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Pedrosa gets pole, Marquez crashes at Catalonia GP

June 14, 2014

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Dani Pedrosa took pole position on Saturday for the Catalonia Grand Prix while points leader Marc Marquez crashed, ending his run of six poles in the first six races of the MotoGP season.

Marquez was trying to beat Pedrosa’s time when he lost control of his front wheel and slid into the gravel on turn 1. He walked away and still managed the session’s third best time behind Jorge Lorenzo in second.

Pedrosa, Marquez’s Honda teammate, clocked the fastest lap of 1 minute, 40.985 seconds at the Barcelona-Catalunya circuit for his first pole position since last year’s race here in front of his home fans.

Marquez has started his title defense by winning all six races this year to lead the standings with 150 points. Valentino Rossi is second with 97 points and will start Sunday’s race from fifth on the grid behind Stefan Bradl.

Spaniards also took pole position in the lower two classes.

In Moto2, point leader Esteve Rabat claimed his fifth pole of the season ahead of nearest chaser Mika Kallio and rookie Maverick Vinales.

In Moto3, Alex Marquez, the younger brother of Marc, won his first ever pole by setting a track record for the smallest class.

Enea Bastianini finished with the second best time ahead of Alex Rins who had the third fastest time despite fracturing a toe on his left foot during a crash.