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Apr 13, 2019

MotoGP: Marc Marquez Earns Seventh Straight Pole Position At Circuit Of The Americas (Updated)

Marc Marquez (93). Photo by Brian J. Nelson.

Race Lap Record: 2:03.575, Marc Marquez, 2014

All Time Lap Record: 2:02.135, Marc Marquez, 2015

FIM MotoGP World Championship

Circuit of The Americas

Austin, Texas, USA

April 13, 2019

Qualifying Results (all on Michelin tires):

1. Marc Marquez, Spain (Honda), 2:03.787

2. Valentino Rossi, Italy (Yamaha), 2:04.060

3. Cal Crutchlow, UK (Honda), 2:04.147

4. Jack Miller, Australia (Ducati), 2:04.416

5. Pol Espargaro, Spain (KTM), 2:04.472

6. Maverick Vinales, Spain (Yamaha), 2:04.489

7. Alex Rins, Spain (Suzuki), 2:04.534

8. Danilo Petrucci, Italy (Ducati), 2:04.696

9. Fabio Quartararo, France (Yamaha), 2:04.941

10. Franco Morbidelli, Italy (Yamaha), 2:05.278

11. Jorge Lorenzo, Spain (Honda), 2:05.383

12. Francesco Bagnaia, Italy (Ducati), 2:05.887

From Qualifying Session One:

13. Andrea Dovizioso, Italy (Ducati), 2:05.855

14. Joan Mir, Spain (Suzuki), 2:06.147

15. Takaaki Nakagami, Japan (Honda), 2:06.324

16. Aleix Espargaro, Spain (Aprilia), 2:06.464

17. Andrea Iannone, Italy (Aprilia), 2:06.527

18. Miguel Oliveira, Portugal (KTM), 2:06.543

19. Johann Zarco, France (KTM), 2:06.824

20. Karel Abraham, Czech Republic (Ducati), 2:07.129

21. Hafizh Syahrin, Malaysia (KTM), 2:07.308

22. Tito Rabat, Spain (Ducati), 2:07.417



More, from a press release issued by Red Bull KTM Tech3:

Resolute performance by Oliveira and Syahrin in Qualifying at COTA despite missing track time

Due to a thunderstorm this morning’s FP3 for the third round of the 2019 MotoGP World Championship season had to be cancelled, which meant the Red Bull KTM Tech3 duo had even less time to get to grips with the ultra-demanding Circuit of the Americas aboard their new KTM RC16 machines.

Nevertheless, Miguel Oliveira managed to deliver an impressive Qualifying one to lead the charge for Q2 after the first two flying laps, but eventually missed out by 0.652 seconds to start his third premier class race tomorrow from row six. At the same time, Hafizh Syahrin also went fast on the drying track this afternoon to qualify for P11, which means he’ll launch off the line for the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas on Sunday at 14.00 local time (21.00 CET) from row seven of the grid.

Miguel Oliveira

Position: 8th

Time: 2:06.543

Laps: 7

“It has been a tough day. We started FP4 with half and half conditions, so finally we were lucky to have a dry session in Qualifying. It was difficult with the wind and the track not fully dry. We could confirm different things we tested on the bike to be able to start again tomorrow with a stronger pace. At least the position today was much better than yesterday. We are just outside of our target, but we keep calm for tomorrow, as we will have a very, very long race, physically demanding, so we will try to manage it the best.”

Hafizh Syahrin

Position: 11th

Time: 2:07.308

Laps: 7

“Yesterday afternoon I had a really good feeling with the KTM, so we used the same setup in Qualifying, but I don’t understand why I didn’t have the same sensations, as I was struggling to stop and to turn the bike. To be honest, I’m a bit disappointed about this feeling, because I thought we could improve our time a bit more. To start in P21 is not, what I was wishing for, but we keep pushing and learning and try to push even more come race day. I aim to find a good pace in Warm Up and hope I can stay inside a good group of riders to do a strong race like in Argentina last time.”



More, from a press release issued by Aprilia Gresini Racing:

MOTOGP IN THE USA

TWO APRILIAS ON THE SIXTH ROW AT THE GP OF THE AMERICAS

The Aprilia RS-GP prototypes ridden by Espargaró and Iannone will start side by side from the sixth row of the starting grid in the GP of the Americas, the third round of the MotoGP Championship which will be held tomorrow on the Austin track.

