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MotoGP Austin: Pole for Marquez despite crash

Repsol Honda’s Marquez has taken pole position for tomorrow’s Austin MotoGP despite crashing at turn 13 in his first run - but the Spaniard is under investigation by the stewards for holding up Maverick Vinales as the Yamaha man was on pole-schedule lap.

Marquez had set a 2’04.134 with his first flying lap but then lobbed it and was taken back to his garage by Marc VDS rider coach - and 125cc Yugoslavian GP winner Stefan Prein. On his out lap, he got in the way of an understandably angry Vinales in sector three.

The reigning MotoGP Champion then went out on his spare bike and stuck in a 2’03.658 to be the only rider under the 2’04s barrier. Vinales had snatched top spot two seconds previously - using the medium Michelin rear - but he was deposed by 0.406s.


Ecstar Suzuki’s Andrea Iannone followed Marquez on his fastest lap to bag the final front-row spot with a 2’04.209.

Monster Yamaha’s Johann Zarco saw his run of front-row starts come to an end as he took fourth place but only missed out by 0.001s but he was ahead of the factory M1 belonging to Valentino Rossi. The pair used different tyre combinations with the satellite man on mediums all round with The Doctor on softs.

Jorge Lorenzo bounced back from a dismal free practice four performance to take sixth place, one ahead of championship leader Cal Crutchlow.

Andrea Dovizioso continues to struggle on the works GP18, sinking to eighth place and 1.2s off the pace while the heroic Dani Pedrosa battled the pain of a broken wrist to take ninth place. Danilo Petrucci came through qualifying one to take tenth place.

Alex Rins was some distance from his third-placed Suzuki team-mate in 11th place while Pol Espargaro, fastest in Q1, ended his session in 12th, just ahead of Taka Nakagami, Tito Rabat and Britain's Bradley Smith.

It wasn't good news for Scott Redding who finished in 22nd place and Aprilia team-mate Aleix Espargaro didn't fare much better, collecting 19th.

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