Marc Marquez made history in qualifying for the Japanese Grand Prix and now he has another milestone in his sights on race day.

The world champion, who sealed his sixth premier class title with a win in Thailand last time out, claimed his first Motegi pole to ensure he has now started at the front of the grid at every circuit on the MotoGP calendar.

If Marquez can follow that up with a 10th victory of 2019 on Sunday, it would see him move level with Mick Doohan on 54 total MotoGP wins in third on the all-time list.

He is also eyeing a fourth consecutive race triumph for the first time since 2014 and, if he makes a 13th straight podium, it will mark his best-ever run.

"To get a first pole position on the MotoGP bike in Motegi is great," said Marquez, who has won this race in two of the past three years.

"I didn't know it was the last one I needed! It's a circuit where I usually struggle at a bit but the set-up was working very well in qualifying and I was able to ride in a different way. It's important to start on pole at the home of Honda. 

"On Sunday we will have a lot of pressure from Yamaha and Andrea Dovizioso, I think, so we still need to work a bit in warm up. The target is to fight for the victory, let's see what the conditions are."

Marquez's team-mate Jorge Lorenzo, meanwhile, will start his 200th MotoGP race down in 19th position.

YAMAHAS POSE FAMILIAR THREAT

Franco Morbidelli out-qualified Fabio Quartararo as the two Petronas Yamaha bikes joined Marquez on the front row.

Morbidelli equalled his best qualifying performance from Jerez this year and will be hoping to improve on his eventual seventh place finish there as he continues to show good speed towards the end of 2019.

His team-mate Quartararo has only missed the front row at three races this year and was cruelly denied a maiden win by Marquez in Thailand, instead having to settle for a fifth podium of an excellent rookie campaign.

Maverick Vinales heads the second row to ensure there are three Yamahas in the top four for fourth time this year, with the manufacturer looking well placed to seal a first Japan podium since 2015, despite Valentino Rossi coming 10th.

"I wasn't expecting to be that fast," conceded Morbidelli, who was just 0.132secs behind Marquez.

"We definitely did a great job on Friday in dry conditions and again here with half and half [conditions] we were fast. We will have to see how competitive we will be in completely dry conditions."

Frenchman Quartararo does not want his quest for a maiden win to become a distraction.

"I'm not really focused on it," he said. "I just focus on making a good race and fighting for the victory. I don't want to only focus on the victory.

"We need to make a good start, that's the most important, and then let's see what we can do in the race. Honestly I feel good."

CRUTCHLOW PIPS THE DUCATIS

Cal Crutchlow came through Q1 and then claimed fifth, as he looks to follow up on last season's Motegi podium.

The Briton, who has endured a mixed season, said: "That's always the aim, but I don't know whether I'm going to be on the podium or 15th, I have no idea at the minute."

Jack Miller has not scored a point in his previous two races in Japan, but is the top Ducati ahead of factory duo Dovizioso and Danilo Petrucci.

Dovizioso, who starts seventh, won the race in 2017 from even further back in the grid (ninth). The Italian is seeking his 100th podium across all categories.

"There were still some damp patches on the track and I wasn't able to have a really fluid riding style there," he said. "It's a pity about the third row, but we are in quite good shape for the race."

Alex Rins sits third in the championship behind Dovizioso and starts 11th, while Takaaki Nakagami will begin his home race from 13th.


THE GRID

1. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda)
2. Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha)
3. Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha)
4. Maverick Vinales (Monster Energy Yamaha)
5. Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda)
6. Jack Miller (Pramac Racing)
7. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati)
8. Danilo Petrucci (Ducati)
9. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team)
10. Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha)
11. Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar)
12. Joan Mir (Suzuki Ecstar)

PREVIOUS WINNERS

2018: Marc Marquez
2017: Andrea Dovizioso
2016 : Marc Marquez
2015: Dani Pedrosa

TITLE STANDINGS

Riders

1. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) 325
2. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati) 215 (110)
3. Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar) 167 (-158)
4. Maverick Vinales (Monster Energy Yamaha) 163 (-162)
5. Danilo Petrucci (Ducati) 162 (-163)

Teams

1. Ducati 377
2. Repsol Honda 358 (-19)
3. Monster Energy Yamaha 308 (-69)
4. Petronas Yamaha 233 (-144)
5. Suzuki Ecstar 229 (-148)

WEATHER FORECAST

After a wet FP3 and damp FP4, conditions largely cleared for qualifying on Saturday. Sunday's forecast is presently for a dry and cloudy day, with temperatures reaching 25 degrees Celcius.

