Márquez to start fourth after being stripped of Austin pole
The Repsol Honda driver surrendered pole to Maverick Viñales following his sanction for riding slowly on the racing line in AustinNFL Live: All the scores, injuries and action from week 2
Marc Márquez will start from fourth position at Grand Prix of the Americas after the MotoGP champion was demoted from pole following a three-place grid penalty.
Márquez enjoyed pole for no more than three hours after the Repsol Honda star was sanctioned for riding slowly on the racing line in Austin on Saturday.
A five-time winner of the race at the Circuit of the Americas, Márquez was subject of an investigation after his slow-moving antics frustrated Movistar Yamaha's Maverick Viñales in pursuit of pole position.
Viñales abandoned his first flying lap after Marquez appeared in his countryman's way as the latter secured a sixth Austin pole with a time of two minutes, 3.658 seconds.
However, Márquez will now line up in fourth position for Sunday's race, behind Viñales – who takes over pole – Andrea Iannone and Johann Zarco.
"I was looking more for Iannone than who was coming behind" - @marcmarquez93— MotoGP (@MotoGP) April 21, 2018
The fastest man at the #AmericasGP explains the incident that led to his three-place grid place penalty pic.twitter.com/EfM15XK8b9
Márquez attempted to explain the incident afterward, saying: "I was looking more at Iannone. Because a rider behind can improve a lot in the slipstream here and Iannone was fastest yesterday.
"So I was looking at Iannone and didn't expect Maverick. When I heard the engine behind I moved in, but it looks like I disturbed his lap.
"Race Direction said [the punishment] was because I was on the racing line and Iannone was out of the line. But okay, I only lose four metres behind on the grid."
It is not the first time Márquez has been caught up in controversy this season after the Spaniard incurred the wrath of Valentino Rossi.
Márquez was accused of destroying the sport by seven-time world champion Rossi, who was hit from behind in Argentina last time out after the Honda rider also made contact with Aleix Espárgaro, having delayed the start in Buenos Aires.
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