125 GP Qualifying
Marc Márquez has reached one of the most intensive phases of the season in very good shape, demonstrating in the saddle of his Derbi RSA a level that puts him among the favourites in his class.
This lunchtime, at the Assen Circuit, the track known as the Cathedral of Motorcycling, the Repsol rider flew around the track to clock up the best time in the qualifying session for the fourth time this season out of a possible six.
The winner of the last two Grand Prix races made progress compared to yesterday and from the free practice held this morning, Márquez showed willing to up his pace.
After he and his team made a few changes to yesterday’s suspension set-up – to gain stability on the fast Dutch track – in this morning’s free practice, Márquez topped the timesheets, clocking up a time of 1 minute, 42 seconds and 563 milliseconds, half a second faster than the time achieved by his closest pursuer, Nico Terol.
In the qualifying session, the Repsol rider did not take long to set the pace of the session. After making few changes to the morning’s set-up, he did a couple of stints on worn tyres, in which he gradually quickened his pace.
Just ten minutes from the end, he went into his garage, put on new tyres and went back out on the track. After a launch lap, Márquez did five laps at a very fast pace – under one minute and 43 seconds -, setting a time of 1 minute, 42 seconds and 191 milliseconds in his last lap, once again more than half a second under the second best time held, this time, by Bradley Smith.
With today’s result, the Repsol rider has claimed his fourth pole position of the season – his second in a row -, after the Qatar, Spanish and British poles.
Marc MÁRQUEZ (1’42.191 sec, 19 laps) says:”We’ve been doing a good job all weekend and we’ve got a good pace for tomorrow’s race, which is what matters. I’ve also taken the pole, which boosts morale, but we mustn’t forget that the race is tomorrow. That’s where we have to be good, out in front and consistent, because that’s when championship points are in play. We’ve done a good job and we’ll see if we can continue along the same line tomorrow.”
“I think it’ll be difficult or even impossible to break away from the group during the race because at this circuit, when you are behind another rider even if he is half a second ahead, you can gain a lot from the reference. It’ll be difficult but we’ll try and get a good start and push hard to break away from the group. If halfway through the race, we see that the race is being run as a group or I’ve opened a small gap, we’ll manage the end of the race one way or another, but it’ll be important to finish and score points”.
Official Qualifying Results
1. Marc MÁRQUEZ (DERBI) 1:42.191
2. Bradley SMITH (APRILIA) 1:42.775
3. Nicolás TEROL (APRILIA) 1:42.865
4. Pol ESPARGARÓ (DERBI) 1:43.299
5. Sandro CORTESE (DERBI) 1:43.480