So this is what is has come to for Marc Marquez at the Circuit if the Americas: He is quicker than the field even after a short jog to his backup bike. He's not only quicker, he can set a new lap record after his primary bike breaks down. Marquez's 2'02.135 pole-position time on Saturday now stands as the new fastest motorcycle lap ever at the COTA track near Austin, Texas. And yes, he broke the record he also happened to hold.
Andrea Dovizioso, who had been leading the session before Marquez's fast lap on his backup bike, held on to second with a 2'02.474. Jorge Lorenzo continued looking sharp to complete the front row. Valentino Rossi, who had held third for a portion of the session, was dropped to the lead position of the second row in fourth. Alongside him for the Sunday race is Cal Crutchlow who had been quick at COTA all weekend. Scott Redding -- like Crutchlow on a satellite Honda -- closed his gap to Crutchlow with a 2'02.674, a half a second off the leader.
Andrea Iannone, who along with Maverick Vinales advanced from Q1, put his factory Ducati into seventh, just in front of Aleix Espargaro (8th). Espargaro's brother, Pol, completed the third row with the ninth-fastest time. Bradley Smith rounded out the top 10.
The session's drama centered around Marquez who broke down late in the session without the fast lap under his belt. He left his bike leaning against the track fencing and jogged down pit lane to get his backup bike. With only moments left, he blitzed around the course to set the fastest-ever lap. The Spaniard has yet to concede pole position to another rider in the three years MotoGP has been in Austin.
|Pos.||No.||Rider||Bike||Time||Diff. / Prev.|
|2||4||Andrea DOVIZIOSO||Ducati||2'02.474||0.339 / 0.339|
|3||99||Jorge LORENZO||Yamaha||2'02.540||0.405 / 0.066|
|4||46||Valentino ROSSI||Yamaha||2'02.573||0.438 / 0.033|
|5||35||Cal CRUTCHLOW||Honda||2'02.613||0.478 / 0.040|
|6||45||Scott REDDING||Honda||2'02.674||0.539 / 0.061|
|7||29||Andrea IANNONE||Ducati||2'02.792||0.657 / 0.118|
|8||41||Aleix ESPARGARO||Suzuki||2'02.869||0.734 / 0.077|
|9||44||Pol ESPARGARO||Yamaha||2'03.161||1.026 / 0.292|
|10||38||Bradley SMITH||Yamaha||2'03.440||1.305 / 0.279|
|11||9||Danilo PETRUCCI||Ducati||2'03.741||1.606 / 0.301|
|12||25||Maverick VIÑALES||Suzuki||2'03.754||1.619 / 0.013|
|13||8||Hector BARBERA||Ducati||2'03.926||0.282 / 0.048|
|14||6||Stefan BRADL||Yamaha Forward||2'04.275||0.631 / 0.349|
|15||68||Yonny HERNANDEZ||Ducati||2'04.313||0.669 / 0.038|
|16||63||Mike DI MEGLIO||Ducati||2'04.392||0.748 / 0.079|
|17||50||Eugene LAVERTY||Honda||2'04.875||1.231 / 0.483|
|18||7||Hiroshi AOYAMA||Honda||2'05.086||1.442 / 0.211|
|19||43||Jack MILLER||Honda||2'05.156||1.512 / 0.070|
|20||76||Loris BAZ||Yamaha Forward||2'05.214||1.570 / 0.058|
|21||17||Karel ABRAHAM||Honda||2'05.261||1.617 / 0.047|
|22||69||Nicky HAYDEN||Honda||2'05.569||1.925 / 0.308|
|23||19||Alvaro BAUTISTA||Aprilia||2'05.595||1.951 / 0.026|
|24||15||Alex DE ANGELIS||ART||2'06.145||2.501 / 0.550|
|25||33||Marco MELANDRI||Aprilia||2'07.267||3.623 / 1.122|