Valencia MotoGP Qualifying Results | Martin nabs pole after works Ducatis crash

Jorge Martin snatches pole position for the 2021 Valencia MotoGP finale from under the nose of the factory Ducati riders after crashing their final flyers

Jorge Martin - Pramac Racing Ducati

Jorge Martin will start the final race of an impressive rookie MotoGP campaign from pole position after snatching the top spot from under the nose of his factory Ducati counterparts in qualifying for the Valencia MotoGP.

The Spaniard - who is locked in a battle with Enea Bastianini for the Rookie of the Year honours this weekend - was in fine form around his home circuit to punch in the best time during the closing seconds of a fast and frantic session. 

Setting a time of 1m 29.936, the result marks his fourth pole position of the season and a fifth of the year for his Pramac Ducati team. 

Even so, he did have some fortune to be running on track ahead of Pecco Bagnaia - going for his sixth consecutive pole position - who had just fired in the fastest time of the session, only to suffer a low speed slide off at Turn 2 as he was winding up for his final flyer.

Leaving his spinning Ducati in the middle of the circuit, Bagnaia’s fall had the effect of ruining the laps of several riders following behind him, allowing Martin a clean run at pole position almost unopposed.

Even so, it looked like Martin’s efforts would be usurped by Jack Miller on the other factory Ducati as he posted fastest sector times coming into the final segment, only to also low slide off the track.

Despite their tumbles, Bagnaia and Miller completed an all-Ducati front row, with Suzuki’s Joan Mir preventing a top four lock out by going fourth, just ahead of Johann Zarco on the second of the Pramac machines.

Though he had to come through Q1, Alex Rins was on form to give Suzuki a double top six in sixth, while Brad Binder joined the Spaniard in making the most of his additional track time as the only KTM rider to reach Q2 in seventh.

New champion Fabio Quartararo was one of the riders caught out by Bagnaia’s fall, leaving him a frustrated eighth days after pointed comments that the Yamaha cannot compete with its rivals when it is having to fight back from middling grid positions.

Takaaki Nakagami was the only Honda highlight in a tough day, with Alex Marquez - fourth in Portimao last weekend - down in 19th after a crash in Q1, while Pol Espargaro didn’t take part at all after a heavy crash in FP3 that could rule him out of the final race of the year too.

Ahead of his very final MotoGP race, Valentino Rossi cracked Q2 for only the sixth time this year and made good for a tenth place start, ahead of Yamaha counterpart Franco Morbidelli in 11th and Aleix Espargaro in 12th.

Elsewhere, Bastianini faces a tough task to keep pole sitter Martin behind him in the fight for Rookie of the Year. The Italian leads his rival by three points, but starts down in 18th.

2021 Valencia MotoGP | Ricardo Tormo | Qualifying Results

2021 Valencia MotoGP | Ricardo Tormo | Qualifying Results | Round 18 / 18
PosRiderNat.MotoGP TeamMotoGP BikeTiming
1Jorge MartinESPPramac RacingDucati GP211m 29.936
2Francesco BagnaiaITADucati Lenovo TeamDucati GP211m 30.000
3Jack MillerAUSDucati Lenovo TeamDucati GP211m 30.325
4Joan MirESPTeam Suzuki EcstarSuzuki GSX-RR1m 30.395
5Johann ZarcoFRAPramac RacingDucati GP211m 30.418
6Alex RinsESPTeam Suzuki EcstarSuzuki GSX-RR1m 30.475
7Brad BinderRSARed Bull KTM Factory RacingKTM RC161m 30.509
8Fabio QuartararoFRAMonster Energy Yamaha Yamaha YZF-M11m 30.620
9Takaaki NakagamiJPNLCR Honda IdemitsuHonda RC213V1m 30.644
10Valentino RossiITAPetronas Yamaha SRTYamaha YZF-M11m 30.746
11Franco MorbidelliITAMonster Energy Yamaha Yamaha YZF-M11m 30.781
12Aleix EspargaroESPAprilia Racing Team GresiniAprilia RS-GP1m 31.024
13Andrea DoviziosoITAPetronas Yamaha SRTYamaha YZF-M11m 30.859
14Maverick VinalesESPAprilia Racing Team GresiniAprila RS-GP1m 30.991
15Iker LecuonaESPTech3 KTM Factory RacingKTM RC161m 30.994
16Danilo PetrucciITATech3 KTM Factory RacingKTM RC161m 31.045
17Luca MariniITASky VR46 EsponsoramaDucati GP191m 31.073
18Enea BastianiniITAAvintia EsponsoramaDucati GP191m 31.185
19Alex MarquezESPLCR Honda CastrolHonda RC213V1m 31.251
20Miguel OliveiraPORRed Bull KTM Factory RacingKTM RC161m 31.319
21Pol EspargaroESPRepsol Honda TeamHonda RC213VNo Time