Marquez’s teammate at Repsol Honda, Dani Pedrosa, will start in the middle of an all-Honda front row following his qualifying lap of 2 minutes, 3.062 seconds. LCR Honda’s Stefan Bradl logged a lap of 2 minutes, 3.196 seconds and will be on the outside of that row.
Yamaha riders make up the second row of the grid, with Aleix Espargaro, Jorge Lorenzo, and Valentino Rossi in positions fourth through sixth.
Nicky Hayden led the American riders in qualifying and will start 14th on his Honda (middle of Row 5). The other Yank in the field, “Texas Tornado” Colin Edwards, will start 19th on his Yamaha after announcing his retirement at the end of this season during the weekend at COTA.
Much would need to be worked out, starting with how much garage and grandstand access would be afforded for a 2021 season opener that likely would occur during a still ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
He was a spectator (with racing legend Mario Andretti) at four-time champion Jeff Gordon’s final Cup race as a full-time in the 2015 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In 2011, Hamilton swapped cars with three-time champion Tony Stewart at Watkins Glen International.
Having rubbed shoulders with other racing greats so often, it only would be fitting if Hamilton — who is one victory from tying Michael Schumacher’s career record and also could tie the F1 record with a seventh championship this season — spent some time with the greatest basketball player of all time.