Tension Mounting For Repsol Honda Teammates

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OMNISPORT

The tension appears to be mounting between Repsol Honda teammates Marc Marquez and Jorge Lorenzo. An on-track altercation between the pair marred FP3 ahead of the Catalunya Grand Prix, with Marquez seemingly unhappy about Lorenzo's track position when he attempted to set a fast lap.

The reigning champion stated afterwards his colleague should be punished.

"It annoys me because when I did it last year they gave me a penalty, both in Austin and in Malaysia. They were right. Jorge has to be penalised," Marquez was quoted as saying by Sky Sport Italia. "It happened at Mugello with [Joan] Mir, there was contact between us while I was doing a fast lap. The same thing happened today. These are things that happen in a race, but the same rules should apply to everyone."

Lorenzo has struggled since his arrival from Ducati and suggested his teammate's continued success has made the manufacturer unwilling to make changes that could benefit others.

The three-time champion took a trip to Honda's headquarters in Japan and is expected to introduce a string of new elements in Brno following the mid-season break.

Footage of the pair on track later on Saturday suggested they put the incident behind them, but with Marquez going on to take second in qualifying and Lorenzo having to settle for 10th, it is unlikely the atmosphere in the Repsol Honda garage will be completely harmonious.

NO PAIN, NO GAIN FOR QUARTARARO

The only person who went quicker than Marquez in Q2 was Petronas Yamaha rider Fabio Quartararo.

It is the 20-year-old Frenchman's second pole of the season and came less than two weeks after he underwent arm pump surgery.

"For sure, this pole position is special. It's one of my favourite tracks, and 11 days after surgery I didn't know how my condition would be," said Quartararo.

"We managed to get a good pace and really good laps during the qualifying, so I'm really happy with how today went."

Quartararo had a close call with Maverick Vinales at turn nine after the final qualifying session and the Monster Energy Yamaha rider was handed a three-place grid penalty.

Vinales was found to be "riding in an irresponsible manner" and will consequently start sixth, with Quartararo's teammate Franco Morbidelli moving up to join him on the front row.

THE GRID

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

PREVIOUS WINNERS

2018: Jorge Lorenzo
2017: Andrea Dovizioso
2016: Valentino Rossi


TITLE STANDINGS

Riders

1. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) 115
2. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati) 103 (-12)
3. Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar) 88 (-27)
4. Danilo Petrucci (Ducati) 82 (-33)
5. Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha) 72 (-43)

Teams

1. Ducati 185
2. Repsol Honda 134 (-51)
3. Monster Energy Yamaha 112 (-73)
4. Suzuki Ecstar 100 (-85)
5. LCR Honda 82 (-103)


WEATHER FORECAST

A warm day with minimal wind awaits the riders in Barcelona on Sunday, so conditions will be much the same as they were during qualifying.