Marquez takes 50th career pole and new Sepang record with Dani in second
Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa have qualified first and second for tomorrow’s Malaysian GP, their fourth 1-2 of the 2014 season. They were the only riders to set a time under 2’00 minutes and both riders smashed Marc’s pole record from 2013 (2’00.011) with Marc’s time of 1’59.791 sending him to the top of the time sheets and Dani just 0.182 behind him with 1’59.973.
It’s been a searingly hot day in Malaysia, with track temperatures reaching 56ºC. Dani, fastest yesterday and in this morning’s FP3, found a good setup for qualifying and has put himself in a prime position to challenge for victory tomorrow, and importantly ahead of Lorenzo (3rd) and Rossi (6th) in his fight for second place in the World Championship.
Marc was able to put his small FP4 crash behind him and claim his 50th career pole (14 in 125cc, 14 in Moto2, 22 in MotoGP) and his thirteenth of 2014 which is a new record for pole positions in a season in the premier-class, bettering the record held by fellow Repsol Honda riders Mick Doohan (12 in 1997) and Casey Stoner (12 in 2011).
Tomorrow Dani will become the tenth rider to reach the milestone of 150 starts in the premier-class of Grand Prix racing and Honda will be looking to add the Constructor’s Title to the Rider’s Title they won in Japan. With a 45 point lead over their closest rivals, a finish from any Honda rider in the top eleven is enough to clinch the crown for Honda. The Repsol Honda Team are also able to win the Team’s Title tomorrow, with Marc or Dani needing to outscore Lorenzo or Rossi by five points. The race will begin at 16h00 local time.
“I am very happy to have taken pole position, because the temperature out on track was very high and it was difficult to do such a good lap! The time was very good - better than I had expected - so I am delighted with how things went today. Let's hope that tomorrow's race is dry, but Dani looks to be a very strong candidate for the win; he has a great pace and we hope to be ready to fight with him from the opening lap! I'm also happy to have broken the record. Maybe pole positions are somewhat insignificant because they don't give you any points, but you achieve them by being the fastest rider over a single lap. That doesn't mean that you will be the fastest in the race, of course, so the most important thing is what happens tomorrow.”
“It was a good qualifying session. The times that were being put in were amazing, because in this heat the bikes don't normally go that fast and the tyres don't tend to have so much grip. We will try to have a good race, because the last two have not been great for us. We have a strong desire to take a good result, and we also need one if we want to finish runners-up in the Championship, but the first thing that we have to do is push 100% tomorrow regardless whether it rains or shines!”
Specifically built for speed and exciting racing, the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia is one of the world’s best. The 2,300 acre complex cost around £50m to construct and was built in just 14 months, holding its first Grand Prix in April 1999 and setting the standard for race circuits… read more.
|Length||5.543 kilometres / 3.444 miles|
|Longest straight||0.920 kilometres / 0.572 miles|
Sepang International Circuit Klia Pahang Malaysia - View in Google Maps
|Pole Position||1m 57.790s (169.4km/h) Jorge Martin (Ducati, 2022)|
|Race Lap||1m 59.661s (166.7km/h) Valentino Rossi (Yamaha, 2019)|
|Race Time||40m 14.332s (165.3 km/h) Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati,2022)|
|2022 Race Winner||Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati)|