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MotoGP Valencia: Marquez takes pole despite crashing again

Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez has taken pole position for tomorrow’s Valencia MotoGP race despite an 80mph crash at turn four while title rival Andrea Dovizioso is three rows further back and has a mountain to climb if he is to challenge in Spain.

Marquez set the first and only sub-1’30s lap of the weekend, putting in a 1’29.897 at the end of his first run and it remained unbeaten after he crashed right at the beginning of run two. The young Spaniard ran back to his RC213V and aimed a kick at the front tyre before remembering he was probably on TV and pulled the kick before it made contact.

Marquez' 27th crash of the season


Johann Zarco finished in second place with a 1’30.246 with Suzuki’s Andrea Iannone in third, completing what is a nightmare front row for Marquez as he has two riders next to him who are no respecters of reputation and will both have their elbows out into turn one.

Dovizioso’s works Ducati team-mate Jorge Lorenzo will start at the head of row two despite a strange crash at turn 13. The Spaniard lost the front on the downhill left-hander in a crash that would look at home on a wet track. He had been on pole schedule for the first two sectors but then went down.

Fortunately for the Mallorcan had set a 1’30.460 on his second lap of the first run and it was good enough for fourth. Dani Pedrosa took the second Repsol Honda to fifth with Ducati test rider Michele in sixth place which made Dovizioso the slowest of the factory GP17s.

Valentino Rossi pulled a lap out of the hat to bag seventh place after struggling all weekend. He set a 1’30.848 to end almost nine-tenths off the pace. It was better, however, than Maverick Vinales’ performance. He slumped to 13th and didn’t even make it through qualifying one with a best of 1’31.030.

Aleix Espargaro crashed once in free practice three and then again inn qualifying two after making it through from the first session. The Aprilia man, who is still suffering with his broken hand and also has the flu, still managed a 1’30.857 for eighth place, pushing Dovizoso back to ninth.

Alex Rins finished in tenth with Pol Espargaro, coming through Q1 alongside his brother, with Jack Miller completing the top 12 despite a third crash. Tito Rabat crashed for a third time but managed to finish 14th with Danilo Petrucci 15th.

Cal Crutchlow also went down in qualifying one and will start from 16th with Bradley Smith next along. Scott Redding was 22nd with Sam Lowes, who crashed at the end of Q1, in 24th.

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