Johann Zarco will ride for LCR Honda in place of Takaaki Nakagami for the final three races of the MotoGP season, but struggling Repsol Honda star Jorge Lorenzo does not expect the move to affect his situation.

Zarco had been without a seat after his split from KTM, with the team cutting ties with the rider early after he opted to end his deal at the conclusion of the season.

The Frenchman has been granted a return to the sport with Honda, though, as Nakagami prepares to bow out for the rest of the campaign to have shoulder surgery following this week's Japanese Grand Prix.

"I'm really thankful to have this chance," Zarco said. "I will do my best to pick up some good results and to enjoy the time, because these could be the last three races I can do for a while."

Zarco has reached the podium six times in his MotoGP career, qualifying on pole four times, and a ride on a Honda bike could be seen as a threat to Lorenzo heading into 2020.

The three-time champion has endured a miserable first season with Repsol Honda, sitting 19th in the standings, and is backing Zarco to impress.

But, asked if it put him under pressure, Lorenzo said: "No, Nakagami and Cal [Crutchlow] have finished ahead of me in nearly all the races.

"[Zarco] will ride a different bike – one that, in theory, is worse – but it could be an easier bike. Surely it won't be easy for him but, because of his motivation and eagerness, he'll achieve what he can.

"Because after not having been able to ride for three or four races, he'll be very keen to demonstrate what he can do and I'm sure he'll do well."

Even if Zarco has no hopes of unseating Lorenzo or earning a permanent deal with LCR Honda, the previously mooted switch to rivals Yamaha also looks to be off the table.

Zarco had been linked with Yamaha as a test rider but told L'Equipe: "The door has clearly closed. Honda and Yamaha are two big rivals. I talked to both and made an informed choice."

Yamaha star and MotoGP great Valentino Rossi added: "It's a shame. It's no secret that Yamaha was looking at Zarco for test rider and he would have been important for us.

"Now he's close to Honda and we need to see what he decides to do for 2020, but it looks to me like we will have to find another fast test rider. It will be difficult to find someone like Johann."

Marc Marquez may have wrapped up a sixth MotoGP World Championship last time out in Thailand but there are still plenty of landmarks on offer for the brilliant Spaniard at the Japanese Grand Prix.

The Repsol Honda star produced a stunning last lap to deny rookie Fabio Quartararo a maiden win last time out to make it six titles in seven years and continue his period of dominance.

But immediately after the race, Marquez insisted he wants to finish the season with a flourish in the final four rounds of 2019.

Below, with the help of Opta data, we look at the key numbers at Motegi - including milestones Marquez can hit along with Valentino Rossi's unwanted barren run.


13 - Marquez has finished on the podium in his last 12 MotoGP appearances. If he reaches the podium in the next Japan Grand Prix, it will be his best historical run in the top category. 

10 - The Spaniard has won nine races in 2019, the same figure he recorded across the whole of last season. Only in 2014 has he won more races in a single season in MotoGP (13).

54 - Marquez (53) could level Mick Doohan (54) as the third-placed rider with the most wins in 500cc/MotoGP.

4 - The Repsol Honda rider has won his past three MotoGP races; the last time he won in four top category races in succession was back in 2014 (10). 

4 - No MotoGP rider has won the Japan Grand Prix more often than Rossi in 500cc/MotoGP and he is the only current rider that has won races at both the Suzuka (2001, 2002 and 2003) and Motegi circuits (2008).

42 - Rossi has not won in any of his past 42 MotoGP races (since Netherlands, 2017), just three off his longest run without winning in the top category (45 between 2010 and 2013).

12 - This is also the longest run Rossi has recorded without a podium finish with Yamaha in MotoGP (12 grands prix in a row).

