marc-marquez-argentina-pole

Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez kept his perfect pole record for the season intact, as the reigning World Champion set a scorching lap time of 1’37.683 in qualifying for the Argentina Grand Prix. Marquez’s first flying lap in Qualifying Practice 2 was quicker than any of his rivals could manage, but he went even quicker on his penultimate lap to finish to finish 0.742 seconds clear of Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Jorge Lorenzo who finished in second place. On the other Repsol Honda, Dani Pedrosa will start tomorrow’s race in third place on the grid with his lap time of 1’38.425 securing him a front row slot.

Track conditions improved today with more rubber and less dust on the asphalt providing a slight increase in grip compared to yesterday. The peak track temperature of 42°C was recorded during Qualifying Practice and was an increase of 8°C from yesterday’s high. The better track surface enabled riders to extract more performance from the tyres, with a significant improvement in lap times and more consistent performance over race distance. The hard compound rear slick was the preferred option among the Factory Honda and Yamaha riders, providing more consistent performance while the medium compound rear slick was more popular with the Ducati and Open-class riders.

For the time attack in Qualifying Practice 1 and 2, riders used the softer rear slick options available to them, although some riders also set impressive lap times on their harder rear slick option. With three front options available this weekend, front tyre choice for today’s sessions showed a strong preference for the medium compound front slick, although all three specifications were utilized by riders today. The next MotoGP session is the morning Warm Up session at 0940 race local time (GMT -4) with the twenty-five lap Argentina Grand Prix set to start at 1400.

Marc Marquez

“Today I really felt good on the bike and I am happy to have taken pole position! In the morning and in FP4, we worked a lot with the used tyre and this afternoon we obviously focused on qualifying. I put in a very good lap and I think that tomorrow it will be interesting to see which tyre will be required for the race, because there are various options for both the front and the rear ‒it is going to be a difficult choice! One of the keys for the race will be tyre management, in order to try to get to the end with optimal grip ‒which will allow us to make the difference.”

Jorge Lorenzo

“We are trying to solve every challenge we can to be as competitive as possible. Today we made a small modification before the qualifying practice that proved to be good. It was better entering the corner and also gave us more traction so I could be a bit faster. I pushed at the maximum with the soft tyre to make a fast lap time and was able to make it. We are trying our best to be as competitive as possible and take the maximum so we are satisfied with the result.”

Dani Pedrosa

“Qualifying did not go perfectly. I wasn’t as fast as I wanted to be and I know that I made a few mistakes ‒especially on the final corner‒ which hindered me a lot. However, I’m happy, because the important thing is that we had some good practice sessions. We are high up the grid for tomorrow, so we shall try to make the most of this and have a good race.”

Aleix Espargaro

“I’m really happy of the work done today: I have a strong race pace and the feeling with the hard tyre is good, so I aim at finishing in the top 5 tomorrow. It’s a pity that with the soft tyre I couldn’t push as I wanted. As in Austin, I lost the opportunity to start from the front row for one tenth. Anyway I’m confident for the race and I start determined to get a good result.”

Andrea Dovizioso

“I am very happy with my position: starting from row 2 tomorrow is fine. But I’m happy above all for the good work we did today. This morning we were quick over one lap, but rather slow over race pace because we were wearing out the rear tyre in a strange way. However we managed to improve the set-up of the bike a lot, this afternoon I was able to lower my pace by almost two seconds, and so now I can get a relaxing night’s sleep! I did a really good lap in qualifying, and when you do this the feelings are always great. Managing the tyres in the race will be very complicated; when you go to a new circuit, with a dirty track surface and no rubber, there are always these problems. I am sure that tomorrow in the race, as well as speed, the difference will be made by those who can ride smoothly and not aggressively.”

Valentino Rossi

“I am happy about today, it was a good practice. This morning we improved a lot the bike and this afternoon I had a good pace and was quite constant. Unfortunately I wanted to make it better in the fastest lap but I was not able to make the last 10%. I am in the second row that is quite good, we have to work and decide the tyres but I have a good feeling. We will see tomorrow.”