It is the result of a day of qualifying rendered abnormal by weather conditions which, due to a violent storm in the morning, caused the third timed practice session to be cancelled. This meant that the action skipped directly to FP4, freezing the situation from Friday which, after a promising start in FP1, had left both Aleix and Andrea out of the top ten.

The Q1 session gave the Aprilia Racing Team riders the sixth (Espargaró in 2’06.464) and seventh (Iannone in 2’06.527) place which earned them the sixteenth and seventeenth spots on the grid respectively.

On a traditionally difficult track for the Italian bike, Aleix and Andrea will be looking for a top-ten finish, counting on a race pace that seemed to be better than the qualifiers would indicate.

ALEIX ESPARGARO'

"It was a bit of a strange day because of the weather. Before the qualifiers, we were only able to lap in the last part of FP4, so we’ll only have tomorrow morning to get the bike ready for the race. Considering our level in terms of pace, we can hope for a better race than the qualifiers and aim for the top ten, although it won’t be easy because we know that this is not a very friendly track for us."

ANDREA IANNONE

"Not a simple day. I particularly struggled in qualifying with the soft tyre. The balance of the bike changes a lot when the grip conditions change, and it makes a big difference here. We need to stay positive. Right now, getting to the point where we have a bike that is easier to ride is more important than the result. I am giving it my all, trying to ride as cleanly as I can, and I am sure that by working hard in every session, we will be able to improve the bike."



More, from a press release issued by Mission Winnow Ducati:

Danilo Petrucci 8th in qualifying at the GP of the Americas, 13th place on the grid for Andrea Dovizioso

Danilo Petrucci and Andrea Dovizioso seized 8th and 13th position in qualifying ahead of tomorrow's race at the Circuit of the Americas near Austin (U.S.A.), home of the third round of the MotoGP World Championship.

In a day characterized by erratic weather conditions – with heavy rains in the morning and strong wind gusts in the afternoon – the Mission Winnow Ducati riders had less track time than usual to continue the work on the setup of their Desmosedici GP 19, as FP3 was canceled due to lightning alerts and FP4 took place in particularly tricky conditions, with a partly wet and partly dry tarmac.

In Q1, Petrucci and Dovizioso were then able to immediately push hard on slick tyres. With the second-best time, Petrucci gained access to the second qualifying session, in which he posted a 2:04.696 that granted him third row in 8th position on the grid. Dovizioso, on the other hand, missed Q2 by only 0.016 seconds after posting a lap time almost identical to his teammate's, and will start the race from fifth row in 13th position.

Danilo Petrucci (#9 Mission Winnow Ducati) – 2:04.696 (8th)

"It's been a rather unusual day. After missing FP3 and encountering tricky conditions in FP4, we were only able to ride on a dry track for qualifying,and we had to go 'all in' in Q1. I'm happy to have made it through, even though I'm sorry Andrea was left out. In Q2, I could have done a slightly faster lap, but we still have work to do to improve first and foremost in terms of pace. All in all, third row doesn't compromise our chances to do well in the race and take home important points, so I'm confident ahead of tomorrow."

Andrea Dovizioso (#04 Mission Winnow Ducati) – 2:05.907 (13th)

"Today's qualifying was quite tricky. Track conditions were very precarious, and we also struggled more than we expected in the faster corners due to the strong winds. It's a shame we couldn't get into Q2, because I'm sure we could have recovered some more positions on the grid, but we need to look forward anyway. Unfortunately, the weather hasn't allowed us to work on our race setup today, but we know our potential. We want, and we can, bounce back. It'll be essential to get a good start, then we'll try, as usual, to bring home the best possible result."

The Mission Winnow Ducati team will resume action tomorrow, April 14th, at 09:40 local time for a warm-up session ahead of the race, which is scheduled to start at 14:00 local time (CET -7).



More, from a press release issued by Monster Energy Yamaha:

MONSTER ENERGY YAMAHA MOTOGP TAKE 1ST AND 2ND ROW IN TEXAS QUALIFYING

Austin (Texas), 13th April 2019

GRAND PRIX OF THE AMERICAS

QUALIFYING

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP‘s Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales rode on the limit today in Q2 at a drying Circuit of The Americas (COTA). They will start tomorrow‘s race from second and sixth position respectively.

2nd VALENTINO ROSSI 2'04.060 / 7 LAPS

6th MAVERICK VIÑALES 2'04.489 / 7 LAPS

The Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team continued work on an unusual second day at the Circuit of The Americas (COTA). Thunderstorms caused the cancellation of FP3, giving Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales just the FP4 track time to get ready for Q2. Despite some treacherous wet patches on the drying circuit, the team-mates didn‘t hold back and grabbed second and sixth place respectively on the grid for tomorrow‘s race.

