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Marc Marquez secures second on the grid for the Commercial Bank Grand Prix of Qatar, but he could have had pole.
For the first time ever, the MotoGP™ World Championship did battle in the Q2 session on Michelin tyres, stepping into the unknown. Marc Marquez’s weekend had been a mixed bag at best up until this point; a disastrous Thursday evolving to a passable Friday. Fortunately for the Repsol Honda Team man, he and his crew continued to improve and he was able to launch a considerable challenge for pole in Q2. The Spaniard showed no sign of nerves on the new Michelin tyres as he adopted a wild and loose style to get the most out of his RC213V.
A time of 1’54.634 put Marquez 0.091s back on Jorge Lorenzo (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP), but he actually went faster. Unfortunately, his faster lap came after the chequered flag as Marquez had been unsure if he made it past and decided to keep pushing. A 1’54.2 was the time he allegedly produced on this final lap, but as he had not in fact beaten the flag it did not count. Despite the disappoint of this, Marquez is optimistic of having a strong race and is feeling much more confident than he was before the weekend. On two out of his three MotoGP™ race starts in Qatar Marquez has finished on the podium, a mistake at Turn 1 in 2015 costing him a chance to make it three in a row.
Marc Marquez: “I am happy. At first I thought I had taken pole, but when I got back the team told me that the chequered flag had already been shown before I began my lap. On the display I saw 1’54.2 and thought it was the pole time, but it didn’t count. We are satisfied with the feeling we have with the bike and how everything in general is going. At the end of Q2 we had a scare when making a practice start. Something happened and now we have to see what it was. We'll see tomorrow if we can keep this pace up, which I think will be good for the race."
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