Marc Marquez laid down a marker in the qualifying session for the 125cc Japanese Grand Prix.
The Derbi rider, currently third in the championship, clinched a ninth pole position of the season comfortably ahead of Nico Terol by 0.4s. Marquez looks to be in dominant form and a series of fast laps netted the pole. Terol on the other hand looks to be consistently three tenths of a second a lap slower than his compatriot. The race though could be a very different story, Terol has tended to have an edge over Marquez recently and while he needs to find some speed Terol, and the Aspar team, have long been known for their race day prowess.
Alongside the title contenders on the front row are Bradley Smith and Sandro Cortese. Smith set his fastest time very early in the session but the Englishman looks to be in strong form once again this weekend and is sure to challenge for the podium. His principal rival will be Cortese. The German, teammate of Marquez, has been in great form of late with two podiums in the last five races and could add to his haul in Japan.
The home crowd has reason to cheer with Tomy Koyama lining up fifth on the grid ahead of Rabat and Pol Espargaro. Espargaro, second in the championship, had a torrid session and finished almost two seconds adrift of Marquez. These weekends has seen the Spnaird crash twice and he has also suffered his worst qualifying performance of the season. With the title race so finely balanced Espargaro can ill afford to finish off the podium tomorrow.
Pos Rider Bike Time Gap 1. Marc Marquez Derbi 1m58.030s 2. Nicolas Terol Aprilia 1m58.447s + 0.417s 3. Bradley Smith Aprilia 1m59.026s + 0.996s 4. Sandro Cortese Derbi 1m59.102s + 1.072s 5. Tomoyoshi Koyama Aprilia 1m59.209s + 1.179s 6. Esteve Rabat Aprilia 1m59.660s + 1.630s 7. Pol Espargaro Derbi 1m59.873s + 1.843s 8. Simone Grotzkyj Aprilia 1m59.991s + 1.961s 9. Alberto Moncayo Aprilia 2m00.177s + 2.147s 10. Efren Vazquez Derbi 2m00.249s + 2.219s 11. Jonas Folger Aprilia 2m00.345s + 2.315s 12. Randy Krummenacher Aprilia 2m00.595s + 2.565s 13. Danny Webb Aprilia 2m00.634s + 2.604s 14. Luis Salom Aprilia 2m01.015s + 2.985s 15. Adrian Martin Aprilia 2m01.083s + 3.053s 16. Danny Kent Lambretta 2m01.109s + 3.079s 17. Takehiro Yamamoto Honda 2m01.285s + 3.255s 18. Johann Zarco Aprilia 2m01.411s + 3.381s 19. Marco Ravaioli Lambretta 2m01.660s + 3.630s 20. Jakub Kornfeil Aprilia 2m01.684s + 3.654s 21. Marcel Schrotter Honda 2m01.763s + 3.733s 22. Jasper Iwema Aprilia 2m02.071s + 4.041s 23. Louis Rossi Aprilia 2m02.240s + 4.210s 24. Sturla Fagerhaug Aprilia 2m02.309s + 4.279s 25. Sasuke Shinozaki Yamaha 2m02.521s + 4.491s 26. Hikari Ookubo Honda 2m02.816s + 4.786s 27. Zulfahmi Khairuddin Aprilia 2m03.316s + 5.286s 28. Syunya Mori Honda 2m03.592s + 5.562s 29. Lorenzo Savadori Aprilia 2m04.109s + 6.079s 30. Yuma Yahagi Honda 2m04.619s + 6.589s 31. Luca Marconi Aprilia 2m05.921s + 7.891s 32. Tommaso Gabrielli Aprilia 2m14.113s + 16.083s