After a strong FP4 session, Rossi was quick to head out in Q2 to fully open the throttle once more. A mistake on his first flying lap saw him initially land in 11th place in the timesheets, but his next attempt made him shoot up the order to second.

With six minutes left, he returned to the pit box and still held second place when he came back out. When the times quickened at the end of the session, the Doctor responded by clocking a 2‘04.060s, keeping him in second, 0.273s from pole. He had one more try but was unable to edge closer. He will start tomorrow‘s race from the middle of the front row.

Viñales let the other Q2 riders leave pit lane ahead of him, ensuring himself of some clear space on track. He was in strong contention at the start of the session. His first hot lap put him temporarily in second place, but as the pace picked up, he was pushed down. He moved back up to fourth on his next try, before heading straight back into the pits with a little more than five minutes to go.

He was soon back out and improved his time once more, but as the pace intensified he found himself in seventh place. Realising how important a front start is at the COTA track, the Spaniard dug deep, and he moved up one more position for a spot on the second row with a 2‘04.489s lap, 0.702s from first.

MASSIMO MEREGALLI

TEAM DIRECTOR

"The poor weather conditions from this morning cost us some crucial track time. With FP3 being cancelled, FP4 became even more crucial, but unfortunately the condition of the track was not perfect. The wind picked up too, and was quite strong, so all in all it wasn't a straightforward qualifying day. Valentino was feeling comfortable in FP4 and it showed in the Q2 session, as he took second place on grid for tomorrow. Maverick suffered from today's track conditions because it was very different from yesterday's and unfortunately the bike didn't behave as it did then. Having our riders start from first and second row is very important for tomorrow's race. The 20-minute long Warm Up session is always important, but tomorrow even more so, because we need to finalise the set-up and establish the right tyre choice for the race."

VALENTINO ROSSI

"It looks like, from the Argentina GP onwards, we've been going about it in the right way, and also this weekend we've been working well with the team. Today was a difficult day, because this morning we didn't do the FP3 session. Still I feel comfortable with the bike, also in the half-and-half conditions of FP4, in which we usually tend to suffer. Today, the bike gave me better feedback, so I could push in a better way. In the qualifying I was strong. I'm very happy to start from the front row, because it's very important for tomorrow. Now we wait to see what the conditions will be like for the race, and then we will try to make the right tyre choice."

MAVERICK VIÑALES

“It was really difficult today in qualifying. Honestly, I didn't expect the wind would affect the bike's behaviour so much, it was very difficult to turn in the corners and the bike was very aggressive, moving all the time. I couldn't push, because I wasn't feeling at my best. We hope to improve tomorrow and be better during the race. I had many scary moments during qualifying. We need to learn from today, so we won't have the same problem on another windy day.”



More, from a press release issued by Repsol Honda:

Texas storms no problem for pole setter Marc Marquez

Marc Marquez charged to his seventh consecutive pole in Texas as Jorge Lorenzo secured 11th place start.

Torrential morning rain and threats of severe lightning storms in Austin, Texas led to the cancellation of all Free Practice 3 sessions at the Circuit of the Americas. Fortunately conditions improved and the Repsol Honda Team were able to join the MotoGP field for Free Practice 4 as scheduled.

The FP4 session did allow riders to briefly test slicks on the drying track before heading into qualifying.

With the track more or less completely dry, Marc Marquez continued his perfect run of form on Texan soil to secure a seventh straight pole position. His lap of 2’03.787 put Marquez over a quarter of a second clear of second placed Rossi. While there are still areas to improve, the seven-time champion is feeling confident for tomorrow’s race.

Jorge Lorenzo took full advantage of the constantly improving conditions to advance through Q1 as the fastest rider. A technical issue halted Lorenzo’s first run in Q2 but he was able to return to track with five minutes remaining. Despite this, Lorenzo will line up 11th on the grid with the aim of fighting inside the top ten.

LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow completed the front row in third place.

The weather is predicted to stay dry for Sunday’s 20-lap race, which will start at 14:00 local time. Marc Marquez is out to maintain his perfect record on US soil and make it seven wins in a row at COTA.

Marc Marquez

1ST 2'03.787

“I’m happy to be on pole position but for tomorrow nothing is certain yet. Today we were fastest and got pole, but no one knows about race pace or tyres yet as we lost FP3. We will have to work well in Warm Up to make up for the time we sadly lost to the weather. After Warm Up we will know more but there are many people who could be in the fight.”