99 - Andrea Dovizioso has finished on the podium 99 times in his career (all categories); only three Italian riders have reached 100 podiums previously (Rossi, 234, Giacomo Agostini, 159, and Max Biaggi, 111).

200 - This will be Jorge Lorenzo's 200th grand prix in MotoGP; he has three World Championships, 47 wins, 113 podiums, 43 pole positions and 30 fastest laps in the top category.

Marc Marquez can clinch his sixth MotoGP world title this weekend at the Thailand Grand Prix.

The Spaniard needs to claim two points more than Andrea Dovizioso at the Chang International Circuit to capture the championship yet again.

Thailand's very brief history as a MotoGP circuit is on his side, with Marquez having won the only race at the track last year.

Here we look at the best Opta facts ahead of a potentially decisive race.

9 - Marquez has taken nine pole positions this season in MotoGP, his best tally in the top category since 2014 (13). 

9 - The Spaniard has recorded the fastest lap nine times in 2019, his best tally in MotoGP since 2014 (12).

19 - Excluding abandonments, Marquez has finished in first or second place in each of his last 19 races, his best such run in MotoGP.

17 - Since 2012, Spanish riders have won in 17 of the last 23 MotoGP races in Asia (Qatar, Malaysia, Japan and Thailand). 

7 - Dovizioso was second last year in the Thailand Grand Prix. The Italian rider has finished seven times on the podium this season and with three more he will set a new personal record in the top category (9 in 2018).

99 - Ducati's Dovizioso has finished on the podium 99 times in his career (all categories). Only three Italian riders have reached 100 podiums previously (Valentino Rossi, 234; Giacomo Agostini, 159 and Max Biaggi, 111).

1 - Danilo Petrucci is the only rider to collect points in every MotoGP race this season. His 155 points this season represent his record in his eight seasons in the top category. 

11 - Valentino Rossi has not finished on the podium in his last 11 MotoGP races, his second-worst run in the top category (16 Grands Prix in 2011 and 2012) and the worst he's managed with Yamaha. 

1 - Rossi has only finished on the podium in one of his last seven MotoGP races in Asia (3rd in the 2018 Qatar Grand Prix).

4 - Maverick Vinales has finished on the podium in four of his seven last MotoGP races but has finished on the podium in only three of his 14 MotoGP previous races in Asia, although one of them was at Chang International Circuit in Thailand (3rd in 2018).

Marc Marquez strengthened his position at the top of the MotoGP standings with victory in San Marino - but will the Spaniard enjoy further success at the Aragon Grand Prix this weekend?

History suggests Marquez will certainly be challenging once again, considering his record at the track, while the Repsol Honda has risen to the pressure of performing on home soil in the past.

Second-place Andrea Dovizioso, however, does not have fond memories of previous trips to Motorland. As for Jorge Lorenzo, the three-time world champion will be desperate to end a dismal run of form.

Here, we preview the 14th race of the 2019 season with the aid of Opta.

 

1 - Danilo Petrucci is the only rider to collect points in every MotoGP race this season.

2 - Andrea Dovizioso has only finished on the podium in two of his nine previous appearances in Aragon (2012 and 2018).

4 - No rider has won this race more often than Marquez, who has triumphed in four of his six previous MotoGP appearances at the circuit (2013, 2016, 2017 and 2018).

6 - Petrucci has not reached the podium in any of his most recent six MotoGP races, his worst run with Ducati; he was also 10th in the San Marino Grand Prix, his lowest finish in 2019.

12 - Lorenzo has not finished in the top 10 in his last 12 races, his worst such run in MotoGP.

22 - In contrast, Marquez has finished on the podium in 22 of his 26 MotoGP races in Spain. Excluding abandonments, he has secured first or second place in his last 18 completed races, his best such run in MotoGP.

100 - Pol Espargaro will be taking part in his 100th GP. He has reached one podium in his career in the top category (third at the Valencia Grand Prix in 2018).

112 - Fabio Quartararo has already reached a century of points in his first MotoGP season (112). In the last five years, only Johann Zarco has collected more than 100 points in his debut in the top category (174 in 2017).

200 - This will be a 200th GP for Marquez in all categories. He has 77 wins, 128 podiums, 88 pole positions and has posted 68 fastest laps.

