MotoGP riders bet on close race as 0.3 seconds separate top eight

Marc Marquez may have picked up his ninth pole of the season for round 11 at Brno, but it wasn't without some tight competition behind.

Round 11 of the 2014 MotoGP season from Brno in the Czech. Republic will be shown LIVE at 7 a.m. ET Sunday on FOX Sports 1.

Joe Klamar / AFP/Getty Images

Marc Marquez may have picked up his ninth pole of the season for round 11 at Brno, but it wasn't without some tight competition from behind.

Repsol Honda’s Marquez remains undefeated so far in 2014 following a 10th victory in a row at Indianapolis last weekend and he goes into the Brno round full of confidence after a successful test at the Czech track just over three weeks ago.

He previewed round 11 saying, "I feel good after winning at Indianapolis. Here in Brno it is a completely different circuit to Indy but we did a test three weeks ago, so we should have a good setup. Yamaha were close to us in Indy and I expect them to be strong again here, but I am feeling good and we’re ready to fight."

One of those Yamaha riders looking to break the winning run of Marquez is Rossi, who has a strong record at Brno, including his first ever Grand Prix triumph, 18 years ago in the 125 class.

The experienced Italian said, "I have great memories from this track especially my first victory in 1996. I remember it very well. It is one of my favorite circuits and it is fantastic to ride with a MotoGP bike. You can use the maximum potential of the bike here. My recent results here have not been great and last year I was too far from the top three. So my target this weekend is to improve my lines, improve my riding, I need to do that if I want to be on the podium. I think the race from Indy was one of the best in the recent period. It was a great race."

Rossi’s Movistar Yamaha MotoGP colleague Lorenzo stated, "I was really pleased with the second place at Indianapolis. We arrive here now at a track which theoretically is good for our bike and my riding style, with the chicanes and the importance of corner speed. We’re very motivated this weekend and we will be aiming to repeat Indy. Brno is faster and wider than Indy and I have won here four times, so we need to do the job on the track."

Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso qualified just 0.129 seconds back of Marquez and will start from second on Sunday.

“I am really happy. Here my feeling was better in Indy. I made a good lap time, I was really strong and my lap time was not from riding behind Marquez. For the race it will be interesting, we have been very strong all weekend here,” he said.

Bradley Smith, lined up in fourth, is also excited for the prospects of Sunday's race.

Smith commented, “I am very pleased with the qualifying result as it gives me the perfect platform for a strong result. It’s the first time since the start of the season that we have been back to the level of performance that we had at Qatar and today I was able to score a positive grid position. The team did an excellent job and I must thank my technicians and Guy Coulon for their brilliant technical knowledge plus guidance.”


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