Jorge Lorenzo

11TH 2'05.383

“A challenging day today with the weather where we unfortunately lost some time. I was feeling strong in Q1 and pushed hard to get through then we had an issue in Q2 which upset our plan. The other bike had a different setting as we are trying a lot of different things so we couldn’t unlock our full potential. Tomorrow will be a physical race, it always is here.“



More, from a press release issued by Automobili Lamborghini Pramac Racing:

#AmericasGP Quali. Jack wins a splendid fourth place. Pecco will start from the fourth row tomorrow.

After a strong thunderstorm that forced the Race Direction to cancel the FP3, the sun shone again on the Circuit of the Americas and together with a strong wind allowed the riders to go back on track for the qualifying session in dry conditions. Jack finished with a great fourth place that will allow him to start tomorrow from the second row while Pecco, qualified directly to Q2 after the precious P10 on Friday, was not able to find the right feeling with the bike and, due to two slight crashes, had to settle for 12th position.

FP4 (Conditions: wet/dry - Air 20° - Ground 28°)

P9 Jack Miller (2'08.894, +3.416 from P1)

The still wet circuit did not allow the riders to take advantage of the FP4 to work profitably on race pace. Jack returns to the track in the middle of the session with the soft used tires but the final gaps is not indicative.

P13 Pecco Bagnaia (2'09.559, +4.081 from P1)

Only two laps on rain tyres for Pecco who then returns to the track with slicks completing another 5 laps.

Q2 (Conditions: dry/strong wind - Air 21° - Ground 31°)

P4 Jack Miller (2'04.416, +0.629 from P1)

Jack pushes hard immediately and after the first run is in third position. In the second run the Australian rider didn’t manage to take a step forward to defend the front row, however, gaining an excellent fourth place.

P12 Pecco Bagnaia (2'05.887, +2.100 from P1)

In the first Q2 in MotoGP Pecco cannot find the ideal conditions to be effective as the feeling with the bike does not seem to be that of Friday. Two small crashes in the first and second run did not allow him to attempt a time attack.

P12 – Pecco Bagnaia

"I honestly can't explain the two crashes. All I know is that they were identical and that is why we need to see the data to understand what happened. The feeling was not the same as on Friday. I am still confident because this problem only occurs in two corners and in the rest of the circuit I feel very fast. I just hope that tomorrow there will be no strong wind".

P4 – Jack Miller

"The wind during the Q2 was really strong and it was very difficult to make the perfect lap. All things considered we did a very positive qualifying and that's why I'm satisfied. Tomorrow it won't be easy to choose the tyres because we had not the possibility to make enough laps today. We are starting from a good position and there is a lot of confidence".



More, from a press release issued by Team Suzuki ECSTAR:

DISRUPTED DAY TWO SEES RINS QUALIFY 7TH, MIR 14TH

Alex Rins: 7th - 2:04.534

Joan Mir: 14th - 2:06.147

• Alex Rins with strong pace and consistency.

•Joan Mir happy with progress and ready for the race.

•FP3 cancelled as lightning strikes circuit.

Day two at the Circuit of the Americas saw the schedule disrupted as storms swept over Austin. All FP3 sessions were cancelled, but the riders were able to head out for their usual FP4 and qualifying sessions.

Alex Rins and Joan Mir used the afternoon’s FP4 session to finalise settings and check different tyre options. The pair made good progress and finished 5th and 12th consecutively.

The Q1 session was hotly contested with a high caliber of riders, nevertheless, Joan Mir put in some impressive laps and almost made the step into Q2. The rookie was bumped to 14th on the grid but he feels confident with his pace.

In Q2 Alex Rins was looking on course to grab a front row start for tomorrow’s GP, but with just a few minutes left on the clock he found himself in 7th place. It is hoped this 3rd row start will see Alex able to join the leading group early in the race.

Davide Brivio - Team Manager

“It was a strange day because this morning’s action was cancelled, which meant we didn’t have much time to continue what we were working on. Alex was still able to finish 7th, which I think could be good for the race. Joan was very good in Q1 and it was very difficult to get into Q2, he’s understanding more about the bike in every session.”

Alex Rins

“I’m happy to start on the third row, and my race pace wasn’t bad. I think we’ve made a big improvement over the weekend and we’ll continue to push. Every time I go on track I give 100%, and that can bring varying results depending on the situation, but I’ll try to enjoy tomorrow and bring a lot of points home.”

