Rediff.com  » Sports » Sports Shorts: Marquez on pole for Australian Grand Prix

Sports Shorts: Marquez on pole for Australian Grand Prix

October 18, 2014 16:21 IST
Get Rediff News in your Inbox:

Marc Marquez of Spain rides the #93 Repsol Honda Team Honda during qualifying for the 2014 MotoGP of Australia at Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit on Saturday

Marc Marquez of Spain rides the #93 Repsol Honda Team Honda during qualifying for the 2014 MotoGP of Australia at Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit on Saturday. Photograph: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

World champion Marc Marquez underlined his dominance of MotoGP when he swept to a record-equalling 12th pole position of the season on a good day for Spain at the Australian Grand Prix on Saturday.

The 21-year-old Honda rider, who sealed a second straight title in Japan last week, matched the feat of Australian greats Mick Doohan and Casey Stoner when he scorched around the track in one minute 28.408 seconds in qualifying practice.

Briton Cal Crutchlow (1.28.642) was second fastest to put Ducati on the front row of the grid for the first time this year with Spain's Jorge Lorenzo (1.28.650) in third place for Yamaha.

"I'm really happy because we didn't start the weekend very well," Marquez told Speed TV.

"We will try and enjoy the race because this is our time to enjoy."

Marquez's brother Alex boosted his chances of taking another step towards his first world title when he clinched pole for Sunday's Moto3 race while Australian Jack Miller, who trails the Honda rider by 25 points, could only manage eighth on his KTM.

Tito Rabat could secure another world title for Spain first, though, and he took pole in the Moto2 race, where a win with anything worse than third place for his team mate Mika Kallio would make him champion. Finn Kallio will start in third place.

Cilic overpowers Robredo to reach Kremlin Cup semis

Marin Cilic

Marin Cilic of Croatia. Photograph: Elsa/Getty Images

US Open champion Marin Cilic moved into the last four of the Kremlin Cup with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Spain's Tommy Robredo on Friday.

The 26-year-old Croatian proved too strong for the experienced Spaniard, ranked 21st in the world, who was making his second appearance at the Kremlin Cup after a 12-year hiatus.

World No 8 Cilic hit 10 aces and converted four break points on his way to a victory that kept him on course for his fifth final of the year.

"Today's performance was at a higher level than yesterday - my movement was better, as were my ground shots and especially my serve," Cilic told reporters.

"I was hoping to play better because Robredo is very difficult opponent, dangerous from the back of the court. We had to play games much longer than I expected. I`m really happy I could win in two sets."

The tournament favourite will now face 26-year-old Kazakh Mikhail Kukushkin in the semi-finals.

"I saw his match with Mikhail Youzhny and Kukushkin showed high quality," Cilic said.

"He is the kind of the player that likes to be aggressive. It`s going to be different match than today’s, but I have to keep my level and control the game better than him."

Injury-hit PSG beat Lens as tempers flare

Paris St Germain's Yohan Cabaye (left) celebrates after scoring the first goal for his team during their French Ligue 1 match against RC Lens at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis near Paris on Friday

Paris St Germain's Yohan Cabaye (left) celebrates after scoring the first goal for his team during their French Ligue 1 match against RC Lens at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis near Paris on Friday. Photograph: Charles Platiau

Injury-hit Paris St Germain beat struggling RC Lens 3-1 in a heated Ligue 1 game featuring three red cards at the Stade de France on Friday.

Two Lens players and one from PSG were sent off in the second half as the Parisians moved up to second in the standings with 18 points from 10 games, four adrift of Olympique de Marseille who have a match in hand.

Lens, who were hosting the match at the Stade de France as their Bollaert stadium is closed for renovation ahead of Euro 2016, went ahead on 10 minutes when Adama Coulibaly fired home from the edge of the box.

PSG, without injured striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic and centre backs Thiago Silva, David Luiz and Marquinhos, hit back in the 28th minute when Yohan Cabaye found the back of the net with a 20-metre strike from Maxwell's pass.

The Brazilian full back doubled the tally six minutes later with a clever 25-metre lob.

Things got worse for promoted Lens in the 54th minute when Jean-Philippe Gbamin was sent off for a second bookable offence after he pushed Edinson Cavani in the box.

The Uruguay striker converted the resulting penalty to put PSG 3-1 up, just before himself being sent off for touching referee Nicolas Rainville's arm.

Lens finished the game with nine men when Jerome Le Moigne was dismissed after picking up a second yellow card on 59 minutes.

The result left Lens in 18th place with eight points from 10 matches.

Leaders Marseille will bid for an eighth consecutive league win when they host Toulouse on Sunday (1200 GMT/8 AM ET).

Get Rediff News in your Inbox:

New Zealand Tour of India, 2021