Malaysian MotoGP Qualifying Results | Mega Martin pole, pressure on title rivals

Jorge Martin blitzes rivals to take pole position for the Malaysian MotoGP by almost half a second, while errors for title rivals leave them down the order

Jorge Martin - Pramac Ducati

Jorge Martin will start on pole position for the Malaysian MotoGP after producing an extraordinary record-smashing lap at Sepang, while Pecco Bagnaia, Fabio Quartararo and Aleix Espargaro will get away alongside each other towards the mid-pack after a problematic Q2 for the three big title rivals.

A dramatic session filled with tension on a weekend that had already seen both series leader Bagnaia and championship contender Quartararo experience tumbles in FP3 and FP4 respectively, neither were able to maximise their pace when it mattered in Q2.

Indeed, a tumble for Bagnaia in FP3 forced him to come through Q1, but after successfully doing so at a canter, proceeded to throw away his chance of a front row start on his one remaining new rear tyre when he folded the Ducati at Turn 4 with three minutes of the session to go.

Despite this, his used tyre run prior to that was still good enough ninth on the grid, placing him ahead of both Espargaro in tenth and - crucially - Quartararo in 12th.

Indeed, Quartararo will likely kick himself for not taking full advantage of Bagnaia’s fall after a slide coming through the tricky Turn 8 double-apex right-hander saw him roll off his best lap. Though he got the hammer down to try and get round for another go, the flag fell before he’d get back to the line to start it.

Leaving him in his worst starting position of the season in 12th, together with Espargaro tenth after crashing on his final lap, series leader Bagnaia - who leads the standings by 14 points - still sits pretty, albeit on the outside of the third row.

With the big contenders struggling, it was left to Martin to dazzle up at the front, the Spaniard producing a 1m 58.021secs lap out of the box at the start of Q2, a lap that alone would have been good enough for pole.

Nevertheless, after shrugging off a farcical attempt by rivals behind to tow him, his final effort of 1m 57.790secs would prove almost half a second quicker than the opposition to earn him an eighth career MotoGP pole and his second on the bounce after Phillip Island.

Joining him on the front row will be Enea Bastianini, who is mathematically still in with a shout of the title, albeit 42 points adrift, and Marc Marquez, the Repsol Honda rider putting a torrid weekend so far behind him to squeeze into Q2 before taking advantage of running close to Bagnaia to avoid the yellow flag disruption the Italian’s fall created behind him for third.

As ever, the Ducati contingent came out strong with Marco Bezzecchi and Luca Marini securing a spot on the second row with fourth and sixth, the pair sandwiching Australian MotoGP race winner Alex Rins in fifth on the Suzuki.

Making a rare Q2 appearance, Franco Morbidelli emerged as the best Yamaha qualifier for the first time this season with a strong run to seventh, ahead of top Aprilia rider Maverick Vinales. 2020 MotoGP World Champion Joan Mir will get underway from 11th amid the title contenders. 

Elsewhere, Brad Binder couldn’t translate his strong Friday pace into anything more than 13th on the KTM, while Cal Crutchlow produced RNF Yamaha’s best qualifying result of the season in 15th in a Q1 session littered with crashes for Alex Marquez, Jack Miller - who starts 14th - Darryn Binder and Remy Gardner.

2022 Malaysian MotoGP | Sepang | Qualifying Results

2022 Malaysian MotoGP | Sepang | Qualifying Results | Round 19 / 20
PosRiderNat.MotoGP TeamMotoGP BikeTiming
1Jorge MartinESPPramac RacingDucati GP221m 57.790
2Enea BastianiniITAGresini RacingDucati GP211m 58.246
3Marc MarquezESPRepsol Honda TeamHonda RC213V1m 58.454
4Marco BezzecchiITAVR46 RacingDucati GP211m 58.490
5Alex RinsESPTeam Suzuki EcstarSuzuki GSX-RR1m 58.575
6Luca MariniITAVR46 RacingDucati GP211m 58.579
7Franco MorbidelliITAMonster Energy Yamaha Yamaha YZF-M11m 58.654
8Maverick VinalesESPAprilia Racing Aprilia RS-GP1m 58.766
9Francesco Bagnaia ITADucati Lenovo TeamDucati GP221m 58.862
10Aleix EspargaroESPAprilia Racing Aprilia RS-GP1m 58.935
11Joan MirESPTeam Suzuki EcstarSuzuki GSX-RR1m 59.145
12Fabio QuartararoFRAMonster Energy Yamaha Yamaha YZF-M11m 59.215
13Brad BinderRSARed Bull KTM RacingKTM RC161m 59.053
14Jack MillerAUSDucati Lenovo TeamDucati GP221m 59.064
15Cal CrutchlowGBRWithU RNF Racing YamahaYamaha YZF-M11m 59.256
16Fabio di GiannantonioITAGresini RacingDucati GP211m 59.278
17Pol EspargaroESPRepsol Honda TeamHonda RC213V1m 59.363
18Johann ZarcoFRAPramac RacingDucati GP221m 59.690
19Miguel OliveiraPORRed Bull KTM RacingKTM RC161m 59.699
20Remy GardnerAUSTech3 KTM RacingKTM RC161m 59.803
21Alex MarquezESPLCR Honda Honda RC213V2m 00.008
22Raul FernandezESPTech3 KTM RacingKTM RC162m 00.077
23Tetsuta NagashimaJPNLCR Honda Honda RC213V2m 00.803
24Darryn BinderRSAWithU RNF Racing YamahaYamaha YZF-M12m 10.717