Marc Marquez on pole for today’s MotoGP race at Austin

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Marc Marquez set a new track-record lap at Circuit of the Americas to take the pole position going into this afternoon’s MotoGP Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas in Austin, Texas.

Marquez, who began his World Championship defense with a win in the season opener last month in Qatar, lapped the circuit yesterday in 2 minutes, 2.886 seconds on his Repsol Honda to claim the pole.

The Spaniard also paced this morning’s warmup session ahead of the race, which begins at 3 p.m. ET and features a possibility for rain (check out the forecast from NBC’s Austin affiliate, KXAN).

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.

MOTO GP AT CIRCUIT OF THE AMERICAS – FULL GRID

Sage Karam, Tony Kanaan fastest in Monday’s practice for Indy 500

IndyCar
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In the second-to-last practice session of the week, Sage Karam paced the 33 drivers qualified for Sunday’s Indianapolis 500 on Monday.

Karam had a field-best speed of 226.461 mph, followed by Tony Kanan (225.123 mph), Ryan Hunter-Reay (224.820), Charlie Kimball (224.582) and Alexander Rossi (224.507).

Sixth through 10th fastest were Will Power (224.445), Helio Castroneves (224.368), Marco Andretti (224.148) and rookie Zachary Claman Demelo (224.91) and Scott Dixon (223.966).

Power and Castroneves ran the most laps of all drivers at 120 and 118, respectively.

Two other Team Penske drivers struggled to get speed out of their cars. Defending Verizon IndyCar Series champion Josef Newgarden was 28th-fastest (221.982 mph) and Simon Pagenaud, who was the slowest (220.902 mph) of the 33 cars on-track.

Pole sitter Ed Carpenter was 14th-fastest with a best speed of 223.573 mph in a 100-lap effort.

Most drivers were in race trim or were testing things for Sunday’s Greatest Spectacle In Racing such as fuel mileage, chassis setup and more.

Rookie Matheus Leist missed most of the session with an apparent electrical problem that kept him to just 19 laps.

There was one incident of note during the 3 ½ hour session: IndyCar rookie Robert Wickens crashed coming out of Turn 2 during the first hour of practice.

Wickens appeared to skim the outside SAFER Barrier, went left and then violently turned hard back into the outside retaining wall.

MORE: Wickens wrecks during Indy 500 practice

The Honda-powered machine for the Canadian driver suffered heavy damage to the right side, particularly the right front tire and the right side of the front end.

There will be no further on-track activity for the Indy cars until Friday’s final practice to fine tune things for Sunday’s 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500.

We’ll have the full practice speed chart, as well as What Drivers Said, shortly. Please check back soon.

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