Marc Marquez came out on top after a thrilling last-lap battle with Fabio Quartararo to win the San Marino Grand Prix on Sunday.

Petronas Yamaha rookie Quartararo led for the majority of the race and looked set to become the second-youngest rider to top a MotoGP podium, but reigning champion Marquez denied him at the death.

The lead changed hands three times on an enthralling final lap, before the Frenchman had to sit up at turn 14 and thus granted Marquez enough of an advantage to hold on for the win.

Pole-sitter Maverick Vinales had to settle for third, taking the final step on the podium ahead of Monster Energy Yamaha team-mate and home favourite Valentino Rossi.

The victory was Marquez's 77th across all classes and moved him past Mike Hailwood into sole ownership of fourth in the all-time list, while extending his lead in the riders' championship to 93 points.

Marquez may have produced his worst qualifying result of the season at Misano but he was up from fifth to third by the end of the opening lap.

Quartararo, who had been tipped to challenge for victory at the British Grand Prix last time out but crashed on the first corner, made his move on Vinales on the back straight and Marquez followed him on the next lap with a clever dive down the inside at turn nine.

The duo dropped Vinales and were left to battle it out for the win on their own. The Repsol Honda rider failed with an attempt to pass before finally securing the overtake into turn one on the final circuit.

Quartararo regained track position quickly but gave it up just as fast, and when he misjudged his line at the start of the final sector the game was up.

Alex Rins triumphed at Silverstone but slid out after being handed a long-lap penalty and then retired from the race, while Andrea Dovizioso – Marquez's nearest rival in the championship standings – finished behind Franco Morbidelli in sixth.

Pol Espargaro started second - Red Bull KTM Factory Racing's best qualifying performance - but finished seventh, while Jorge Lorenzo was down in 14th and over 47 seconds behind Marquez.

TOP 10

1. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda)
2. Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha)
3. Maverick Vinales (Monster Energy Yamaha)
4. Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha)
5. Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha)
6. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati)
7. Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing)
8. Joan Mir (Suzuki Ecstar)
9. Jack Miller (Pramac Racing)
10. Danilo Petrucci (Ducati)

TITLE STANDINGS

Riders

1. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) 275
2. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati) 182 (-93)
3. Danilo Petrucci (Ducati) 151 (-124)
4. Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar) 149 (-126)
5. Maverick Vinales (Monster Energy Yamaha) 134 (-141)

Teams

1. Ducati 333
2. Repsol Honda 308 (-25)
3. Monster Energy Yamaha 263 (-70)
4. Suzuki Ecstar 200 (-133)
5. Petronas Yamaha 192 (-141)

WHAT'S NEXT?

There is only one week to wait until the Aragon Grand Prix, where Marquez has won in each of the past three years.

Maverick Vinales hopes to be the beneficiary of a feud between MotoGP's biggest two names, Marc Marquez and Valentino Rossi, at the San Marino Grand Prix.

A spat between Marquez and Rossi over track position in qualifying, which led to both riders being hindered and exceeding the track limits on their final flying laps, was the major talking point from Saturday.

The championship leader and the motorsport icon had to settle for fifth and seventh on the grid respectively.

Rossi's Monster Energy Yamaha team-mate Vinales, meanwhile, took pole position at Misano, building on his manufacturer's strong showing in testing at the circuit ahead of the race, which had continued through practice.

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing's Pol Espargaro claimed his team's first front-row start at a dry race with a superb second and rookie sensation Fabio Quartararo completed the top three.

"When I arrived to parc ferme and I saw the two Yamahas and our orange rocket in the middle, I was fully proud," said Espargaro. "It was an unbelievable moment."

Quartararo's Petronas Yamaha team-mate Franco Morbidelli, a qualifying specialist, also impressed and he leads Marquez and Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso on the second row.

Dovizioso will therefore start close to Marquez, who leads the Italian by 78 points in the standings with only seven races to go.

Alex Rins, a thrilling winner at Silverstone last time out, starts eighth due to a three-place grid penalty for Johann Zarco, who drops down to 11th.

