Martin on pole, Miller qualifies fourth for Qatar MotoGP

Jorge Martin

Pramac Racing’s Jorge Martin has qualified his Ducati on pole position for Round 1 of the MotoGP season, the Qatar Grand Prix.

Martin set a 1:53.011s under the lights of the Lusail International Circuit, with Gresini Racing’s Enea Bastianini second-quickest on a year-old Ducati and Marc Marquez also making the front row on his Repsol Honda.

Jack Miller ended up fourth-fastest on his Ducati Lenovo Team entry while 2021 champion Fabio Quartararo was only ninth after being lucky to even get out of Qualifying 1.

Marquez started Qualifying 2 with a 1:53.566s as he followed Joan Mir (Suzuki Ecstar) around the track, but it was Miller who was top at the end of the first runs with a 1:53.411s.

The Queenslander’s team-mate, Francesco Bagnaia, set exactly the same time at the start of his second run, going top on the basis of respective second-fastest laps.

That lasted only a moment, however, as Marquez was tailing #63 this time, and he would clock a 1:53.283s.

In the final two minutes, Martin got a tow off Pol Espargaro on the other Repsol Honda as he blazed to a 1:53.011s.

Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM) and then Miller advanced to third, the latter on a 1:53.298s, and #43 was still there when the chequered flag came out.

However, Bastianini was on a hot lap, jumping from 10th position to the middle of the front row on a 1:53.158s.

Miller therefore ended up fourth, ahead of Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia) on a 1:53.319s and Pol Espargaro on a 1:53.346s.

Brad Binder will head up Row 3, with Joan Mir (Suzuki Ecstar) and Bagnaia alongside, while Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar) rounded out the top 10 in Qualifying 2.

Quartararo was just 11th on a 1:53.635s, and the Monster Energy Yamaha rider had only made it out of Q1 because Johann Zarco had the misfortune of passing a yellow flag on his fastest lap in the earlier stanza.

Both of the factory Yamahas will line up Row 4, with Franco Morbidelli qualifying 12th-fastest.

Back in Q1, Zarco unofficially set the fastest lap.

However, the Pramac Ducati rider is set to start 13th after that 1:53.425s was cancelled due to a yellow flag at Turn 2 for a Darryn Binder (WithU RNF Yamaha) crash.

It meant that Quartararo, who went only as quick as a 1:53.654s in that session, got away with the fact that he ran wide at Turn 14 on his final run while on a slightly faster lap.

Alongside Zarco on Row 5 will be Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM) and Marco Bezzecchi (Mooney VR46 Ducati).

Takaaki Nakagami (Idemitsu LCR Honda) heads up Row 6, from Luca Marini (Mooney VR46 Ducati) and Alex Marquez (Castrol LCR Honda), with Row 7 comprised of Maverick Viñales (Aprilia), Andrea Dovizioso (WithU RNF Yamaha), and Fabio Di Giannantonio (Gresini Ducati).

Remy Gardner qualified 22nd on a 1:54.378s and Tech3 KTM team-mate Raul Fernandez 23rd on a 1:54.889s, with Darryn Binder to start last in the 24-rider field.

The 22-lap race starts on Monday morning at 02:00 AEDT.

Qualifying: Qatar MotoGP

Pos Num Rider Nat Team Bike Time Gap 1st/prev Session
1 89 Jorge MARTIN ESP Pramac Racing Ducati 1:53.011   Q2
2 23 Enea BASTIANINI ITA Gresini Racing MotoGP Ducati 1:53.158 0.147/0.147 Q2
3 93 Marc MARQUEZ ESP Repsol Honda Team Honda 1:53.283 0.272/0.125 Q2
4 43 Jack MILLER AUS Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati 1:53.298 0.287/0.015 Q2
5 41 Aleix ESPARGARO ESP Aprilia Racing Aprilia 1:53.319 0.308/0.021 Q2
6 44 Pol ESPARGARO ESP Repsol Honda Team Honda 1:53.346 0.335/0.027 Q2
7 33 Brad BINDER RSA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 1:53.350 0.339/0.004 Q2
8 36 Joan MIR ESP Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 1:53.407 0.396/0.057 Q2
9 63 Francesco BAGNAIA ITA Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati 1:53.411 0.400/0.004 Q2
10 42 Alex RINS ESP Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 1:53.481 0.470/0.070 Q2
11 20 Fabio QUARTARARO FRA Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 1:53.635 0.624/0.154 Q2
12 21 Franco MORBIDELLI ITA Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 1:53.982 0.971/0.347 Q2
13 5 Johann ZARCO FRA Pramac Racing Ducati 1:53.780 0.268 Q1
14 88 Miguel OLIVEIRA POR Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 1:53.819 0.307/0.039 Q1
15 72 Marco BEZZECCHI ITA Mooney VR46 Racing Team Ducati 1:53.915 0.403/0.096 Q1
16 30 Takaaki NAKAGAMI JPN LCR Honda IDEMITSU Honda 1:54.038 0.526/0.123 Q1
17 10 Luca MARINI ITA Mooney VR46 Racing Team Ducati 1:54.222 0.710/0.184 Q1
18 73 Alex MARQUEZ ESP LCR Honda CASTROL Honda 1:54.224 0.712/0.002 Q1
19 12 Maverick VIÑALES ESP Aprilia Racing Aprilia 1:54.228 0.716/0.004 Q1
20 04 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team Yamaha 1:54.244 0.732/0.016 Q1
21 49 Fabio DI GIANNANTONIO ITA Gresini Racing MotoGP Ducati 1:54.276 0.764/0.032 Q1
22 87 Remy GARDNER AUS Tech3 KTM Factory Racing KTM 1:54.378 0.866/0.102 Q1
23 25 Raul FERNANDEZ ESP Tech3 KTM Factory Racing KTM 1:54.889 1.377/0.511 Q1
24 40 Darryn BINDER RSA WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team Yamaha 1:56.011 2.499/1.122 Q1

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