Things got pretty hot in Texas in qualifying for the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas, with drama first striking as reigning Champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) took a tumble at Turn 13 and was heading back to the garage on the back of a scooter as his rivals started to threaten his provisional pole. But the number 93 was able to get back out, and set a sixth pole position at the Circuit of the Americas – closely followed by the man who seems set to try and challenge him on Sunday, Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP).
Viñales’ front row also comes after an impressive show of race pace earlier in the day in FP4, but it wasn’t a smooth session for the rider from Roses as he came across a slower-moving Marquez on his first flying lap on his second run and was forced to abandon his lap. Nevertheless, the Spaniard took second on a final push, with Andrea Iannone (Team Suzuk Ecstar) – another man who has been key competition for Marquez in practice – joining him on the front row in third.
Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) will start the Americas GP from fourth as the Frenchman was forced off the front row for the first time in some time, and he has Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) for very close company – the Italian just 0.019 back. And it was just as tight for sixth and the final spot on Row 2, as Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team) was only another 0.065 in arrears behind the ‘Doctor’. Three men certain to attack right from lights out.
Championship leader Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) took seventh as he aims to keep his points lead on Sunday, and he’s just ahead of the man chasing him in the standings, Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) – who’s won off the third row before.
Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) completes that star-studded third row. The three-time World Champion is racing only a week and a bit after surgery on a broken wrist sustained in the Argentina GP, and not only gained direct entry to Q2, but took a third row start in another superhuman effort.
#AmericasGP favorite @marcmarquez93 just crashed while laying down a hot lap midway through Q2. Well, we all know he crashed, anyway. Marc probably still thinks he can save it... pic.twitter.com/zKOyBiSz95— beIN MOTOR SPORTS (@beINMOTOR) April 21, 2018
Q1 graduate Danilo Petrucci (Alma Pramac Racing), Argentina GP podium finisher Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) and Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) complete the top twelve – with Espargaro having put in a stunner to come through Q1 and get KTM’s first visit to Q2 this season.
Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) was top rookie in P13 and will be looking to strike back in the Rookie of the Year battle, with Tito Rabat (Reale Avintia Racing) and Bradley Smith (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) completing the top 15.
It’s set up to be a stunner, with Viñales alongside Marquez and Rossi and Zarco gunning from Row 2. Iannone already called it on Friday: “Anything is possible!”
Jorge Martin (Del Conca Gresini Moto3) set his tenth pole position on Saturday at the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas, with a drying track seeing late switches to slicks throughout the field and the Spaniard coming out on top by an impressive 0.496. He was ahead of Championship leader and key rival Aron Canet (Estrella Galicia 0,0), with John McPhee (CIP – Green Power) completing the front row as the Brit blasted up the timesheets.
The session began on wets before the rain began to abate and the first man to try slicks was a brave Philipp Oettl (Südmetall Schedl GP Racing) – initially over six seconds clear of the field before they caught on and headed into pitlane. But the heroics didn’t quite pay off as they did for Alma Pramac Racing’s Jack Miller in Argentina – with enough of the session remaining to allow the majority to switch.
But the grid has set us up for a stunner on Sunday, with the experienced trio at the front chased by a Row 2 featuring Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse) as he gets back to full power following injury, podium finisher Fabio Di Giannantonio (Del Conca Gresini Moto3) and the ‘Beast’ Enea Bastianini (Leopard Racing), expected to mount a title challenge.
Then comes a superstar performance in qualifying from rookie and reigning FIM CEV Repsol Moto3 Junior World Champion Dennis Foggia (Sky Racing Team VR46) in seventh, ahead of former Asia Talent Cup and Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup Champion Ayumu Sasaki (Petronas Sprinta Racing) in eighth. Marco Bezzecchi (Redox PruestelGP), the Argentina GP winner, completes the third row – with Jaume Masia (Bester Capital Dubai) another rookie stunner in P10, just edging early gambler Oettl.
It’s an exciting grid for Sunday’s race, with a few names looking to mount a fight back – including Niccolo Antonelli (SIC58 Squadra Corse) in P19 and Gabriel Rodrigo (RBA BOE Skull Rider) in P12, off the front row for the first time this year.
The lights go out for the lightweight rodeo at 11:00am local time (GMT -5).
Source : http://www.beinsports.com/us/motogp/video/six-for-six-the-king-of-cota-strikes-again/851966