Cal Crutchlow (14th), Jack Miller (16th), Danilo Petrucci (17th) and Jorge Lorenzo (18th) were among a host of big names to miss out on Q2, while Andrea Iannone will not take part in the race due to a shoulder injury.

Vinales finished seventh the last time he was on pole, in the season opener in Qatar, but he has recorded three podiums since then including a victory in Assen.

The Spaniard, who was 0.295 seconds clear of the field to claim his eighth career pole, said: "I'm really happy and excited - a really good weekend so far.

"We're enjoying the moment because it's always difficult to be in P1 on Saturday. We've worked well for the race, the rhythm is there, we had great pace in the last laps.

"During the test we worked really hard on the slippery conditions and that's why we are on the front now. All the Yamahas have been working well, but somehow we created better grip than the others.

"My objective is to take the lead from the first corner and then push at my maximum. This is a good track for me and for sure I'll be going for the victory.

"I have nothing to lose and everything to win."
 

MARQUEZ-ROSSI FEUD CAPTURES ATTENTION

The worst qualifying result of the season for Marquez, who had earlier crashed in FP4, came partly because of his battle with Rossi.

Three-time Misano winner Rossi and Marquez tangled during their last attempts to set a time, trading overtaking moves before both riders sat up after coming very close to contact at turn 14.

No action was taken by race stewards, but neither rider was particularly happy, both having touched the green run-off area outside of the track limits at different stages.

Rossi said: "I was on my hot lap, I was pushing 100 per cent and he overtook me in the fast corner at turn 11 and he already made me lose a lot of time.

"He tried to pass me in the Curvone knowing that he was ruining my lap and to overtake me he also went [to the] green. I tried to stay more inside to re-overtake in the hairpin but I arrived wide.

"In the end we lost all the chance to do the lap time."

But Repsol Honda star Marquez insisted he was not aware he had run off track and questioned the motives of Rossi.

"I didn't know that I touched the green," he said. "I was pushing and I thought that I was not on the green.

"I was on my hot lap because it was my last chance. At that moment, even I didn't understand what happened because that kind of overtake in qualifying practice is a little bit strange.

"Of course it was an aggressive reaction [from me] because I didn't expect it. His lap was also cancelled because in the exit of turn six, and this is important, he already touched the green.

"For that reason it's difficult to understand what his intention was, you must ask him. I overtook him in the back straight, then at turn 14, I just go in, I saw one black and yellow bike arriving very, very fast inside with a speed that it is impossible to make that corner with."


DOVI EXPECTED DUCATI STRUGGLES

After his big crash at the British Grand Prix last time out, Dovizioso – last year's winner at this track - suggested he had made the best of a bad situation for Ducati, especially given his team-mate Petrucci starts towards the back.

"We were surprised about the level of grip, but we also knew [it would be poor] because when we did the test that was the reality after the changes made to the circuit," said Dovizioso.

"The changes affected our bikes more. You can see that easily because all the Ducatis are in a group and the other bikes are in a different group.

"But the race pace is closer [to the front-runners]. If we make a good start, I believe we can have a say in the matter because the race is particularly long."


THE GRID

1. Maverick Vinales (Monster Energy Yamaha)
2. Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing)
3. Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha)
4. Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha)
5. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda)
6. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati)
7. Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha)
8. Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar)
9. Joan Mir (Suzuki Ecstar)
10. Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda)
11. Johann Zarco (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing)
12. Michele Pirro (Ducati)

PREVIOUS WINNERS

2018: Andrea Dovizioso
2017: Marc Marquez
2016: Dani Pedrosa (for Honda)
2015: Marc Marquez

TITLE STANDINGS

Riders

1. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) 250
2. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati) 172 (-78)
3. Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar) 149 (-101)
4. Danilo Petrucci (Ducati) 145 (-105)
5. Maverick Vinales (Monster Energy Yamaha) 118 (-132)

Teams

1. Ducati 317
2. Repsol Honda 281 (-36)
3. Monster Energy Yamaha 234 (-83)
4. Suzuki Ecstar 192 (-125)
5. Petronas Yamaha 161 (-156)

WEATHER FORECAST

A dry, cloudy and humid race is expected on Sunday, with light winds. Temperatures should be warm, reaching the low to mid 20s (in Celsius).

