Moto GP: Marquez secures ninth pole position of 2014 at Brno

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Marc Marquez has continued his devastating form in the 2014 Moto GP world championship by securing his ninth pole position of the season at Brno Circuit today.

The Spanish sensation has made an incredible start to the year, winning all ten races to keep his hopes of a perfect season alive. At just 21 years of age, he is perhaps the most talented and dominant individual in motorsport at the moment.

Following on from his win at Indianapolis last weekend, Marquez claimed pole position at Brno today ahead of tomorrow’s race in the Czech Republic that could see him surpass Mick Doohan’s tally of ten wins in a row set in 1997.

Marquez will be joined on the front row of the grid by Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso and Pramac Racing’s Andrea Iannone. British racer Bradley Smith secured his best ever Moto GP qualifying result in fourth, with just 0.150 seconds covering pole to P4.

Smith starts ahead of Marquez’s teammate Dani Pedrosa – currently second in the championship – and compatriot Jorge Lorenzo on the Yamaha. Nine-time world champion Valentino Rossi will start from seventh place on the grid.

Interestingly, this race marks the first since the establishment of the Moto GP championship that there has been no American rider racing. Colin Edwards confirmed at the last race that he would be missing the rest of the season with the exception of the races in Great Britain and Valencia at the end of the season, which, coupled with Nicky Hayden’s absence, means that the star-spangled banner is not being represented on the grid in the Czech Republic.

F1 2017 driver review: Max Verstappen

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Max Verstappen

Team: Red Bull Racing
Car No.: 33
Races: 20
Wins: 2
Podiums (excluding wins): 2
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 1
Points: 168
Laps Led: 133
Championship Position: 6th

Max Verstappen rise as a once-in-a-generation talent continued through the 2017 Formula 1 season, even if reliability issues meant we were made to wait for his best form to arrive.

Verstappen stole the show in a wet-dry Chinese Grand Prix by charging from 16th to seventh in the opening lap before ultimately finishing third for Red Bull, yet he would not grace the podium again until the Malaysian Grand Prix at the start of October.

A combination of power unit problems and on-track clashes saw Verstappen retire from seven of the 12 races in the intermittent period, with incidents in Spain and Austria being avoidable.

Perhaps most embarrassing of all was his stoppage due to a power unit failure in front of a grandstand swathed in orange at the Belgian Grand Prix, a race tens of thousands of Dutch fans had attended to cheer Verstappen on.

But when Verstappen got things right, it was – as he frequently quoted – simply, simply lovely. There was plenty left in the tank, as proven by his sheer domination of the races in Malaysia and Mexico as he took the second and third wins of his career.

Perhaps even more impressive was Verstappen’s victory over Red Bull teammate Daniel Ricciardo in the qualifying head-to-head battle this year, an area the Australian has traditionally been strong in. Verstappen outqualifed his teammate 13-7 – it wasn’t even close…

All in all, Verstappen once again proved that on his day, he is one of the finest talents to grace F1 in recent years. With the right car underneath him next year, a title fight is certainly possible and will be the target – but there is always room for improvement.

And that is the scary part: Verstappen is only going to get better and better.

Season High: Dominating in Malaysia after an early pass on Lewis Hamilton.

Season Low: Crashing out on Lap 1 in Austria.