MARC MARQUEZ LEADS MOTOGP 2014

Reigning MotoGP World Champion Marc Marquez will head the grid for Sunday’s first MotoGP™ race of the year at the Commercial Bank Grand Prix of Qatar.

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Despite only returning to riding his Repsol Honda machine on Thursday after breaking his leg in preseason training, Marquez showed his rivals he means business again in 2014 with a great charge to pole with a 1’54.507 lap.

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GO&FUN Honda Gresini’s Bautista had provisional pole but eventually qualified second by a +0.057s margin, whilst Smith was also close to the top spot missing out by less than a tenth.

That result is Smith’s first ever premier class front row qualifying effort and was a great response to his FP3 horror crash.

Another solid run for Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) sees him head the second row, with Jorge Lorenzo (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) and Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) managing to pull something out of the bag in fifth and sixth respectively having struggled for much of the weekend so far.

Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda MotoGP) leads the third row with a time just 0.364s off the pace, with Q1 participant Cal Crutchlow (Ducati Team) improving to eighth.

A disastrous session for Aleix Espargaro (NGM Forward Racing) saw him qualify ninth, having walked away from two crashes, appearing to crack under the pressure of Q2. He had led the way earlier in the weekend and was furious with himself after both falls.

Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) starts in the unfamiliar territory of row four, ahead of Andrea Iannone (Pramac Racing) and Pol Espargaro (Monster Yamaha Tech3).

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