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Double Repsol Honda front row as Marquez snatches 7th pole position of season
Marc Marquez has taken his seventh pole position of the season for tomorrow's Aragón GP, recording a time of 1'47.804, and comfortably broken Casey Stoner's record from 2011 (1'48.451). Marc waited until the last minute to set his fastest lap, recording the time on lap seven of eight, and beating Lorenzo to the front spot on the grid by just 0.010s.
Teammate, Dani Pedrosa, will start on the front row from 3rd position after also recording provisional pole and breaking Casey's record himself with a time of 1'47.957, taken on lap three of seven. Tyre degradation will be a key factor for tomorrow's 23 lap race that will start at 14h00 local time.
Marc Marquez 1st 1'47.804
"It was a very closely fought qualifying session. We were able to get maximum performance from the tyres, which was the key to this pole position. Small details decided things this afternoon. I am happy, because we were able to achieve our aim of a front row start and to have the pole is a bonus. Tomorrow it will be important to get a good start and keep calm in the early laps, with the intention of taking the race to Jorge and Dani"
Dani Pedrosa 3rd 1'47.957
"Even though the position on the grid maybe doesn't reflect it, today we had a good qualifying session. We did a good job today and a lap time that I'm pleased with, for tomorrow the key will be to have a good start as the first corner is very close to the start, so I want to have a strong first few laps and maintain a good pace for the whole race. The tyre wear will be crucial so it's also important to manage them for the race distance"
GRAN PREMIO IVECO DE ARAGÓN 28/09/2013 28°c cloudy
Crutchlow and Smith confident for Motorland Aragon race
Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team riders Cal Crutchlow and Bradley Smith head into tomorrow's Gran Premio IVECO de Aragon confident they can secure a double top 10 finish in what promises to be an exciting 23-lap MotoGP battle.
A fastest lap of 1.48.653 in QP2 this afternoon will see Crutchlow start from seventh position on the grid, the British rider unfortunately unable to continue an excellent qualifying record in 2013 that had seen him qualify inside the top five in 13 previous attempts this season.
The 27-year-old's quickest lap still ensured he was the fastest rider that didn't attend a test session at the Motorland Aragon track back in June and he remains optimistic that a 10th top six finish of an outstanding season is well within his grasp.
Teammate Bradley Smith enjoyed a superb second day at the 14th round of the World Championship campaign. Overnight rain left the track littered with damp patches this morning and prevented Smith from trying to climb into the top 10 at the end of FP3 to move immediately into QP2.
The 22-year-old dominated QP1 with a best time of 1.49.724 and he then shaved off almost a second in the second 15-minute session to secure a grid position just one place behind Crutchlow in eighth.
His personal best time of 1.48.854 was just over a second off pole position and a fraction outside of 0.2s of the more experienced Crutchlow, with Smith emphatically proving his 13th position yesterday did not accurately show his true potential.
With tweaks to his riding style paying off immediately today, Smith is now full of confidence that he can battle for a ninth top 10 finish of an impressive rookie premier class campaign.
Cal Crutchlow 7th 1.48.653 - 8 laps :Cal Crutchlow
"I can't be happy to have missed out on a top six grid position for the first time this season. Qualifying just didn't go according to plan and I feel we picked the wrong bike. We had a choice of two different settings and unfortunately we chose the wrong one. And on the three laps where I was really pushing for a time I didn't nail any of them. I made a small mistake on each lap and that is the reason why I am only seventh on the grid, which is a bit disappointing because I was proud of the fact that I'd qualified in the top five in every race before this weekend. A good start is going to be crucial to try and go with the leading group but coming from seventh means I am expecting a very difficult race."
Bradley Smith 8th 1.48.854 - 8 laps :Bradley Smith
"The last two races have been pretty dismal, so it is great for me to be able to turn it around this weekend. I said yesterday that I didn't feel 13th was a true reflection of my potential and thankfully I was able to show that was the case today. The bike felt great and I have to say a massive thanks to my Monster Yamaha Tech 3 crew. We had a long meeting last night and there were a lot of positive things that came out of it. I was able to change my riding style like they suggested and I got more feeling from the bike and the lap time was a big step from yesterday. Eighth is the position where I expect to be given the competitiveness of the package I am on. Today I got the good feeling back with the bike that I had in Brno and now I am really excited for the race. Tyre life will be the key tomorrow but hopefully I can race in front of the bikes of Dovizioso and Hayden and not behind them."
