In a closely fought qualifying battle for the San Marino GP, Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez lost out on pole position by just a tenth of a second, with teammate Dani Pedrosa missing out on a front row spot by seven hundredths of a second.
With such a short lap – 4.2km – Marquez opted for a three-run strategy to give himself the best chance to fight for pole. Lorenzo took provisional pole on his first exit, with Marquez slotting in just behind him in second. Pedrosa then leapfrogged his teammate into second spot as the riders began to enter the pits for fresh rubber.
On Marquez’s flying lap of his second run, he made an error and immediately re-entered the pits for his final fresh tyre, with enough time for two flying laps. Lorenzo improved again and despite his best efforts and improving on his first run time by almost four tenths, Marquez had to settle for second place with his time of 1’32.252 (lap 7/8). Pedrosa also improved on his final exit with his time of 1’32.434 (lap 7/9) but missed the front row by just 0.076 seconds to Rossi.
Marquez said: “I’m not happy with the qualifying session I had. I think I could have improved my time, but sometimes things do not go as you hope. The important thing is that, despite this, we will start from the front row in second and we’re only a tenth off Jorge. Tomorrow I expect a tough race as Jorge, Valentino and Dani have great pace, but we will try to keep in the fight until the end.”
Teammate Pedrosa said: “It was a bit of a strange qualifying session because I made some mistakes at a couple of points on the track, and could have done a little better. Now we have to focus on tomorrow; we will try to have the best first lap possible and come out strong, to keep position and push for the best pace we can can get throughout the entire race.”
The 28 lap race will begin at 14h00 local time.