He may be a newbie, but Marc Márquez is already making sports history in his rookie season…
The 20-year-old Spanish Grand Prix motorcycle rider dominated the Indianapolis Grand Prix, winning the pole Saturday with a fast lap of 1 minute, 37.958 seconds, easily besting Jorge Lorenzo’s time of 1:38.471 and shredding Dani Pedrosa‘s year-old record of 1:38.813.
In the process, Marquez became the first MotoGP rider to crack the 1:38 mark on Indy’s 2.621-mile, 16-turn road course, outdueling a two-time world champion and the only two-time Indy winner in the process.
“(Sunday) will be a tough race because everybody is struggling quite a lot at the end of the race with the tire,” Marquez said. “I think we have a good base. We are ready for to fight for the win.”
In April, at Texas, Marquez became the youngest winner in series history. In July, at Laguna Seca, Marquez became the youngest rider to win back-to-back races in series history. He’s the first MotoGP rider since 1978 to win more than two races as a rookie, and he came to Indianapolis leading the points chase.
Marquez led both practice sessions Friday, both practice sessions Saturday and took the early lead in qualifying. Then, with three minutes left in the 15-0 minute qualifying session, he finally broke Pedrosa’s record.
Spain wound up taking each of the top three starting spots. Lorenzo, the 2009 Indy winner who competes for Yamaha Factory Racing, finished second. Pedrosa, the defending Indy champ and Marquez’s teammate with Repsol Honda, was third in 1:38.485.