24 Mar 2014

Marquez on Qatar MotoGP pole

5:49 am on 24 March 2014

Just a month after breaking his leg MotoGP World champion Marc Marquez stormed to pole position for the season-opening Qatar Grand Prix.

The 21-year-old Spaniard, riding a factory Honda, claimed his 10th pole in the MotoGP class and 38th overall ahead of today's race.

Marquez, who became the sport's youngest world champion when he triumphed in his rookie year in 2013, finished ahead of compatriot Alvaro Bautista on a Honda and Britain's Bradley Smith on a Yamaha Tech3.

Marquez broke his right leg in a dirt-bike accident in his native Spain at the end of February and had admitted in the run-up to the floodlit Qatar race that he was nowhere near 100 per cent fit.

The world champion only got back on his bike on Friday and went into qualifying having been only fifth fastest in the three practice sessions.