Valentino Rossi enjoyed his second place in qualifying for the British Grand Prix even more because of the criticism he has encountered in 2019.

The MotoGP icon, 40, now hopes to be in the mix with pole-sitter Marc Marquez on race day and end a long absence from the podium.

Rossi finished second in two of the first three races this season but has not returned to the podium since in a stretch of eight grands prix that included three straight retirements.

His poor run of form, and a gap of over two years since his last victory, has led to speculation that Rossi may contemplate retirement, but a fourth-place finish in Austria last time showed signs of life and now the Monster Energy Yamaha star has a higher placing in mind.

Rossi told reporters: "It's normal at my age and at my point of my career, if I make three very bad races, people start to say 'He's old, it's time to stay at home', it's like this. 

"For this reason I'm happier [with the result], because I know I can be competitive if I ride well.

"It's already a good result, but it is important on Sunday to make a good race and fight for the podium. I know I have the motivation and I can be strong, because also I feel good physically."

Rossi, who has his first front-row start since the third race of the year in Austin, believes the Silverstone circuit suits his Yamaha machine, but stressed the team have been making progress over recent weeks regardless of track suitability.

"The layout of the track, the radius of the corners are good for our bike, medium-fast," he said. "For sure the new asphalt with a good grip helps. 

"But in the last period Yamaha start to work in the right direction. They start to do clever things, change the situation very much compared to the last two years.

"The bike is better, we accelerate better, the bike is easier to ride in more or less every part of the corner. We are not fast enough on the straight, but on the rest I think we improve in general.

"Here at Silverstone is good for Yamaha but also in Austria we were not so bad."

Five-time world champion Marquez once again distanced himself from the rest of the field on Saturday, claiming his fourth straight pole and eighth from 12 races with a stunning lap that was a stunning 0.428seconds quicker than closest challenger Rossi.

He lost out to Dovizioso in a dramatic battle in Austria, but still leads the championship by 58 points and his Ducati title rival could only qualify seventh at Silverstone.

Marquez has only won in Britain once but is in a perfect spot to improve that record, while his Repsol Honda team-mate Jorge Lorenzo is back from injury but only qualified 21st as he continues to battle pain.
 

TECHNICAL ISSUE HAMPERS QUARTARARO

The closely matched chasing pack of Rossi, Jack Miller, Fabio Quartararo, Alex Rins, Maverick Vinales and Dovizioso were separated by under two tenths.

Australian Miller claimed his third front row of the season to celebrate his new deal with Pramac Racing, while Quartararo had been quickest in practice but fell short in Q2, later explaining a warning alarm for an unspecified technical problem hampered him.

The French rookie said: "The first row I think yes [was possible], because we are [0.010s behind] and in this lap I made many mistakes. 

"From the second sector of my first lap I had an alarm on my dashboard. I decided to finish my lap and then go to the box to check the problem. We had to change the bike and didn't have time to change the tyre. But we have a good pace and we'll give everything."

HOME HOPE CRUTCHLOW FRUSTRATED AFTER CRASH

Hopes of a good home result lie with LCR Honda's Cal Crutchlow, but he endured a poor qualifying session, crashing at Stowe while on his final flying lap.

That left him ninth on the grid, his worst Silverstone performance since 2014, with plenty of work to do to do in his 150th race as he looks to bounce back from a retirement in Austria.

"Bit of an amateur mistake to be honest, braked a bit too deep," Crutchlow said of his crash. "We looked on the data afterwards and I was so close to pulling it down, and if I would have pulled it down, I would have gained a big chunk of time.

"That was why I committed to the corner, because I knew how deep I'd braked, I knew I had to be smoother and not lock the rear, because it would have sent me on anyway, but I committed to it.

"On my actual timed lap I lost three tenths in one corner, that would have put me into the 1:58s. This is the way it is. I can't complain, I did the mistake myself and that's it. It's what happens when you push."
 

