. Takaai Nakagami rounded out the top three at another three-tenths back.
Dani Pedrosa sent a clear message to his talented, younger teammate at the end of FP3 with a blistering lap nearly four-tenths quicker than Marc Marquez's best time. Marquez, who had dominated every practice and every test thus far at the new Circuit of the Americas track, didn't have much of a chance to answer as Pedrosa timed his quickest lap perfectly, leaving only 18 seconds on the clock for a response.
Spaniard Alex Rins dropped the hammer on his competition in FP3 with a 2'17.062 that was nearly a full second quicker than the second fastest rider, Luis Salom. Maverick Vinales rounded out the top three slots but was almost two seconds behind Rins. Rins was the only Moto3 rider to drop into the 2'17s and he did it early in the morning qualifying session and then again toward the end of practice.
Carmelo Ezpeleta was served with with a subpoena this morning by legal representatives of Kevin Schwantz, calling the Dorna CEO to appear before the courts in Austin to give a report of the contract dealings between Schwantz and the Spanish company charged with organizing MotoGP over the race at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin.
The first day of practice at the Circuit of The Americas was summed up with eloquent brevity by the headline of the press release issued by the RW Racing GP Moto3 team of Jasper Iwema and Jakub Kornfeil: "No grip in Texas." Despite the awesome facility, a fascinating and difficult track, and clear blue Texan skies, the times set by all three Grand Prix classes in Austin were a very long way off what had been expected, as the riders struggled to find any grip anywhere.