Valencia MotoGP 2013 Qualifying ResultsWith the 2013 MotoGP title fight down to the wire between Marc Marquez and Jorge Lorenzo, qualifying for the season finale at Valencia was more significant than ever.
And from the get-go Saturday, the 20-year-old rookie Marquez, who needs a fourth-place or better to garner the title regardless of Lorenzo’s finishing position, was the pace setter.The Repsol Honda RC213V pilot of Spain began the day with a strong performance in Free Practice 3, posting beneath the pole record (130.844) set by his teammate Dani Pedrosa in 2012. But not far behind was Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo.This trend followed into qualifying, where in the second, 15-minute qualifying session Marquez posted a new pole record of 1:30.237.; this was his ninth pole of 2013 MotoGP, the most of any rider. He would top his fellow countryman Lorenzo by 0.340 of a second. Taking the final front-row start will be Pedrosa, who finished 0.426 of a second behind Marquez.When Q2 (top 10 riders from the first three combined free practice sessions) got underway, Lorenzo piloted his YZR-M1 to a 1:30.645 on his first lap, quickly beating Pedrosa’s record. But Lorenzo suffered some engine troubles with his number-one bike, eventually finishing second on bike two.Pedrosa, whose title hopes diminished after a third-place finish at Motegi two weeks ago, followed Lorenzo by a mere 0.86 of a second.Heading up the second row will be nine-time World Champion Valentino Rossi, who announced his split with long-time crew chief Jeremy Burgess at Valencia’s pre-race press conference.The 34-year-old Italian was 0.683 of a second off Marquez’s pace. Joining him on the second will be Monster Tech 3 Yamaha’s Cal Crutchlow, the Brit making his final appearance on the satellite Yamaha this weekend before heading to Ducati. Crutchlow’s teammate, Bradley Smith, qualified sixth, and was the final rider to post within a second of Marquez.GO&FUN Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista qualified on top of the third row. The Spaniard suffered a crash, but was able to walk away unhurt. Bautista qualified ahead of LCR Honda’s Stefan Bradl and Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso.Rounding out the top 10 was Nicky Hayden, who will pilot the new RCV1000R in 2014 MotoGP for Aspar. Hayden qualified ahead of Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Ducati’s Andrea Iannone and the top CRT bike, Came IodaRacing Project’s Danilo Petrucci.The riders will return to the track Sunday morning for a quick warm-up ahead of the season finale of 2013 MotoGP. For a preview, including TV times, click here.2013 Valencia MotoGP Qualifying Results: