Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team RC213V) will start tomorrow’s Spanish Grand Prix from the front row of the grid after qualifying a close third-fastest in this afternoon’s thrilling Q2 qualifying session.

The reigning MotoGP World Champion, who won here last year, had been a close second fastest yesterday, just 0.012 seconds behind the fastest time, and topped the FP4 session that took place immediately before qualifying. This consistent speed throughout the last two days suggests that he has a very competitive pace going into the race, which is round four of this year’s 19-race series.

The 26-year-old Spaniard rode as hard as ever in the 15-minute Q2, using a three-run strategy, but a big slide at during his final run may have blunted his challenge for pole position. Nonetheless he was delighted to fulfil his main goal: a front-row start in front of his legions of Spanish fans, a mere 0.09 seconds off pole, which was taken by Fabio Quartararo. The 20-year-old French rookie thus becomes the youngest-ever premier-class pole sitter, taking the record from Marquez, who has held it since the 2013 Americas GP. Immediately after the session Marquez graciously congratulated the youngster for his performance.

Lap times at Jerez are dramatically faster this year – following a recent resurface – with the fastest 16 riders all within last year’s pole time, established by Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda CASTROL RC213V), who this afternoon was fast enough to put himself on the second row.

The 33-year-old Briton had a heavy tumble in this morning’s FP3 outing but bounced back bravely, running some super-fast lap times in Q2, less than three tenths off pole position. He may well have done better than sixth place if he hadn’t lost grip at turn three on his final run and only just managed to remain on board.

Perhaps more importantly Crutchlow was very competitive in FP4, when most riders ride their machines in race-day spec. He was third fastest in that outing, just a tenth of a second slower than Marquez, so there’s little doubt that once again he will be the podium fight tomorrow.

Marquez’s team-mate Jorge Lorenzo (Repsol Honda Team RC213V) has a fantastic record at Jerez – where he has won five Grand Prix victories across two classes – and is finally back to full strength following two injuries sustained earlier in the year. The Spaniard, who celebrates his 32nd birthday today, had a great Friday, his best lap just over a tenth off the fastest time of the day, but today has proved more challenging.

Lorenzo’s speed in free practice was enough to take him directly into the Q2 outing, where his hopes for a great performance were spoiled by a low-speed tumble at turn two. Thus Lorenzo will start his home Grand Prix from the fourth row of the grid in 11th position. However, the three-times MotoGP king will do everything in power to fight his way towards the front tomorrow.

Crutchlow’s team-mate Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda IDEMITSU RC213V) will start the race from the middle of the third row after qualifying eighth fastest, between two full-factory riders. The 27-year-old from Chiba is contesting only his second season in the premier class, aboard a 2018-spec RC213V, so his performance so far is very impressive. Tomorrow the former Moto2 race winner aims for his fourth consecutive top-ten finish of 2019.

HRC test rider Stefan Bradl (Team HRC RC213V) is enjoying a superb weekend as he prepares for his first race since last November’s Valencia Grand Prix, when he substituted for the injured Crutchlow.

The 29-year-old German has ridden brilliantly throughout the two days of practice and qualifying, running just nine tenths of a second slower than the fastest pace. He completed the Q1 qualifying session fourth fastest, just a tenth of a second outside promotion to the Q2 session. Bradl is evaluating various new parts here, which he will continue testing on Monday, when all the teams stay here for an important one-day test.

This weekend’s Spanish GP is the first of 11 consecutive rounds in Europe. Next stop on the MotoGP calendar is the French GP on May 19.

Marc Marquez

Marc Marquez 93

I’m very happy for the front row, normally here we struggle a bit more to put one fast lap together. The most important part is that we have prepared well for the race and tomorrow we can understand our level compared to everyone else’s. We have to wait a little bit to see what the temperature does tomorrow. Congratulations to Fabio Quartararo who took the record of youngest pole setter from me, he did a really good job today. Tomorrow it will be a good race with a mix of names at the front.

