MotoGP: Jorge Martin Takes the First Pole Position of the Season at Qatar

Published on March 5, 2022
By Jack Hammersley

Pramac Racing’s Jorge Martin was able to put his GP22 Ducati onto pole position for the second consecutive time at the Lusail International Circuit

It was an action packed qualifying session from start to finish in both sessions as the riders push their bikes to the limit for the maiden qualifying session of the season.

In Q1, Fabio Quartararo was the early pace setter ahead of Red Bull KTM’s Brad Binder, Johann Zarco and rookies Marco Bezzecchi. In the second run Brad Binder improved his time and topped the session. Meanwhile Quartararo was pushing to take back first place, but ran slightly wide at turn 14 and had to sit up the bike. Zarco put in a lap good enough for Q2, however a crash for WithU RNF Yamaha’s Darryn Binder at turn two cancelled the Frenchman’s lap time, enabling his compatriot to go through into Q2; Bezzecchi was the top rookie, ending the session in an impressive fifth place.

In Q2 the session started off with Joan Mir and Marc Marquez being the first riders out on track and Marquez used Mir as a marker and perfectly slipstreamed him on the start-finish straight to set the fastest time of the session. The inline-four bikes seemed to be struggling today after a very strong show yesterday, especially from the Suzuki’s.

As everyone started their second runs, the lap times were being cut down very quickly. Jack Miller was the first to improve and went into first place, Marquez used Pecco Bagnaia as a marker for his second run and was able to retake the top spot, Pecco would ultimately end the session in ninth, his worst qualifying since Catalunya last year.

Binder used his time from Q1 to good use and on his only run was able to move to the front-row for a brief moment but dropping down to seventh. Pol Espargaro was able to make it two Honda’s inside the top six with his brother Aleix Espargaro qualifying in fifth on his last lap.

Jorge Martin then managed to pull out a 1:53.011 to take pole position with Enea Bastianini on his last lap taking second place, a much improved qualifying performance from the Italian. Marquez was third with Miller in fourth, the two Suzuki’s of Mir and Alex Rins were eighth and ten with both Monster Energy Yamaha’s down in 11th and 12th with Fabio ahead of Franco Morbidelli.

After a very close Free Practice Four and Qualifying session, it could be anyone for the race win tomorrow with everyone and very similar pace and the Q2 session could be the deciding factor. The lights go out at 18:00 (GMT+3) tomorrow.

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