Third and fourth rows for Ducati Team at MotorLand Aragón
Following a third free-practice session that was rendered largely useless by a damp track caused by last night's rains, the Ducati Team found itself unable to come up with an ideal setup for qualifying this afternoon. At day's end, Andrea Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden were ninth and eleventh, respectively, putting them on the third and fourth rows for tomorrow's Aragón Grand Prix.
Although both riders had hoped for higher starting positions, they're relatively pleased with their qualifying times.
Andrea Dovizioso - Ducati Team, 9th (1:49.219)
"Unfortunately, this is our position at the moment. We're all going quite fast, but I'm satisfied with my qualifying time since I managed to improve by a second compared to the previous sessions. After following Bradl, I was able to drop some hundredths while riding by myself on the last lap, so I'm happy about that. Maybe we can battle with Smith in the race, although he's a couple of tenths faster than I am. The riders ahead of him are quite far off."
Nicky Hayden - Ducati Team, 11th (1:49.428)
"At the end of the morning session, we went out on the damp track to get a feel for it, but it wasn't very useful. We were able to improve something in the afternoon and were a lot faster than I went here last year, but everybody's going a lot faster. Honestly, I'm quite disappointed to be so far back, but that's the situation we're in. We're getting a lot of tyre wear because there are long corners where we're on the edge of the tyre for a long time, but we have a couple of ideas for the morning that might help that. For the race, we need to get through turn one clean, see what happens with tyre wear and try and do our best."
Lorenzo and Rossi on Fire in Intense Aragon Qualifying Battle
Aragon (Spain), 28th September 2013
Yamaha Factory Racing's Jorge Lorenzo has taken second on the grid for tomorrow's Gran Premio Iveco de Aragon after an intense 15 minute battle at the Motorland circuit this afternoon. The defending world champion was the first rider to set a time this afternoon, putting down a 1'48.241 to set the early pace at the front. He went on to improve with a 1'48.201 before relinquishing the top spot to Stefan Bradl with nine minutes remaining and returning to the pits for a fresh rear qualifying tyre. He was back out on track with just over five minutes remaining and became one of the key protagonists in an incredible fight for pole that saw multiple riders firing into the red as the lap times dropped into the 1'47s. Provisional pole was taken again then lost in the last seconds by just 0.010 seconds to rival Marc Marquez.
Teammate Valentino Rossi enjoyed his best qualifying experience of the year this afternoon, taking fourth on the grid for tomorrow's race, just 0.158 seconds from pole position. The nine-time world champion waited in the pits for a minute at the start of the session, allowing the traffic of riders to leave before entering a relatively empty track space to focus on a lap time. He immediately fired off a 1'48.415 before improving again with a 1'48.366. Rossi then returned to the pits for fresh rubber and was back out again with five minutes remaining. The improvements continued as he began to threaten for provisional pole with red splits, dropping to a final time of 1'47.962 to take fourth on the grid, just 0.005 seconds behind Dani Pedrosa in third.
99 Jorge Lorenzo
2nd / 1'47.814 / 8 laps
"I knew I made a really good lap and I hoped to be in first position but I knew the other riders would be very close or in front of me. Finally for ten tenths of a second I lost it. I tried my best but I made a mistake in the first corner and lost one or two tenths so lost pole position. One thing is to make one fast lap, another is to make fast laps for the whole race. In the last practice before qualifying we found something extra for pace so we are stronger in one lap and also for the pace for the race. If the race remains in dry conditions it will be a good race."
99 Valentino Rossi
4th / 1'47.962 / 8 laps
"I have a good feeling and I've improved my pace a lot and braking ability also. We have also improved the rear grip over long distance. I'm so happy because it was a great qualifying for me and I enjoyed it a lot. The level was very high and we were just one tenth from pole position, so we are all together. We have to see what the conditions are tomorrow; for sure today they helped us. With a few less degrees we are more competitive with the Yamaha. My pace is very similar to Jorge and Marquez and Pedrosa but we know that they are very fast so to try and stay with them I have to improve again tomorrow."