Qatar MotoGP Qualifying Results | Martin resists Bastianini for thrilling pole

Jorge Martin prevails over an inspired Enea Bastianini in a close-fought Qatar MotoGP qualifying session as just half a second covers the top ten riders

Jorge Martin - Pramac Ducati, start
Jorge Martin - Pramac Ducati, start

Jorge Martin has taken pole position for the Qatar MotoGP after resisting an inspired Enea Bastianini in a thrilling qualifying session for the 2022 MotoGP World Championship opener.

Already a seasoned pole winner after just a single season of MotoGP competition, Martin emulated his shock maiden pole position of twelve months ago at the Lusail International Circuit to notch up the fifth of his burgeoning career.

In an exhilarating session that built to the crescendo of a rotating leaderboard as lap times improved, Martin’s 1m 53.011s looked to be good for the top spot as his anticipated rivals fell short, only to endure some nervy moments right at the end as Ducati counterpart Bastianini hooked up a superb lap.

However, though the Gresini Racing rider - riding the year-old Ducati GP21 - held the advantage coming into the final sector, he’d lose a tenth to his Spanish rival on the run to the line. Regardless, it marks a maiden front row result for Bastianini and a superb return to form for Gresini Racing on its comeback to the series as an independent satellite entry.

Marc Marquez completed the front row after successfully employing some familiar slipstreaming tactics on the Repsol Honda, first to tail Joan Mir and then decisively Pecco Bagnaia on his quickest revolution.

On an evening that saw the factory Ducati pair rather humbled by their satellite counterparts, Jack Miller leads the red fight in fourth position, with title favourite Bagnaia trailing in a disappointing ninth place.

Despite having his penultimate lap cancelled for track limits, Aleix Espargaro regrouped to put the Aprilia fifth on the grid, just ahead of his brother Pol Espargaro as the Repsol Honda team enjoyed a positive start to the season.

Having come through Q1, Brad Binder made the most of his one remaining qualifying tyre to give KTM a welcome boost in seventh place, heading off eighth place Joan Mir, who - along with tenth place man Alex Rins - failed to build on the promise of Suzuki’s rapid Friday form.

Rounding out the Q2 runners, Yamaha endured a sobering evening with both Fabio Quartararo - who just scraped into the deciding session from Q1 - and Franco Morbidelli floundering in a distant 11th and 12th, 0.6s and 0.9s off the top spot respectively.

With Binder and Quartararo prevailing in a tightly-contested Q1 battle, the big loser was Johann Zarco, who was desperately unlucky to miss out on a spot in Q2 after having his final lap time - which would have been enough to bump his fellow Frenchman out of the running - scrubbed.

Cancelled after coming up on a yellow flag waving for Darryn Binder’s front-fold at Turn 2, to add insult to injury Zarco arrived at the finish line just as the chequered flag fell to prevent him from completing another quick run.

Behind him, Miguel Oliveira will get underway from 14th on the grid aboard the second factory KTM, ahead of impressive leading debutant rider Marco Bezzecchi, who not only proved comfortably quickest of the rookie quintet but out-qualified Moony VR46 Ducati team-mate Luca Marini.

Takaaki Nakagami - who couldn’t replicate his top three time in FP4 - starts 16th, ahead of Marini with Alex Marquez, Maverick Vinales and Andrea Dovizioso a disappointing 18th, 19th and 20th respectively.

Rounding off the grid were the remaining four rookie riders in the order of Fabio di Giannantonio, Remy Gardner, Raul Fernandez and the crashed Binder.

2022 Qatar MotoGP | Lusail International Circuit | Qualifying RESULTS | Round 1 / 21

2022 Qatar MotoGP | Lusail International Circuit | Qualifying RESULTS | Round 1 / 21
PosRiderNat.MotoGP TeamMotoGP BikeTiming
1Jorge MartinESPPramac RacingDucati GP221m 53.011
2Enea BastianiniITAGresini RacingDucati GP211m 53.158
3Marc MarquezESPRepsol Honda TeamHonda RC213V1m 53.283
4Jack MillerAUSDucati Lenovo TeamDucati GP221m 53.298
5Aleix EspargaroESPAprilia Racing Team GresiniAprilia RS-GP1m 53.319
6Pol EspargaroESPRepsol Honda TeamHonda RC213V1m 53.346
7Brad BinderRSARed Bull KTM RacingKTM RC161m 53.350
8Joan MirESPTeam Suzuki EcstarSuzuki GSX-RR1m 53.407
9Francesco BagnaiaITADucati Lenovo TeamDucati GP221m 53.411
10Alex RinsESPTeam Suzuki EcstarSuzuki GSX-RR1m 53.481
11Fabio QuartararoFRAMonster Energy Yamaha Yamaha YZF-M11m 53.635
12Franco MorbidelliITAMonster Energy Yamaha Yamaha YZF-M11m 53.982
13Johann ZarcoFRAPramac RacingDucati GP221m 53.780
14Miguel OliveiraPORRed Bull KTM RacingKTM RC161m 53.819
15Marco BezzecchiITAVR46 RacingDucati GP211m 53.915
16Takaaki NakagamiJPNLCR Honda Honda RC213V1m 54.038
17Luca MariniITAVR46 RacingDucati GP211m 54.222
18Alex MarquezESPLCR Honda Honda RC213V1m 54.224
19Maverick VinalesESPAprilia Racing Team GresiniAprila RS-GP1m 54.228
20Andrea DoviziosoITAWithU RNF Racing YamahaYamaha YZF-M11m 54.244
21Fabio di GiannantonioITAGresini RacingDucati GP211m 54.276
22Remy GardnerAUSTech3 KTM Factory RacingKTM RC161m 54.378
23Raul FernandezESPTech3 KTM Factory RacingKTM RC161m 54.889
24Darryn BinderRSAWithU RNF Racing YamahaYamaha YZF-M11m 56.011

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