Marquez seizes US MotoGP pole

Sport
File photo: Honda rider Marc Marquez of Spain powers his bike on the second day of the pre-season MotoGP test at the Sepang circuit outside Kuala Lumpur on February 27, 2013. Picture: PETER LIM

Austin, Texas - Spain's Marc Marquez put his Honda on pole position for Sunday's MotoGP Grand Prix of the Americas, topping the qualifying times Saturday in just his second MotoGP weekend.

Marquez, fastest in three of four practice sessions on the new Circuit of the Americas, will start from the front row alongside compatriots Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo -- the reigning world champion and winner of the season-opening race at Qatar two weeks ago.

Marquez clocked 2:03.021 while Pedrosa was second-quickest in 2:03.275. They were the only riders under 2:04 in qualifying as Lorenzo managed just 2:04.100.

Marquez, a 20-year-old Catalonian who won the Moto2 world title last season, became the youngest rider ever to gain a MotoGP pole, surpassing American Freddie Spencer -- the 1983 world champion.

He continued his strong start to his first season in the top series, after finishing third in Qatar behind Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi.

Twenty-four riders will start Sunday's race. The absentees will include Cardion AB Motoracing’s Karel Abraham, who broke his right collarbone in a collision with Australian Bryan Staring in the first qualifying session.

Pedrosa improved his time on his final run, but couldn't oust Marquez from the pole.

Lorenzo appeared to be attempting to avoid traffic by taking a lap through pit lane -- but rejoined the track too late for a last-gasp bid.

-Sapa

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