Joan Mir

“I’m in good shape and my speed is good. Today I was very close to Q2 but I missed out. Anyway I’m still happy with my pace, I’m not too far from the top. I’ll try to recover positions tomorrow in the race, and my goal is to learn about the riders around me and to get the best result possible.”



More, from a press release issued by PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team: 

Second consecutive third row start for Quartararo

The PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team rider will line up in ninth place on the grid for tomorrow’s Americas Grand Prix. Teammate Franco Morbidelli will be one row behind, after placing inside the Top 10.

FABIO QUARTARARO +1.154

FRANCO MORBIDELLI +1.491

Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli had a positive day of qualifying action at the Circuit of The Americas on Saturday, qualifying ninth and tenth on the grid respectively, despite limited track time. Storms in the morning led to the cancellation of FP3, although this would not prevent the PETRONAS Yamaha SRT riders from going straight into Q2.

In FP4, the PETRONAS Yamaha SRT riders experienced a drastic change in conditions, as the sun broke through the clouds. Morbidelli and Quartararo started the session with wet tyres, but the track rapidly began to dry, allowing both to change onto slicks in the final minutes. Morbidelli was fourth fastest in FP4, while Quartararo placed 14th.

In Q2, Quartararo had a solid session, setting the ninth best time of 2:04.941 on his second attempt with the soft tyre compound. As it happened in Argentina a fortnight ago, the Frenchman will start from the third row of the grid. Morbidelli will be just behind his teammate tomorrow, on the fourth row, thanks to a 2:05.278 lap that lifted him to tenth place.

The 20-lap MotoGP Grand Prix of The Americas takes place at 2pm local time on Sunday.

#21 Franco Morbidelli

"We could say that the cancellation of FP3 completely altered our plan for today. We tried something different with our setup in terms of weight distribution, but really I was only able to test it out in Q2 as that was the only fully dry session; the mixed conditions in FP4 didn't allow us to draw any conclusions. It was good for us, but not for the feeling of the bike, because we couldn't push it to the limit and it wasn't a true demonstration of our potential. Unfortunately, I had to discover that it didn't work as we expected in Q2. We finished tenth, which isn't bad.

The warmup will be very important for getting our feeling back and improving a little more. In the race, we will have to get a good start. Tomorrow it will be important to have the feeling I had yesterday -or better."

#20 Fabio Quartararo

"It was a day of very complicated weather conditions. We went out for FP4 with wet tyres, but the track was partially dry in places, so it was difficult to understand the best way to ride. We started off with a full tank and were not very confident. Going into Q2 without 100% confidence is not ideal, but finishing ninth is a good result: It's a spot on the third row, so I'm very happy with the work that we've done at this difficult circuit. I know that it is a very demanding track over 20 laps, but we have a good pace - not like the front-runners have, but we are well placed to fight for the Top 10 and to be the top rookie. The main thing is to enjoy the race."



More, from a press release issued by LCR Honda Idemitsu:

TAKA TO START FROM THE FIFTH ROW IN TEXAS

Mixed weather conditions ensured Takaaki Nakagami endured another demanding day at the Grand Prix of the Americas on Saturday. Having finished down in 15th position on Friday, the LCR Honda IDEMITSU rider was denied the chance to secure automatic progress to Q2 when FP3 was cancelled due to a thunderstorm and lightning. Instead Taka had to battle it out in Q1 alongside the likes of Jorge Lorenzo and Andrea Dovizioso and eventually finished that session in fifth position. It means the Japanese star will start from the fifth row of the grid in Sunday’s race and he admitted afterwards it had been a disappointing weekend so far.

Takaaki Nakagami – 15th

(2’06.324 – lap 7 of 7)

“I think the weather made it really complicated for everybody. Yesterday we finished outside of the top 10 in P15, then FP3 was cancelled so we didn’t have any further chance to improve (ahead of qualifying). FP4 was in mixed conditions and at the end of the session we tested with slick tyres to prepare for Q1”.

“Q1 was difficult for me and this strong wind didn’t help either. We struggled to make a lap time with the new tyres and it’s been hard so far this weekend. But qualifying is gone now, so we’re preparing for the race and I think race distance will suit us better than the qualifying lap. Of course we’re quite disappointed with our performance today and yesterday, but we’ll focus on tomorrow and stay strong to try and get a good result.”