Repsol Honda Team
Cal Crutchlow

Cal Crutchlow 35

We ran out of time this morning and we’ve not improved the settings of the bike as much as we would have liked since yesterday, so hopefully we can tomorrow. Overall today went not too bad, although obviously we’re disappointed with the crash in FP3. But we took some positives in FP4 and we were able to make the second row of the grid. We would have preferred to be a bit further forward, but I did my best today and we’ll have to look at the settings of the bike tonight and work as hard as possible to get it right for the race. The team and Honda have done a fantastic job this weekend and now we look forward to a good Sunday in front of a good crowd here in Jerez.

LCR Honda
Takaaki Nakagami

Takaaki Nakagami 30

I’m not 100 percent happy. The lap time is quite good, in FP3 we improved quite a lot with the soft tyre, but everybody was so close and the gap was so small that I was really happy to get through to Q2. The feeling on the bike here is better than at the other tracks and also I like this track and have confidence here. In qualifying we targeted the second row, but at the end we got P8. I was expecting a bit better than this so I have mixed feelings. Qualifying is qualifying though; it will be a very long race and we have to make sure we manage both the tyres well.

LCR Honda
Jorge Lorenzo

Jorge Lorenzo 99

The qualifying session was going quite well, I pushed quite a lot in the first run and then in the second run I tried to be more aggressive in braking. Unfortunately I closed the front and then crashed, luckily I am not hurt. Starting in the fourth row isn’t ideal but it is where we will start. The launch from the line will be important to keep our position, as everyone is very fast. Here we are closer than ever to the front.

Repsol Honda Team
Stefan Bradl

Stefan Bradl 6

We had another good day today. The position is not as high as Friday, but we can be pleased with how we have improved. For the race tomorrow I think we can keep fighting forward and hopefully we will be able to pick up some good points. Overall, a productive day.