THE GRID

1. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda)
2. Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha)
3. Jack Miller (Pramac Racing)
4. Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha)
5. Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar)
6. Maverick Vinales (Monster Energy Yamaha)
7. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati)
8. Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha)
9. Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda)
10. Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda)
11. Danilo Petrucci (Ducati)
12. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing)

PREVIOUS WINNERS

2018: No race due to poor weather
2017: Andrea Dovizioso
2016: Maverick Vinales (for Suzuki)
2015: Valentino Rossi

TITLE STANDINGS

Riders

1. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) 230
2. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati) 172 (-58)
3. Danilo Petrucci (Ducati) 136 (-94)
4. Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar) 124 (-106)
5. Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha) 103 (-127)

Teams

1. Ducati 308
2. Repsol Honda 259 (-49)
3. Monster Energy Yamaha 205 (-103)
4. Suzuki Ecstar 163 (-145)
5. Petronas Yamaha 150 (-158)

WEATHER FORECAST

A dry, hot race is expected at Silverstone on Sunday, much like conditions for qualifying. Temperatures for the race could potentially reach 30 degrees celcius.

Marc Marquez stormed to pole position at the British Grand Prix, beating Valentino Rossi with a blistering lap in the final seconds of qualifying.

The Repsol Honda rider claimed his fourth consecutive pole and eighth from 12 races in the 2019 season with a track-record time of 1:58.168 at Silverstone, which was a stunning 0.428seconds quicker than Rossi.

Jack Miller celebrated his new contract with Pramac Racing by producing an impressive effort to join the two MotoGP icons on the front row of the grid for Sunday's race.

A 60th career pole for five-time world champion Marquez means he is in a strong position to extend his lead in this year's standings, while title rival Andrea Dovizioso – who trails him by 58 points - was down in seventh.

Rookie sensation and qualifying specialist Fabio Quartararo had topped the timesheets in practice but had to settle for fourth position, finishing narrowly ahead of Alex Rins and Maverick Vinales.

Franco Morbidelli and Cal Crutchlow join Dovizioso, winner of a dramatic race last time out in Austria, on the third row.

Danilo Petrucci, who is third in the championship, was a poor 11th in the second factory Ducati bike, 1.319s off the pace.

Dovizioso and Rins had to come through Q1 after falling short of the top 10 after FP3, but comfortably beat the rest of the field to join the 12-man battle in the second session. 

But Q2 saw Marquez impressively beat the rest of the field, with under two tenths separating the closely matched chasing pack of Rossi, Miller, Quartararo, Rins, Vinales and Dovizioso.

Jorge Lorenzo, the Repsol Honda team-mate of Marquez, will start the race in 21st position on his return from injury.
 

PROVISIONAL CLASSIFICATION

1. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda): 1:58.168
2. Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha): +0.428s
3. Jack Miller (Pramac Racing): +0.434s
4. Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha): +0.444s
5. Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar): +0.502s
6. Maverick Vinales (Monster Energy Yamaha): +0.594s
7. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati): +0.594s
8. Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha): +0.928s
9. Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda): +1.075s
10. Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda): +1.259s
11. Danilo Petrucci (Ducati): +1.319s
12. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing): +1.452s

Jorge Lorenzo conceded he struggled to cope with the physical demands of MotoGP during Friday's practice session at Silverstone following an absence.

Lorenzo had missed the past four rounds after fracturing vertebrae in his back in a crash during practice at Assen in June.

The Spaniard targeted the British Grand Prix as his comeback race, but he struggled in practice, finishing last on the combined times and 3.682 seconds off leader Fabio Quartararo, and Lorenzo acknowledges he needs to be patient.

"It has been a tough day because you never feel very comfortable when you are in the last positions and you are last like I was," Lorenzo said.

"It is the situation that we have now and to try to push creates crashes and the consequences that you can imagine, so for the moment it is the situation that I have.

"My back has not healed completely, and I have pain, especially after FP2, and I have lost muscle mass and my physical conditions is not used to MotoGP because of two months without bikes. Little by little, I need to be patient to get through this race."

Lorenzo added he is unsure if he will be able to complete the full 20 laps on Sunday.

"I don’t know yet. After the second practice I started to feel more pain on my back compared to yesterday," the Repsol Honda driver said.