More, from a press release issued by LCR Honda Castrol:

HOT CRUTCHLOW ON THE FRONT ROW IN AUSTIN

Cal Crutchlow continued his impressive start to the 2019 season as he secured a place on the front row for Sunday’s Grand Prix of the Americas in Texas. The LCR Honda CASTROL rider – who is sponsored by Flex-Box this weekend – is back on the front row for the first time since Assen last year after he claimed third position in Q2 behind Honda colleague Marc Marquez and Valentino Rossi.

Thunderstorms and lightning saw FP3 cancelled on Saturday morning, but Crutchlow then impressed on a damp track in FP4 as he finished second behind a dominant Marquez. He was again on the pace during Q2 and, while not totally satisfied with his performance, the Briton is delighted to have put himself in a position to challenge for the podium once again this weekend.

Cal Crutchlow – 3rd

(2’04.147 – lap 6 of 7)

“Maybe it’s old age, with Valentino (Rossi) in second and me in third, maybe we’re coming back round again with age! I feel good, although I was not overly pleased with my lap, I lost the front three times in one lap. We changed the setting from yesterday, but because we didn’t have the morning session (FP3) we needed to use the qualifying as a little bit of a test and I lost the front in all the hairpin corners. I was angry with the lap because of myself as I pushed a lot in the braking zone. I’m happy enough though, nobody is anywhere near Marc (Marquez), you saw him in the damp session and he was two seconds clear. But we did a good job and the team is working very well. I’m happy with the team, happy with the bike, everything is going well and I look forward to tomorrow.”



More, from a press release issued by Red Bull KTM:

BEST EVER QUALIFICATION BY ESPARGARO & KTM AT RED BULL AMERICAS GRAND PRIX
MotoGP 2019 - Round 2, Circuit of the Americas (USA)
Pol Espargaro will start the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas, the third round of nineteen in 2019 MotoGP, from 5th position on the grid – a ‘personal best’ for the factory in their third season in the FIM World Championship - after a storm-hit day of activity at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.

The seventh Grand Prix to occur at the long, spectacular and weaving Circuit of the Americas was initially interrupted by inclement weather on Saturday morning as heavy showers and thunderstorms brought proceedings to a halt. Pol Espargaro had found some speed on Friday and during the Free Practice sessions to sit 7th fastest and having hacked 2.7 second away from his previous best lap in the same track period in 2018: a remarkable rate of progression.

FP3 was cancelled and the riders headed into FP4 and a rapidly drying asphalt as the skies cleared. A stiff breeze helped improve the track and allowed the MotoGP riders to use slick Michelin tyres once more. Espargaro was already classified in Q2 and with his last flying effort occupied a best-ever slot of 5th position in the belated Texan sunshine.

Johann Zarco set his fastest lap on the sixth circulation of the Q1 period but was just under a second away from the effort clocked by Jorge Lorenzo. As a result the Frenchman will take 19th position on the grid with Red Bull KTM Tech3’s Miguel Oliveira just ahead in 18th and Hafizh Syahrin down in 21st.

The Grand Prix will take place at 21.00 CET and with 20 laps from the red light until the chequered flag.

Pol Espargaro: “It was a complicated day. Tricky in the morning then there was a lot of wind. Thanks in the end to Maverick [Viñales] who pushing in front of me and we could do a good lap-time. Just amazing. To get the time you needed to push to the limit and I was over it sometimes! But it worked and a good lap appeared on my dashboard. We have to be realistic tomorrow and I will enjoy the start, take a good rhythm and a good spot in the race and my group.”

Johann Zarco: “I hate starting from 19th position and to fight the bike, and it has been complicated to understand this and get better. I have to accept it at the moment. My team know we cannot get the solution right now. I have tried to adapt but I cannot change everything so it’s a difficult time.”

Miguel Oliveira: “It has been a tough day. It was difficult with the wind and the track not fully dry. We could confirm different things we tested on the bike to be able to start again tomorrow with a stronger pace. We are just outside of our target but we keep calm for tomorrow, as we will have a very, very long race, physically demanding, so we will try to manage it the best.”

Hafizh Syahrin: “Yesterday afternoon I had a really good feeling with the KTM, so we used the same setup in Qualifying but I don’t understand why I didn’t have the same sensation, as I was struggling to stop and to turn the bike. To be honest, I’m a bit disappointed because I thought we could improve our time a bit more. To start in P21 is not what I was wishing for but we keep pushing and learning and try to push even more come race day.”

