2016 Austin MotoGP Qualifying ResultsMarc Marquez continues his reputation as the king of Austin’s Circuit of the Americas. The 23-year-old Repsol Honda rider, who won every race there since 2013 from pole, led all free practices Friday and Saturday.The two-time MotoGP Champion, who won last weekend in Argentina, was untouchable once again during Austin MotoGP qualifying 2016. Marquez had earned the Austin MotoGP pole – his second-consecutive after Termas de Rio Hondo in Argentina – with a 2:03.188 around the 3.4-mile Texas circuit containing 20 turns.
Marquez, who went with softer Michelin rubber over the mediums used by most of his competitors, qualified 0.069 of a second ahead of Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Jorge Lorenzo, who crashed out of Argentina, and 0.456 of Lorenzo’s teammate, Valentino Rossi.Marquez currently has 41 points, and is eight ahead of Rossi before Sunday’s 21-lap Red Bull of Americas Grand Prix. This was Marquez’s 60th GP pole across all classes, and his first back-to-back MotoGP poles since last year’s German and Indianapolis Grand Prix. To put this into perspective, Rossi has 61 poles, and Lorenzo 62.The top Ducati qualifier Saturday was Andrea Iannone, who finished 0.725 behind Marquez.Iannone, who was the final rider to qualify within a second of Marquez, unfortunately will start from seventh due to a penalty of three-grid positions for his ambitious overtaking of teammate Andrea Dovizioso last weekend. The pass occurred on the final lap while the two were in contention for the final podium positions, and caused him and Dovi to crash.Joining Iannone on the second row are Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Maverick Vinales (-1.059) and LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow (-1.077). Last year, Vinales qualified 12th and finished ninth. He has a love for COTA because it’s where he earned his first-ever Moto2 victory.Completing to top 10 were Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team), Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team), Aleix Espargaro (Team Suzuki Ecstar) and Scott Redding (Octo Pramac Yakhnich) completed the top 10.Marc VDS Racing’s Jack Miller did not participate in qualifying due to breaking his fifth metatarsal in his right foot due to a crash Friday during practice. The Australian will miss Austin MotoGP, round three of 18 in 2016 MotoGP.Austin MotoGP gets underway at 2 p.m. local time Sunday.Photography by Ara Ashjian