Bradley Smith

“I am really pleased with 7th position going into tomorrow’s race. Participating in Qualifying 1 wasn’t part of the plan, but during FP3 I was concentrating on doing long runs with used tyres to make the best choice for tomorrow’s race. But in the end, it even helped us, as the extra track time enabled us to test a few more setting changes. This was especially beneficial as the bike was struggling a bit in the braking areas, which we managed to amend. I was able to go quicker on a used hard tyre during Qualifying 1 and then could further lower my lap time on the soft in Q2. Still, things could have gone better, because I knew the track was improving but I made a small error on my first flying lap on the soft, so the tyre’s grip dropped. If this didn’t occur, maybe I would have had a chance at the second row. It will be tough tomorrow as the track is evolving all the time. I think we need to race with the hard rear tyre as it will be the most consistent. My aim is to get a good start and try to remain with the Factory Yamahas.”

Pol Espargaro

“Honestly I am quite disappointed with my qualifying result of 11th, but I still feel confident of achieving a good result tomorrow as my rhythm was competitive during all the other sessions and I really felt comfortable on the bike. After the crash this morning, I felt a little bit confused but beside a small injury on my finger I was lucky to getaway unhurt and it will not be a problem for tomorrow. This afternoon I decided to try the hard tyre to improve my lap time in qualifying but this was the wrong choice. I felt stronger on it the whole weekend, but the changing grip level and higher temperatures did not put me in the best conditions to get the maximum out of my bike. We still have to try a few things during the warm up, and also the final tyre decision has to be made. In any case I will give it my all during the race, and with a good start I’m convinced I can battle with the other satellite riders.”

Nicky Hayden

“Today we continued to improve, but the bike was already good yesterday so we did not make drastic changes to the setup —rather only minor adjustments. Today we focused on accumulating laps to better understand the response of the tyres, with the constant evolution of the track. Today our goal was to reach Q2 and we succeeded, but with the way the weekend has turned out we reached the second qualifying session without new tyres to use. We knew it was going to be a tough session, but we have tried to do our best. Although I wanted to conclude the day closer to the top guys, we should be happy that the bike has improved and gradually we have too. The tyre choice for the race will be difficult for everyone. I’m happy with the position we took on the grid, but the first lap will be hard because there is only one safe and clean line -and everybody will want to take it. I guess the asphalt will be slippery, so we must be careful. I love this track and the atmosphere is great, so I will try to enjoy myself to the fullest and have a positive race.”

Hiroshi Aoyama

“Yesterday we had some problems with the lack of grip on the track, and we were working to try to make the bike turn in better. In general we have all got better today, as on the second day the track conditions were better. Today we tried a new configuration that allowed me to lean over the bike more and also to better prepare for corner exits. Our times dropped considerably compared to the first day, but the most important thing is that the bike has evolved. Thanks to feeling good with the bike, we were able to increase our pace. Now the doubt remains about the tyres; both the hard and the soft compounds have given us good pace, so we have to assess which might be the best for the race tomorrow. We still have the warm-up session to finish clearing up the doubt.”

Andrea Iannone

“Today was a good day, I had a good qualifying session. I still have pain in my neck after yesterday crash but despite this we managed to do a good job improving the bike a lot. On my sigle lap, as last year, I still struggle a bit, for tomorrow’s race I have a good pace and I think I can do well. I thank the team for all the hard work and Ducati.”

Alvaro Bautista

“The situation has improved a lot compared to yesterday: we made many changes to the bike set-up and already this morning I felt much more at ease than yesterday. Even the track conditions have improved a lot, but we made a big step forward regardless. Thanks to the good work done on the bike, during the last free practice session I managed to keep a good pace and I was very consistent with the hard tyre, so I’m very confident for tomorrow’s race. Unfortunately, in qualifying I made some mistakes during my fastest lap and there was a lot of traffic, so I have not been able to set a reasonably good lap time. However, tomorrow we can do a good race: I would like to thank my team because they are working hard to help me”.

