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Qualifying report

MotoGP Valencia GP: Martin on pole, Quartararo ahead of Bagnaia

Pramac Ducati rider Jorge Martin took pole for the Valencia Grand Prix MotoGP finale, as Fabio Quartararo outqualified championship leader Francesco Bagnaia.

Jorge Martin, Pramac Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Neither Quartararo nor Bagnaia featured in the battle for pole, as both riders made crucial errors late on in the final Q2 shootout session of the season.

Martin set the benchmark pace at the start of the 15-minute Q2 with a 1m29.621s, which would ultimately carry him to pole as no one toppled the Spaniard.

At the end of the first run, Yamaha’s Quartararo sat in fourth with factory Ducati rider Bagnaia only 11th as he pitted immediately after his first flying lap.

On their second runs, Bagnaia jumped up to seventh, but would run off track on his final lap just seconds after Pramac’s Johann Zarco crashed at Turn 6.

At the same time, Quartararo was on a lap that was threatened to be caught out by the waved yellow flags for his countryman’s accident.

But Quartararo’s 1m29.900s was deemed legal and pushed him up the order to fourth, with the Frenchman having enough time to put in one final effort.

However, having run wide exiting Turn 1 as he pushed – which would have cancelled the lap time regardless - Quartararo outbraked himself and ran into the gravel at Turn 2.

Bagnaia, though, could do no more to improve on a 1m30.049s to advance on eighth spot.

Quartararo must win Sunday’s Valencia GP and hope Bagnaia is no higher than 15th if the Yamaha rider is to retain his crown.

Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team

Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team

Photo by: Miquel Liso

Martin came close to improving on his 1m29.621s, but came up just shy with a 1m29.7s – though Honda’s Marc Marquez used the poleman as a reference to lift himself up to second with a 1m29.826s.

Despite a crash late on, FP3 pace-setter Jack Miller completed the front on his factory Ducati ahead of Quartararo, with Alex Rins qualifying fifth for Suzuki’s final grand prix start.

Maverick Vinales came through Q1 with Rins to put his Aprilia sixth on the grid ahead of KTM’s Brad Binder and Bagnaia.

Zarco was left in ninth after his late tumble, while Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro rounded out the top 10 ahead of VR46 Ducati rider Luca Marini and the sister Suzuki of Joan Mir.

A crash late on in Q1 meant Gresini Ducati rider Enea Bastianini could not advance in Q2 and will start the race from 13th ahead of KTM’s Miguel Oliveira and LCR Honda’s Alex Marquez – who had his session hindered by a technical issue on his bike.

Franco Morbidelli was 16th on the second of the factory Yamahas from RNF Racing’s Cal Crutchlow and VR46’s Marco Bezzecchi.

Fabio Di Giannantonio was 19th on the Gresini Ducati ahead of Tech3’s Remy Gardner, LCR Honda’s Takaaki Nakagami, Honda’s Pol Espargaro – who crashed in Q1 – Raul Fernandez (Tech3) and RNF’s Darryn Binder.

MotoGP Valencia GP grid:

Cla Rider Bike Time Gap
1 Spain Jorge Martin Ducati 1'29.621  
2 Spain Marc Marquez Honda 1'29.826 0.205
3 Australia Jack Miller Ducati 1'29.834 0.213
4 France Fabio Quartararo Yamaha 1'29.900 0.279
5 Spain Alex Rins Suzuki 1'29.940 0.319
6 Spain Maverick Viñales Aprilia 1'29.955 0.334
7 South Africa Brad Binder KTM 1'30.039 0.418
8 Italy Francesco Bagnaia Ducati 1'30.049 0.428
9 France Johann Zarco Ducati 1'30.102 0.481
10 Spain Aleix Espargaro Aprilia 1'30.124 0.503
11 Italy Luca Marini Ducati 1'30.143 0.522
12 Spain Joan Mir Suzuki 1'30.241 0.620
13 Italy Enea Bastianini Ducati 1'30.193 0.572
14 Portugal Miguel Oliveira KTM 1'30.236 0.615
15 Spain Alex Marquez Honda 1'30.453 0.832
16 Italy Franco Morbidelli Yamaha 1'30.504 0.883
17 United Kingdom Cal Crutchlow Yamaha 1'30.548 0.927
18 Italy Marco Bezzecchi Ducati 1'30.588 0.967
19 Italy Fabio Di Giannantonio Ducati 1'30.695 1.074
20 Australia Remy Gardner KTM 1'30.804 1.183
21 Japan Takaaki Nakagami Honda 1'30.830 1.209
22 Spain Pol Espargaro Honda 1'30.936 1.315
23 Spain Raúl Fernández KTM 1'31.676 2.055
24 South Africa Darryn Binder Yamaha 1'31.989 2.368

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