Pit Beirer, KTM Motorsport Director: “Today was a good feeling and a big payback for the team because they have worked really hard to change things. We came to this track with a lot of respect because it was where we had the worse distance from the front runners last year with more than three seconds in the qualifying. So riding with Pol to the second row was amazing and we are building-up because we were competitive in every practice – not for something like a podium result – but for the top eight and where we want to be. This qualifying was not a lucky punch but a confirmation of how the weekend started. It is really nice.”

Moto2 & Moto3

Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Brad Binder will sit in the middle of the second row of the Moto2 grid after qualifying 5th fastest and less than half a second from the Pole Position effort by Marcel Schrotter. Teammate Jorge Martin made it through Q1 and slides into 8th place for tomorrow. In Moto3 Raul Fernandez took his KTM to 2nd spot behind Niccolo Antonelli while three other KTMs filled slots in the top five.

Races: April 14, 2019 – Moto3 18.00 | Moto2 19.20 | MotoGP 21.00 CET

Results Qualifying MotoGP Circuit of the Americas 2019

1. Marc Marquez (ESP), Honda 2:03.787
2. Valentino Rossi (ITA), Yamaha +0.273
3. Cal Crutchlow (GBR), Honda +0.360
4. Jack Miller (AUS), Ducati +0.629
5. Pol Espargaro (ESP), Red Bull KTM +0.685
18. Miguel Oliveira (POR), Red Bull KTM Tech3 2:06.147
19. Johann Zarco (FRA), Red Bull KTM 2:06.824
21. Hafizh Syarin (MYS), Red Bull KTM Tech3 2:07.308

Results Qualifying Moto2 Circuit of the Americas 2019

1. Marcel Schrotter (GER) Kalex 2:10.875
2. Alex Marquez (ESP) Kalex +0.058
3. Sam Lowes (GBR) Kalex +0.248
5. Brad Binder (RSA) Red Bull KTM Ajo +0.401
8. Jorge Martin (ESP) Red Bull KTM Ajo +1.131

Results Qualifying Moto3 Circuit of the Americas 2019

1. Niccolo Antonelli (ITA) Honda 2:31.346
2. Raul Fernandez (ESP) KTM +0.501
3. Gabriel Rodrigo (ARG) Honda +0.783
20. Can Öncü (TUR) Red Bull KTM Ajo 2:36.490




More, from a press release issued by Dorna:

Marquez on pole, Rossi in hot pursuit: can the 'Doctor' stop the King of COTA?

It's a magnificent seventh pole in a row for Marquez, but those on the chase are ready to try and depose the reigning Champion

Sunday, 14 April 2019

Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) secured a seventh straight pole position at the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas after setting a 2:03.787, but the King of COTA has company: Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) is only a couple of tenths in arrears in second, with Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) completing the front row in Texas. The mission for those just behind the reigning Champion is simple: stop Marquez.

After inclement weather throughout the morning in Austin and FP3s getting cancelled, it was thankfully back to beautiful blue skies above the Circuit of the Americas for qualifying. Normal service was resumed at the beginning of Q2 as Marquez took to the top and slammed in a 2:03.787 straight out the gate, chasing down teammate Jorge Lorenzo – who topped the timesheets in Q1 – to put in the best time of the weekend, but drama was about to hit the number 99's side of the box. A mechanical issue left Lorenzo parking his Honda near the end of pitlane in a scene reminiscent of his teammate's antics at the track a few years ago as he ran back to the garage.

Marquez' time seemed well out of reach initially, meanwhile, as Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) was a full two seconds back before his teammate Rossi jumped up to second, 0.733 off. No one could get closer than that to Marquez after the first runs, with Rossi emerging as best of the rest ahead of Jack Miller (Pramac Racing), Viñales, Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) and Crutchlow. But there was more to come.

Second time lucky it wasn't for the reigning Champion, with Marquez unable to better his time but the rest inching closer and the possibility seemingly so close. Closest of all was Rossi, who managed to cut the gap to under three tenths, with Crutchlow then taking over in third but less than a tenth off the 'Doctor'.

Miller heads up Row 2 as he took top Ducati honours in P4, with another spectacular performance just behind the Australian in fifth: a certain Pol Espargaro, who took the best result for Red Bull KTM Factory Racing in the premier class. Just 0.685 from pole, the Spaniard was visibly delighted crossing the line. Viñales, meanwhile, improved on his last lap to grab a second row start in P6, and he'll be aiming for a lightning start on Sunday.

