Extra, from a press launch issued by Dorna:
Bagnaia & Martin head Row 2 as Marini slams in gorgeous document pole
Marini, Di Giannantonio and Alex Marquez push the title contenders all the way down to the second row on Saturday
Saturday, 18 November 2023
A shocking qualifying session on the Qatar Airways Grand Prix of Qatar bubbled as much as an unimaginable crescendo on Saturday, with Luca Marini (Mooney VR46 Racing Group) putting late with a near-perfect lap to take pole place with a brand new lap document. He pipped Fabio Di Giannantonio (Gresini Racing MotoGP™) by simply 0.067s, with Sepang Tissot Dash winner Alex Marquez (Gresini Racing MotoGP™) finishing the entrance row.
The 2 title contenders each received got rid of that entrance row, however they aren’t distant by any means: Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Group) takes P4 and has Jorge Martin (Prima Pramac Racing) proper alongside in P5, with the duo break up by simply 0.022s. On Friday it was 0.007s, with unimaginable parity to date within the desert to arrange two fascinating showdowns underneath the floodlights.
After the primary runs in a star-studded Q1, it was Johann Zarco (Prima Pramac Racing) main the way in which forward of Franco Morbidelli (Monster Power Yamaha MotoGP™), with Jack Miller (Purple Bull KTM Manufacturing unit Racing), after simply shedding out on making the reduce in Apply, subsequent up. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Power Yamaha MotoGP™), in the meantime, was useless final regardless of topping FP2, having seen his scorching lap interrupted by a entrance finish save.
As quickly as Quartararo headed again out although, the crimson sectors began coming in. Two tenths up within the first sector, practically half a second within the second, and with firm from Alex Marquez tucked in behind setting comparable sectors too. As each crossed the road, the quantity 73 took 0.087 out of El Diablo because it turned an AM73-FQ20 1-2 in Q1, and underneath the lap document. Might anybody beat it? Zarco may certainly, pipping Alex Marquez by simply 0.055 as the 2 moved by means of, leaving Marco Bezzecchi (Mooney VR46 Racing Group) and Quartararo simply lacking out.
The primary benchmark got here from Diggia as two pairings made their means round: Bagnaia adopted by Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Group), slotting into fourth and fifth, and Martin behind Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing). That almost noticed some drama as Martin tried to move however couldn’t discover a means by means of, however subsequent time spherical with some more room, the quantity 89 put in a quick one and shot as much as third behind Marini and Diggia on the high.
Then, Martin pulled again intp pitlane simply as Bagnaia pulled again out of the storage, with… you guessed it, Marc Marquez for firm as soon as once more. And the 2 had been setting crimson sectors, however so was Diggia. The quantity 49 accomplished his second shot at it by slicing a surprising three and a half tenths off his personal provisional pole time, setting the primary ever 1:51 of Lusail.
Bagnaia was subsequent and took over in second, two tenths off, with Marc Marquez not fairly in a position to pip him to it however taking a provisional entrance row. The following assault was from Alex Marquez and it was CLOSE, with the quantity 73 making it a Gresini 1-2 to push Bagnaia down to 3rd. Subsequent up there have been crimson sectors from Martin however the lap went away, after which it appeared like Maverick Viñales (Aprilia Racing)) may problem on the high earlier than the Aprilia misplaced time within the closing a part of the lap.
However then got here Marini. The Italian saved it completely pinned, simply in a position to deny compatriot Diggia by 0.067s, and that was that after an superior flurry of exercise on the timesheets late on. Marini heads Diggia and Alex Marquez, with all three setting 1:51s and a second faster than the 2021 lap document. The Unbiased Group riders shine underneath the floodlights, pushing the 2 contenders all the way down to Row 2 because the penultimate 37 factors of the yr go up for grabs.
Behind Marini, Di Giannantonio and Alex Marquez, the 2 contenders might be seeking to make massive positive aspects from the off from Row 2, Bagnaia simply 0.020 forward of Martin. Zarco in sixth might be an fascinating one to look at too.
Then comes Marc Marquez, Viñales and Friday’s quickest Raul Fernandez (CryptoDATA RNF MotoGP™ Group) on Row 3. Aleix Espargaro is down in P10 forward of a Brad Binder (Purple Bull KTM Manufacturing unit Racing) seeking to make a traditional Binder cost when the lights exit, the South African in P11. Augusto Fernandez (GASGAS Manufacturing unit Racing Tech3) locks out the Q2 crowd in P12.
After shedding out in Q1, Bezzecchi begins P13 simply forward of Quartararo. Sepang winner Enea Bastianini (Ducati Lenovo Group) is subsequent up in P15, and after coming throughout Iker Lecuona (LCR Honda Castrol) on a scorching lap in Q1. Lecuona has a three-place grid penalty for that. Miller heads Miguel Oliveira (CryptoDATA RNF MotoGP™ Group) in P16 and P17 after the Australian additionally thought the Portugese rider held him up in a decent, tight Q1.