"Every practice that I will do, it will be worse for my back, but I need to manage it and try to manage the right laps, to be able to make the maximum pace and get the right laps without getting worse with my injury.

"Almost everywhere I have problems physically, in braking, also in the middle of the corners with my neck as my neck lost a lot of muscle, and the change of direction.

"I have the pain in the back and I move very slowly, so everything I do very slowly. It shows that in my three-and-a-half seconds off to the fastest ones."

 

 

Repsol Honda chief Alberto Puig has revealed there have been no discussions with Jorge Lorenzo over his future with the MotoGP team.

Three-time MotoGP champion Lorenzo swapped Ducati for Honda at the end of last season, but has struggled to find any form so far in 2019.

Currently injured, Lorenzo sits 16th in the standings, 191 points behind team-mate and runaway leader Marc Marquez. 

Reports have emerged linking the Spaniard with a return to Ducati, but Puig insists his team expect the 32-year-old to be competing for them in 2020.

"I don't think about it because I only know what we know, and we know that we have a contract with him for two years, that ends in 2020," Puig said ahead of the Austrian Grand Prix.

"So I really don't know what the paddock rumours are or what people are saying, but I can only stick to our plan and the Honda plan which is to have him for this year and next year."

Puig did concede, however, that the situation could change before the end of the campaign.

"In this paddock you are never surprised. I'm used to being in this environment and I know these [rumours] can happen," he added.

"But for me, the only important thing is when the rider comes to you and tells you what he has in his mind.

"I never had any information like this from him, so I have to believe that things are okay. I'm not even thinking if he will leave."

Jack Miller believes there is some truth to rumours he could lose his MotoGP ride for 2020 to Jorge Lorenzo.

Australian Miller competes for Ducati satellite team Pramac Racing and sits seventh in the riders' standings heading into this weekend's Austrian Grand Prix.

Despite two podium finishes this season and numerous discussions with the team, however, he has yet to be offered a contract.

Three-time MotoGP champion Lorenzo has been linked with a return to Ducati after a dismal start to his campaign with Repsol Honda, and, with Danilo Petrucci and Andrea Dovizioso locked in for the factory team next season, Miller is feeling the uncertainty.

"I think there is some truth to the rumours about Lorenzo," Miller said on Thursday at the Red Bull Ring.

"For sure, he's looking at something because at the moment he's got nothing. He can't ride that Honda. So it's easy to tuck your tail between your legs and run back.

"I think that Pramac love me, want to keep me, most people in Ducati want to keep me. [But] I've got to make sense of why we're in Austria - quite well into the second half of the season and I've two podiums under my belt - and I've still not signed a contract.

"Most of the [contract] details have been sorted, Pramac has agreed to everything they've been asked to agree to, but still no contract has arrived.

"We'll wait and see and all I can do is keep doing my best. This is my first year on the latest material in MotoGP and this is the most competitive era it's ever been in and I've scored two podiums and been in front of those [top] guys on multiple occasions.

"I feel that I've been doing everything I can do in order get myself a job. I'm not stressed at all."

Jorge Lorenzo is targeting the British Grand Prix at the end of August for his MotoGP return after suffering a fractured backbone.

The Repsol Honda has missed the past two races after a crash in practice at the Dutch TT in late June, the latest in a series of incidents involving the Spaniard.

Lorenzo wiped out a number of contenders in a collision at the Catalunya Grand Prix, then came off his bike in a post-race test in Barcelona.

And after being kept out of action by his most recent mishap Lorenzo is going to miss the Czech and Austrian events before attempting a comeback at Silverstone.

A statement from the Honda team read: "Jorge Lorenzo has elected to continue focusing on his recovery and will return for the British GP on August 25.

 

"Jorge Lorenzo and the Repsol Honda Team have agreed it is best for Lorenzo to miss both the Czech and Austrian rounds to continue his recovery and avoid any further risk of injury.

"Having spent the summer break working on his recovery, Lorenzo's condition has improved but he is still in some pain and his movement on a bike remains restricted. Silverstone has been set as his new objective for returning to riding for the Repsol Honda Team."

Stefan Bradl will continue to deputise for Lorenzo, who is 16th in the standings.

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