MotoGP: Marc Marquez starts from front of grid in Valencia; title rival Jorge Lorenzo second
Last Updated: 10/11/13 12:26pm
Marc Marquez (centre), Jorge Lorenzo (left) and Dani Pedrosa (right) after qualifying
Marc Marquez took pole at the final Grand Prix of the season in Valencia, 0.34 seconds quicker than title rival Jorge Lorenzo, who will start second.
Marquez, the 20-year-old Spanish rookie, needs to finish in the top four in the race on Sunday to become the youngest champion in MotoGP history.
He pushed his Honda to a flying lap of one minute, 30.237 seconds to set a track record on the four-kilometre circuit - although he also survived a high-speed wobble towards the end of the session.
"All of a sudden the bike stopped working properly, we had to change to the second bike and it is much worse so we couldn't fight with Marc for the pole."
"I had a little scare on the last lap because I didn't want to push too hard and when you are not fully concentrated this is what happens," Marquez told Spanish TV station Telecinco.
"It was a little scare ahead of tomorrow to remind me I have to be 100 per cent concentrated.
"The good thing is that I feel good, I have good ryhthm on the bike and I just have to concentrate on my own race tomorrow."
It turned out to be a frustrating afternoon for Lorenzo, who had started the day by going faster than Marquez for the first time this weekend in Saturday's final practice.
The defending world champion then set the early pace in qualifying, but was forced to change bikes midway through the session and never came close to threatening the time registered by his compatriot.
He said: "All of a sudden the bike stopped working properly, we had to change to the second bike and it is much worse so we couldn't fight with Marc for the pole.
"We hope to fix the problem we had with the first bike for tomorrow."
However, even if the problem with his bike is fixed in time for the race, Lorenzo is not convinced he will be lifting a third world championship come Sunday afternoon.
"It is very difficult, 13 points is a lot," he added. "That Marc will finish fifth, sixth or even worse is very hard to imagine. But we have to be very concentrated on doing our job as best as we can and see what happens in the end."
Three-time Valencia winner and Marquez's Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa qualified in third, while seven-time champion Valentino Rossi starts fourth.
Marquez leads the standings with 318 points, 13 ahead of Lorenzo, the only man who can catch him and who has cranked up the pressure with victories in the last two races in Australia and Japan.