Scott Redding

“I’m happy with my qualifying: we checked the split times and it’s clear that my ideal lap time would have been quicker than Hayden. When I went out on track I didn’t push hard enough with the new softer tyre in the beginning: it was my own fault, and it’s a good lesson for the future. Then, I lost the rear a couple of times in my last two fast laps, losing 0.5 seconds in only one sector. All in all, I’m satisfied, but also a little disappointed because Nicky is in front of us. During Free Practice 4 I felt really good and I was pretty consistent with the hard tyre, thanks to a set-up change made on the fron end, so today we made big improvements. Regarding tyres, I think that the only option for the race is the hard compound; anyway, the track is coming better, so is the tyre life, therefore tomorrow’s race could be really interesting for us”.

Yonny Hernandez

“I’m not satisfied with my qualifications today because I could not get a good rhythm and I was not as fast as I wanted. Tomorrow I think I will do much better i have a good race pace even with the used tire. In the race I want to do a good result not only for me but and for this race in South American, I believe in myself and I’ll do my best to finish in the points. “

Colin Edwards

“Today we tested a new set up on the front and the feeling has improved. I’m not struggling so much compared to Qatar or Texas so this is very positive. Step by step we are improving and I look forward to get a good result tomorrow. My congratulations to Aleix, who is doing an incredible job and to the whole team.”

Michele Pirro

“I am pretty disappointed because I was not able to find a good feeling with my Desmosedici GP14. I don’t exactly know why, but I struggled a lot more than expected. This is in no way the position we should be with this bike, so now me and my engineers will try and find a solution for me to run a decent race tomorrow and repay my team for all the work they’ve done in these days.”

MotoGP Argentina qualifying timings

  • FRONT ROW
  • 1. Marc Marquez (SPA) Repsol Honda Team 1’37.683
  • 2. Jorge Lorenzo (SPA) Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 1’38.425
  • 3. Dani Pedrosa (SPA) Repsol Honda Team 1’38.651
  • SECOND ROW
  • 4. Aleix Espargaro (SPA) NGM Mobile Forward Racing 1’38.794
  • 5. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA) Ducati Team 1’38.856
  • 6. Valentino Rossi (ITA) Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 1’38.949
  • THIRD ROW
  • 7. Bradley Smith (GBR) Monster Yamaha Tech3 1’38.958
  • 8. Andrea Iannone (ITA) Pramac Racing 1’39.237
  • 9. Stefan Bradl (GER) LCR Honda MotoGP 1’39.297
  • FOURTH ROW
  • 10. Alvaro Bautista (SPA) Go&Fun Honda Gresini 1’39.429
  • 11. Pol Espargarò (SPA) Monster Yamaha Tech3 1’39.822
  • 12. Scott Redding (GBR) Go&Fun Honda Gresini 1’40.238
  • FIFTH ROW
  • 13. Colin Edwards (USA) NGM Mobile Forward Racing 1’40.476
  • 14. Nicky Hayden (USA) Drive M7 Aspar 1’40.541
  • 15. Karel Abraham (CZE) Cardion AB Motoracing 1’40.615
  • SIXTH ROW
  • 16. Hiroshi Aoyama (JPN) Drive M7 Aspar 1’40.616
  • 17. Yonny Hernandez (COL) Energy T.I. Pramac Racing 1’40.691
  • 18. Brok Parkes (AUS) Paul Bird Motorsport 1’40.981
  • SEVENTH ROW
  • 19. Michele Pirro (ITA) Ducati Team 1’41.018
  • 20. Michael Laverty (GBR) Paul Bird Motorsport 1’41.103
  • 21. Hector Barbera (SPA) Avintia Racing 1’41.129
  • EIGHTH ROW
  • 22. Mike Di Meglio (FRA) Avintia Racing 1’41.267
  • 23. Danilo Petrucci (ITA) Came Iodaracing Project 1’41.686