Rins starts seventh to make it five manufacturers in the top seven, ahead of Danilo Petrucci (Mission Winnow Ducati) in P8 after the Italian made it through Q1 alongside the aforementioned Lorenzo. One key name who lost out to the two men was Andrea Dovizioso (Mission Winnow Ducati), and the Championship contender faces a fight back from P13 on race day. Can he limit the damage from there?

Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) locks out Row 3 as he was the fastest rookie for a clean sweep with that honour so far this season; the Frenchman getting the better of teammate Franco Morbidelli, who took tenth. After progressing through Q1, Lorenzo will lineup in P11 for Sunday’s race, with second rookie Francesco Bagnaia (Pramac Racing) twelfth in his first Q2 session despite crashing unhurt at Turn 1.

Dovi on the fight back, rival Marquez at the front and the 'Doctor' poised to attack from right alongside...it's set up to make a stunner of a race on Sunday. Don't miss the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas as the lights go out for the premier class at 14:00 (GMT -5).

Schrötter continues his control at COTA with pole

The German has topped every one of his sessions so far ahead of race day

Dynavolt Intact GP’s Marcel Schrötter followed up his Friday form with more Moto2™ dominance at the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas as the German backed up his top spot finishes in both of yesterday’s sessions to bag a second pole position of the season. It was close though, with a best effort of 2:10.875 just 0.058 ahead of the second fastest man: Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS). 2015 Americas GP winner Sam Lowes (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) completes the front row, his fourth consecutive front row start at the track in the intermediate class.

After it was Dynavolt Intact GP's day on Friday, it wasn't quite a dream 1-2 in qualifying as veteran Tom Lüthi was pushed back onto the second row of the grid, but he's close to the front and joined there by Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Brad Binder in P5. The South African made it through from Q1 earlier in the day after a more difficult Friday. That wasn't true of Jorge Navarro (Beta Tools Speed Up) after the Spaniard had some top pace on Friday, and he completes Row 2.

On his return to the Moto2™ class, Mattia Pasini (Flexbox HP40) ended the session an impressive seventh, with Red Bull KTM Ajo’s rookie Jorge Martin securing a career best Moto2™ qualifying in eighth, 0.033 seconds ahead of Simone Corsi (Tasca Racing Scuderia Moto2) who rounds out the third row.

Sky Racing Team VR46’s Luca Marini completes the top ten, with a few surprise names missing: Championship leader Lorenzo Baldassarri (Flexbox HP 40) starts P15, Argentina podium finisher Remy Gardner (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team) from P18 after a crash and Argentina polesitter Xavi Vierge (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) from P20.

Can they be comeback kings on Saturday? Or is the stage set for a shake up on Sunday? From out from 12:20 (GMT -5) local time as the lights go out for Moto2™.

Antonelli masters tricky conditions for pole in Texas

Italian sublime in a wet-but-drying qualifying to take pole by a stunning half second

Niccolo Antonelli (SIC58 Squadra Corse) has taken his first pole position since Qatar 2018 in qualifying at the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas, brave in tough conditions to pull half a second clear of a stunning performance from rookie Raul Fernandez (Sama Qatar Angel Nieto Team) in second. Fernandez moved through from a wet Q1 and leapt up the timesheets on his final flying lap to take his first ever front row start, 0.282 ahead of Gabriel Rodrigo (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3) in third.

With rain causing FP3 for all classes to be cancelled, it was straight into qualifying for Moto3™ and Q1 saw some high rates of attrition. As conditions gradually improved throughout Q2, however, laptimes were tumbling rather than riders and much of the grid set their fastest lap on their final attempt. That wasn’t true of Antonelli though; the Italian setting his benchmark on lap five of six and remaining unthreatened on pole despite the best efforts of the rest.

Behind the two at the top it was close competition for the front row, however, with Q1 graduate Jaume Masia (Bester Capital Dubai) taking fourth but only 0.015 off Rodrigo, ahead of another rider who moved through from the first qualifying session – Darryn Binder (CIP Green Power), who was the pacesetter for much of the session until the final push. Aron Canet (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team) completes Row 2 despite a late crash in Q2.

Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse) was another who found himself losing out on a row of the grid by a tiny margin, with the Japanese rider pushed off the second row by less than a tenth and instead starting seventh. He’s just 0.065 ahead of John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing), with Alonso Lopez (Estrella Galicia 0,0) three tenths off in P9. Marcos Ramirez (Leopard Racing) completes the top ten, just ahead of teammate Lorenzo Dalla Porta despite a crash for the Italian.