Marc Marquez was once again on incredible form in MotoGP qualifying at Silverstone, breaking the previous pole record and securing his 6th pole position of 2017, his 4th in-a-row.
Track conditions for qualifying were perfect and after Dani Pedrosa and Jonas Folger made it through Q1 it was time for the top 12 shootout.
Marc Marquez took the lead on his second lap with an already brilliant time of 2’00.106 before going on to break his own record just a few laps later with a blistering 1’59.941, the first sub 2-minute lap at the circuit.
While Marquez was ultimately impossible to move from the top spot, Valentino Rossi definitely cut it close with a brilliant lap to finish second, just 0.08 behind the current World Champion. Rossi would have undoubtedly caught Marquez but lost time in the final sector, as he has all weekend, due to “a bit too much spin”.
Joining Marquez and Rossi on the front row is British rider Cal Crutchlow, who was fastest on Friday and continued to show good pace on Qualifying Day but made a small mistake at turn 13 on his fast lap, and he’ll be hoping to secure a good result at his home race.
The second row is made up of Maverick Vinales, who showed decent consistency in qualifying but just lacked a tiny bit of pace, and the Ducati duo of Jorge Lorenzo (who had a technical issue) and Andrea Dovizioso.
Row three saw Dani Pedrosa make a good comeback after a difficult weekend so far, as the Spaniard struggles with the bumpy Silverstone surface, and he’ll be joined by Johann Zarco and Aleix Espargaro.
While rounding out the top 12 on row four are Jonas Folger, Pol Espargaro, who put in a great performance on the KTM once again, and Scott Redding.
In terms of race pace, Marc Marquez seems to have the edge so far, although he is visibly on the very edge of the limit so he’ll need to manage that carefully in the race. Valentino Rossi isn’t entirely satisfied with his pace, but both he and Maverick Vinales don’t seem too far off, with the same to be said of Cal Crutchlow. The Ducatis seems to be struggling slightly more with the bumps, but could well put up a good podium fight on Sunday.
Rear tyre choice seems fairly set for the race, with most likely to run the hard option as it keeps its shape better over the bumps and provides more stability, while the front choice is more open.
20 laps of the 5.9km Silverstone circuit demand a lot from the MotoGP riders and nothing but perfection will do. Marc Marquez seems to be the rider to beat so far, but it’s unlikely he’ll have it all his own way.
The British Grand Prix promises to be another incredible MotoGP race.