Martin denies Miller MotoGP pole in all-Ducati top five

(left to right) Francesco Bagnaia, Jack Miller, and pole-sitter Jorge Martin. Picture: MotoGP.com

Jorge Martin has snatched pole position for MotoGP’s Grand Prix of the Americas from Jack Miller by a margin of three thousandths of a second.

Ducati dominated qualifying at the Circuit of the America, with Francesco Bagnaia making for a front row lockout alongside Pramac Racing’s Martin and Miller on the other factory entry.

However, the Bologna marque swept the whole top five, with six of the eight Desmosedicis in the field making it through to Qualifying 2 at Round 4 of the season.

Johann Zarco (Pramac) took fourth and Enea Bastianini (Gresini Racing) fifth, with Monster Energy Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo recovering from a crash to also get onto Row 2.

Miller was fastest at the end of the first runs in Q2 with a 2:02.327s, from Bagnaia on a 2:02.335s and Martin on a 2:02.507s, the latter having advanced from Qualifying 1.

Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez was sixth-quickest at that point while Quartararo held seventh, although he was getting a lift back to the pits on a scooter after a front-end washout at Turn 19.

A Ducati pole never looked in doubt when riders went back out, with Bagnaia next to move the benchmark as he clocked a 2:02.167s.

His Ducati Lenovo team-mate Miller, who went against the trend by running a soft Michelin tyre on the front also, then reclaimed provisional pole with a 2:02.042s which reset COTA’s all time lap record.

That seemed good enough when Martin ceded more than a tenth of a second on the cumulative time to the end of Sector 3, but the Spaniard rallied to clock a 2:02.039s just before the chequered flag.

Zarco’s personal-best was a 2:02.570s, Bastianini’s a 2:02.578s, and Quartararo’s a 2:02.634s.

Suzuki Ecstar duo Alex Rins and Joan Mir will line up on Row 3, with Marquez alongside them.

The fourth row of the grid is set to be Takaaki Nakagami (Idemitsu LCR Honda), Luca Marini (Mooney VR46 Ducati), and Pol Espargaro (Repsol Honda).

All three podium finishers from last weekend’s Argentina Grand Prix fell into Q1, and two of those were top two initially, with Rins on a 2:02.723s and Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing) on a 2:02.922s.

Martin, the other rider in that trio, then went quickest on a 2:02.487s before returning to the pits at the end of his first run.

Espargaro was trying to get back into the top two when he went down at Turn 8, although he would not slip any further back than the 13th on the grid which he held at the time.

The last start winner will be joined on Row 5 by team-mate Maverick Viñales and Andrea Dovizioso (WithU RNF Yamaha).

Marco Bezzecchi (Mooney VR46 Ducati) is set to start 16th, from Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM), Fabio Di Giannantonio (Gresini Ducati), Franco Morbidelli (Monster Energy Yamaha), Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM), and Raul Fernandez (Tech3 KTM).

Remy Gardner apparently crashed his Tech3 KTM on the way to earning 22nd on the grid, ahead of Alex Marquez (Castrol LCR Honda) and Darryn Binder (WithU RNF Yamaha), who also had a spill in Q1.

Race start takes place on Monday morning at 04:00 AEST, with 20 laps the journey.

Qualifying: Americas MotoGP

Pos Num Rider Nat Team Bike Time Gap 1st/prev Session
1 89 Jorge MARTIN ESP Pramac Racing Ducati 2:02.039 Q2
2 43 Jack MILLER AUS Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati 2:02.042 0.003/0.003 Q2
3 63 Francesco BAGNAIA ITA Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati 2:02.167 0.128/0.125 Q2
4 5 Johann ZARCO FRA Pramac Racing Ducati 2:02.570 0.531/0.403 Q2
5 23 Enea BASTIANINI ITA Gresini Racing MotoGP Ducati 2:02.578 0.539/0.008 Q2
6 20 Fabio QUARTARARO FRA Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 2:02.634 0.595/0.056 Q2
7 42 Alex RINS ESP Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 2:02.694 0.655/0.060 Q2
8 36 Joan MIR ESP Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 2:02.947 0.908/0.253 Q2
9 93 Marc MARQUEZ ESP Repsol Honda Team Honda 2:03.038 0.999/0.091 Q2
10 30 Takaaki NAKAGAMI JPN LCR Honda IDEMITSU Honda 2:03.054 1.015/0.016 Q2
11 10 Luca MARINI ITA Mooney VR46 Racing Team Ducati 2:03.059 1.020/0.005 Q2
12 44 Pol ESPARGARO ESP Repsol Honda Team Honda 2:03.096 1.057/0.037 Q2
13 41 Aleix ESPARGARO ESP Aprilia Racing Aprilia 2:02.922 0.435 Q1
14 12 Maverick VIÑALES ESP Aprilia Racing Aprilia 2:03.121 0.634/0.199 Q1
15 04 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team Yamaha 2:03.133 0.646/0.012 Q1
16 72 Marco BEZZECCHI ITA Mooney VR46 Racing Team Ducati 2:03.328 0.841/0.195 Q1
17 33 Brad BINDER RSA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 2:03.467 0.980/0.139 Q1
18 49 Fabio DI GIANNANTONIO ITA Gresini Racing MotoGP Ducati 2:03.576 1.089/0.109 Q1
19 21 Franco MORBIDELLI ITA Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 2:03.579 1.092/0.003 Q1
20 88 Miguel OLIVEIRA POR Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 2:03.983 1.496/0.404 Q1
21 25 Raul FERNANDEZ ESP Tech3 KTM Factory Racing KTM 2:04.140 1.653/0.157 Q1
22 87 Remy GARDNER AUS Tech3 KTM Factory Racing KTM 2:04.185 1.698/0.045 Q1
23 73 Alex MARQUEZ ESP LCR Honda CASTROL Honda 2:04.229 1.742/0.044 Q1
24 40 Darryn BINDER RSA WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team Yamaha 2:04.646 2.159/0.417 Q1

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