Martin snatches pole for Valencia MotoGP

Jorge Martin

Rookie sensation Jorge Martin has clinched pole position as Ducati secured a MotoGP front-row lockout for the Valencia Grand Prix.

Having held sway following the initial runs in Q2, Jack Miller was on a last-ditch lap that might just have delivered the second pole of his premier class career until crashing out at Turn 11.

The Australian thus had to settle for third, behind fellow Ducati Lenovo Team rider Francesco Bagnaia who also crashed in the dying minutes.

Miller burst of the blocks in Q2 with the fastest lap of the weekend, a 1:30.479s, on his first attempt.

He then went faster again his second time around with a 1:30.325s – only for Martin to exactly match that effort and move into provisional second.

Gunning for six straight poles, Bagnaia lowered the benchmark to a 1:30.118s and then again to 1:30.000s before dropping his #63 at Turn 2.

Martin then pounced with a 1:29.936s, which proved good enough for the fourth pole of his young MotoGP career.

The Spaniard’s Pramac Racing team-mate Johann Zarco made it four Ducatis in the top five, with Suzuki team-mates Joan Mir and Alex Rins also booking second-row slots.

Like Rins, Brad Binder went about things the hard way by having to go through Q1 but mustered seventh on the gird, ahead of champion-elect Fabio Quartararo and Free Practice 4 pace-setter Takaaki Nakagami.

Valentino Rossi managed 10th in the final qualifying session of his MotoGP career, with Petronas Yamaha SRT team-mate Andrea Dovizioso to start 13th having gone close to making Q2.

The Italian had looked a chance of progressing out of Q1 before Binder displaced him, joining Rins in the top two.

Dovizioso will thus share the fifth row with Maverick Viñales and Iker Lecuona, who just outqualified fellow outgoing Tech3 KTM Factory Racing rider Danilo Petrucci.

Alex Marquez crashed out at Turn 2, resigning him to 19th, only ahead of a struggling Miguel Oliveira and Pol Espargaro.

The latter entered Valencia as the sole Repsol Honda Team entry, but did not take part in qualifying after a brutal Free Practice 3 highside at Turn 13.

The season-ending race will get underway at midnight tomorrow (AEDT).

Results: MotoGP qualifying, Valencia Grand Prix

Pos Number Rider Team Marque Best time Gap
1 89 Jorge Martin Pramac Racing Ducati 1:29.936
2 63 Francesco Bagnaia Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati 1:30.000 +0.064
3 43 Jack Miller Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati 1:30.325 +0.389
4 36 Joan Mir Team Suzuki Ecstar Suzuki 1:30.395 +0.459
5 5 Johann Zarco Pramac Racing Ducati 1:30.418 +0.482
6 42 Alex Rins Team Suzuki Ecstar Suzuki 1:30.475 +0.539
7 33 Brad Binder Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 1:30.509 +0.573
8 20 Fabio Quartararo Monster Energy Yamaha Yamaha 1:30.620 +0.684
9 30 Takaaki Nakagami LCR Honda Castrol Honda 1:30.644 +0.708
10 46 Valentino Rossi Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha 1:30.746 +0.810
11 21 Franco Morbidelli Monster Energy Yamaha Yamaha 1:30.781 +0.845
12 41 Aleix Espargaro Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 1:31.024 +1.088
13 4 Andrea Dovizioso Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha 1:30.859 Q1
14 12 Maverick Viñales Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 1:30.991 Q1
15 27 Iker Lecuona Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing KTM 1:30.994 Q1
16 9 Danilo Petrucci Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing KTM 1:31.045 Q1
17 10 Luca Marini Sky VR46 Avintia Ducati 1:31.073 Q1
18 23 Enea Bastianini Avintia Esponsorama Ducati 1:31.185 Q1
19 73 Alex Marquez LCR Honda Castrol Honda 1:31.251 Q1
20 88 Miguel Oliveira Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 1:31.319 Q1
21 44 Pol Espargaro Repsol Honda Team Honda

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