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Qualifying report
MotoGP San Marino GP

MotoGP San Marino GP: Martin crushes lap record to grab pole from Bezzecchi

Pramac’s Jorge Martin obliterated the Misano lap record to claim his first pole of the 2023 MotoGP season at the San Marino Grand Prix.

Jorge Martin, Pramac Racing

Going without a pole since last year’s Valencia GP, Martin was a dominant force in qualifying at Misano on Saturday morning, as he set two outright lap records to seal the deal.

A final effort of 1m30.390s moved him miles clear of the competition, with VR46 Ducati rider Marco Bezzecchi his closest rival in second, 0.397 seconds behind.

One week on from his horror crash in Barcelona, championship leader Francesco Bagnaia completed the front row on his factory Ducati.

The circuit lap record went on Friday afternoon in second practice, suggesting whoever took pole had to dip underneath this to do so.

Bezzecchi led the early part of Q2 with a 1m31.027s, but Martin ensured a lap record was needed to take pole after firing in a 1m30.832s with eight minutes to go.

On the first laps of the riders’ second runs, nobody was doing anything to trouble the top of the timesheets, before Martin started to light up the timing screens.

Finding time on his benchmark, a massive final sector for the Pramac rider saw him produce a 1m30.390s that would secure him pole.

Bezzecchi – carrying injury from being involved in the Turn 1 pile-up in Barcelona - wasn’t able to put any pressure on Martin, ending the session with a 1m30.787s to claim second.

Marco Bezzecchi, VR46 Racing Team

Marco Bezzecchi, VR46 Racing Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Bagnaia did threaten Martin’s lap with his final effort, setting an outright fastest sector two. But the fast right-handers towards the end of the lap worked against the Italian’s injured leg and he could do no more than third with a 1m30.836s.

Martin’s pole marks Ducati’s eighth in a row this season.

Maverick Vinales heads row two on the factory Aprilia ahead of KTM wildcard Dani Pedrosa, who went one better than he managed in qualifying in his last appearance in 2023 at Jerez.

Aleix Espargaro was dumped into Q1 after a late crash in second practice left him with whiplash.

Despite this, the Barcelona winner managed to progress into Q2 and qualified his Aprilia sixth ahead of KTM’s Brad Binder.

VR46 Ducati rider Luca Marini will start the sprint and grand prix at Misano from eighth ahead of Honda’s Marc Marquez and Q1 pacesetter Miguel Oliveira on the RNF Aprilia.

Alex Marquez (Gresini Ducati) and RNF’s Raul Fernandez completed the top 12, with Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo missing out on a Q2 spot in 13th.

Ducati wildcard Michele Pirro was 14th from Honda test rider Stefan Bradl, while Johann Zarco on the sister Pramac Ducati struggled to 16th.

Aleix Espargaro, Aprilia Racing Team

Aleix Espargaro, Aprilia Racing Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Augusto Fernandez was 17th on his Tech3 KTM, with Jack Miller only 18th on his factory KTM ahead of Yamaha’s Franco Morbidelli.

Takaaki Nakagami was 20th on the sole LCR Honda, after stand-in team-mate Takumi Takahashi failed to make it into the 105% cut-off after practice to continue the weekend.

Fabio Di Giannantonio (Gresini), Honda’s Joan Mir and Tech3’s Pol Espargaro after two crashes completed the field.

MotoGP San Marino GP Qualifying Results:

 
 
         
Driver Info
 
 
 
   
Cla Rider # Bike Laps Time Interval km/h Speed Trap
1 Spain J. Martin Pramac Racing 89 Ducati 9 1'30.390   168.390  
2 Italy M. Bezzecchi Team VR46 72 Ducati 8 +0.397 0.397 167.653  
3 Italy F. Bagnaia Ducati Team 1 Ducati 8 +0.436 0.039 167.581  
4 Spain M. Viñales Aprilia Racing Team 12 Aprilia 7 +0.526 0.090 167.416  
5 Spain D. Pedrosa Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 26 KTM 8 +0.633 0.107 167.219  
6 Spain A. Espargaro Aprilia Racing Team 41 Aprilia 9 +0.692 0.059 167.110  
7 South Africa B. Binder Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 33 KTM 8 +0.713 0.021 167.072  
8 Italy L. Marini Team VR46 10 Ducati 8 +0.820 0.107 166.876  
9 Spain M. Marquez Repsol Honda Team 93 Honda 9 +0.833 0.013 166.852  
10 Portugal M. Oliveira RNF Racing 88 Aprilia 8 +0.887 0.054 166.753  
11 Spain A. Marquez Gresini Racing 73 Ducati 9 +0.888 0.001 166.752  
12 Spain R. Fernández RNF Racing 25 Aprilia 8 +0.951 0.063 166.637  

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