HRC Test Team
Gran Premio Red Bull de España

Circuito de Jerez, Spain

MotoGP 2019, Round 4

Sunny / 20
Saturday 4 May 2019, 15:01 UTC
  • Track Condition: Dry
  • Air Temp: 20°C
  • Humidity: 71%
  • Ground Temp: 30°C
# Rider Num Nationality Nat. Team Constructor Constr. Time/Gap
1 Fabio Quartararo 20 FRA Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha 1'36.880
2 Franco Morbidelli 21 ITA Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha +0.082
3 Marc Marquez 93 SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda +0.090
4 Andrea Dovizioso 4 ITA Ducati Team Ducati +0.138
5 Maverick Viñales 12 SPA Yamaha Factory Racing Team Yamaha +0.234
6 Cal Crutchlow 35 GBR LCR Honda Honda +0.295
7 Danilo Petrucci 9 ITA Ducati Team Ducati +0.329
8 Takaaki Nakagami 30 JPN LCR Honda Honda +0.452
9 Alex Rins 42 SPA Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki +0.471
10 Francesco Bagnaia 63 ITA Alma Pramac Racing Ducati +0.504
11 Jorge Lorenzo 99 SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda +0.616
12 Joan Mir 36 SPA Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki +0.634
13 Valentino Rossi 46 ITA Yamaha Factory Racing Team Yamaha +0.207
14 Stefan Bradl 6 GER HRC Test Team Honda +0.242
15 Jack Miller 43 AUS Alma Pramac Racing Ducati +0.441
16 Aleix Espargaro 41 SPA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia +0.461
17 Pol Espargaro 44 SPA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM +0.634
18 Johann Zarco 5 FRA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM +0.656
19 Bradley Smith 38 GBR Aprilia Racing Test Team Aprilia +1.193
20 Tito Rabat 53 SPA Reale Avintia Racing Ducati +1.239
21 Karel Abraham 17 CZE Reale Avintia Racing Ducati +1.283
22 Miguel Oliveira 88 POR KTM Tech 3 Racing KTM +1.730
23 Hafizh Syahrin 55 THA KTM Tech 3 Racing KTM +2.878
24 Andrea Iannone 29 ITA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia +1.370
Sunny / 25
Friday 3 May 2019, 15:56 UTC
  • Track Condition: Dry
  • Air Temp: 25°C
  • Humidity: 51%
  • Ground Temp: 46°C
# Rider Num Nationality Nat. Team Constructor Constr. Time/Gap
1 Danilo Petrucci 9 ITA Ducati Team Ducati 1'37.909
2 Marc Marquez 93 SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda +0.012
3 Andrea Dovizioso 4 ITA Ducati Team Ducati +0.097
4 Jorge Lorenzo 99 SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda +0.136
5 Cal Crutchlow 35 GBR LCR Honda Honda +0.195
6 Maverick Viñales 12 SPA Yamaha Factory Racing Team Yamaha +0.203
7 Takaaki Nakagami 30 JPN LCR Honda Honda +0.225
8 Fabio Quartararo 20 FRA Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha +0.300
9 Stefan Bradl 6 GER HRC Test Team Honda +0.464
10 Jack Miller 43 AUS Alma Pramac Racing Ducati +0.555
11 Franco Morbidelli 21 ITA Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha +0.569
12 Alex Rins 42 SPA Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki +0.625
13 Francesco Bagnaia 63 ITA Alma Pramac Racing Ducati +0.684
14 Pol Espargaro 44 SPA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM +0.726
15 Andrea Iannone 29 ITA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia +0.767
16 Valentino Rossi 46 ITA Yamaha Factory Racing Team Yamaha +0.772
17 Aleix Espargaro 41 SPA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia +0.812
18 Joan Mir 36 SPA Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki +0.880
19 Johann Zarco 5 FRA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM +0.988
20 Tito Rabat 53 SPA Reale Avintia Racing Ducati +1.201
21 Bradley Smith 38 GBR Aprilia Racing Test Team Aprilia +1.501
22 Karel Abraham 17 CZE Reale Avintia Racing Ducati +1.623
23 Miguel Oliveira 88 POR KTM Tech 3 Racing KTM +1.865
24 Hafizh Syahrin 55 THA KTM Tech 3 Racing KTM +2.985
Rider Standings
Sunday, 14 Apr 2019 - Open world standings grid
# Rider Num Nationality Nat. Points Pts. Team Constructor Constr.
1 Andrea DOVIZIOSO 4 ITA 54 Ducati Team Ducati
2 Valentino ROSSI 46 ITA 51 Yamaha Factory Racing Team Yamaha
3 Alex RINS 42 SPA 49 Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki
4 Marc MARQUEZ 93 SPA 45 Repsol Honda Team Honda
5 Danilo PETRUCCI 9 ITA 30 Ducati Team Ducati
6 Jack MILLER 43 AUS 29 Alma Pramac Racing Ducati
7 Takaaki NAKAGAMI 30 JPN 22 LCR Honda Honda
8 Cal CRUTCHLOW 35 GBR 19 LCR Honda Honda
9 Pol ESPARGARO 44 SPA 18 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM
10 Fabio QUARTARARO 20 FRA 17 Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha
11 Franco MORBIDELLI 21 ITA 16 Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha
12 Maverick VIñALES 12 SPA 14 Yamaha Factory Racing Team Yamaha
13 Aleix ESPARGARO 41 SPA 13 Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia
14 Francesco BAGNAIA 63 ITA 9 Alma Pramac Racing Ducati
15 Joan MIR 36 SPA 8 Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki
16 Miguel OLIVEIRA 88 POR 7 KTM Tech 3 Racing KTM
17 Jorge LORENZO 99 SPA 7 Repsol Honda Team Honda
18 Andrea IANNONE 29 ITA 6 Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia
19 Johann ZARCO 5 FRA 5 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM
20 Tito RABAT 53 SPA 1 Reale Avintia Racing Ducati