2014 Qatar MotoGP Qualifying ResultsSix weeks ago, the reigning MotoGP Champion Marc Marquez suffered a major setback – the Repsol Honda pilot broke leg during a dirt-track training accident.
This caused the 21-year-old Spaniard to miss the two final preseason test sessions. And at the first Sepang preseason test, Marquez was untouchable, making his absence even worse for the Repsol Honda team.And things started slowly at free practice for the opening round of 2014 MotoGP at Qatar’s Losail Circuit. But this wasn’t the case during Saturday’s qualifying – Marquez earned the pole with impressive 1:54.507 around the 3.34-mile circuit containing 16 corners.Joining Marquez on the front row will be two Open-option machines – the GO&FUN Honda Gresini RC213V piloted by Alvaro Bautista and the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha piloted by Bradley Smith.Bautista had the provisional pole, but finished qualifying 0.057 of a second back. Smith, who suffered a huge high side during Friday’s FP3, finished only 0.037 of a second behind Bautista. This was his first-ever front-row qualifying result.Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso placed the Ducati Team GP14, which runs under the Open-option rules, qualified fourth on top of the second row. He will be joined by Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Jorge Lorenzo, who took the last two wins at Losail, and Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa. The latter two have both struggled at Losail.LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl qualifying seventh, 0.364 of a second behind Marquez, and will be joined by Q1 participant Ducati Team’s Cal Crutchlow.Rounding out the top 10 was NGM Forward Racing’ Yamaha’sAleix Espargaro and Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Valentino Rossi. Espargaro led the first three free practice sessions by a huge margin, but appeared to succumb to the pressure of Q2, crashing twice.As for the Americans, NGM Forward Racing’s Colin Edwards qualified 14th, 1.249 seconds back, and Drive M7 Aspar Honda’s Nicky hayed 16th, 1.409 second back.The riders will return to Losail Sunday for the opening race of 2014 MotoGP, which will be televised on Fox Sports 1 live at 2:30 p.m. ET. For a preview of the round, visit 2014 Qatar MotoGP Preview.2014 Qatar MotoGP Qualifying Results:
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This week, in the first segment Editor Don Williams talks to us about the new Kawasaki Versys 650 LT. It’s the middleweight ADV style machine that uses the same 650 parallel twin motor as the Ninja 650, so it’s an excellent performer in a user-friendly, good looking package.
In the second segment, I chat with one of my dearest industry friends—now retired Honda PR executive, Jon Seidel. Jon’s fascinating career spans some 30 years with Big Red, and gave him some great experiences with some incredible machines. I was fortunate enough to be invited on many of the press launches that he organized. His new project is documenting and saving many of the old archives from years gone by—and incidentally, if you have anything that may be of value to the project, please contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll pass it all on to Jon.
So on that note, from all of us here at Ultimate Motorcycling, we hope you enjoy this episode!