MotoGP: Martin Breaks Lap Record, Takes Pole Position At COTA (Updated)

MotoGP: Martin Breaks Lap Record, Takes Pole Position At COTA (Updated)

© 2022, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc. By David Swarts.

MotoGP Q2

MotoGP Q1

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Dorna:

Ducati domination: Martin grabs last gasp pole from Miller

A 1-2-3-4-5 in qualifying makes some history for the Bologna factory, with Marquez ninth on Saturday

 

Jorge Martin (89). Photo courtesy Dorna.
Jorge Martin (89). Photo courtesy Dorna.

Sunday, 10 April 2022

Jorge Martin’s (Pramac Racing) stunning Saturday afternoon form continued at the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas, with the Spaniard coming through Q1 to claim a sensational second pole position of the season. It’s four front row starts in a row for Martin too, with the Spaniard beating Jack Miller (Ducati Lenovo Team) by just 0.003s this time around. The 2:02.039 the Pramac rider set is also a new all-time lap record.

Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) claimed P3 to make it a Ducati triple threat on the front row and, just behind, two more Ducatis line up P4 and P5… making it the first ever front five lockout for the factory, and the first for a single manufacturer since Honda in 2003 at Motegi.

Q1

Q1 was – as we’re used to seeing given the sheer competitiveness of the class – a star-studded affair. World Championship leader Aleix Espargaro and Aprilia Racing teammate Maverick Viñales fancied their chances of progressing, but so did Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar), Martin and Franco Morbidelli (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™).

Rins was the early pacesetter, the Suzuki rider putting in a 2:02.723 as the benchmark. Martin soon took over at the summit with eight minutes to go though, which saw Aleix Espargaro kicked out of the all-important top two. Then, chasing a time on his second run, the number 41 was down. Hopes of a Q2 place were gone for the Spaniard and the best he could hope for was a P13 grid slot. Luckily, P3 in the session and P13 on the grid was where he stayed, as Martin and Rins progressed and no one else could leapfrog.

Darryn Binder (WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP™ Team), chasing big brother Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing), crashed at Turn 3 unhurt in the early stages.

Q2

Q2 then got underway and it was Miller who was the early pacesetter, with fellow Ducati rider Enea Bastianini (Gresini Racing MotoGP™) off to a tougher start as he crashed at Turn 15. The Italian was able to pick his GP21 straight back up though, and immediately set off chasing a pole position lap time – no damage done.

Then, another crash. This time it was Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™) at the penultimate corner. Rider ok and 100m Olympic sprint mode activated, but it was now a race against time for the Frenchman who was provisional P7.

 

Jack Miller (43). Photo courtesy Dorna.
Jack Miller (43). Photo courtesy Dorna.

 

After that and at the end of the first set of runs, Miller was leading Bagnaia by 0.008s, with Martin and Bastianini making it a Ducati 1-2-3-4. Quartararo managed to make his way back to the garage with just over four minutes to go though and straight away, the number 20 was back on track on his second YZR-M1.

Pecco came out of the blocks flying on his second fresh soft rear tyre. 0.140s was his advantage through the third split and by the line, the number 63 went top by 0.160s over teammate Miller. The latter, though, was also setting red sector times. Through the third split, Miller was 0.236s up on Pecco’s effort and sure enough, the Australian returned to P1.

 

Francesco Bagnaia (63). Photo courtesy Dorna.
Francesco Bagnaia (63). Photo courtesy Dorna.

 

Then, there was another Ducati rider lighting up the timing screens – Martin. The qualifying specialist lost time in the third split but a wonderful fourth sector saw Martin pip Miller by the slimmest of margins: just 0.003s. Was there anyone else challenging? Not by the looks of it. Quartararo was struggling to respond, seven-time Texas winner Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) had a quiet session pushed down to P9 and Rins and 2020 Champion Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) jumped up to P7 and P8.

In the end, Martin’s 0.003s advantage was enough to take it, with Miler and Pecco joining him on the front row. Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) and Bastianini, in P4 and P5, made it a historic Ducati demolition on Saturday in Texas.

The Grid

Behind the five Ducatis is Quartararo lining up in P6. How much did that crash affect the reigning World Champion’s pole position hunt? He’ll want more on Sunday.

Rins and Mir head up the third row ahead of Marc Marquez, the eight-time World Champion under the radar so far. Fellow Honda rider Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) rounded out the top 10 to equal his best of the season so far, with Argentina front row hero Luca Marini (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) and an under the weather Pol Espargaro (Repsol Honda Team) just behind, set to launch from P11 and P12 respectively.

It was a frantic and ferocious pair of qualifying sessions in Austin, and we now turn our attention to race day. Can anyone stop Ducati from claiming victory in Texas? And what can the World Championship leader muster up from P13? Time will tell. So tune in at 13:00 local time (GMT-5) to find out!

MotoGP™: FRONT ROW

1 Jorge Martin (Pramac Racing) – Ducati – 2’02.239

2 Jack Miller (Ducati Lenovo Team) – Ducati – +0.003

3 Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) – Ducati – +0.128

Jorge Martin: “Today it counts double because after the FP3 crash I was 17th I couldn’t expect to be here today in pole position. Thanks to the team because they did an amazing job to put the bike back on track. Pole position means a lot. We are fast, riding here in COTA is unbelievable fun, I enjoy a lot my time here. We’ll focus on tomorrow, it will be a hard one, with the Ducatis behind, and other riders with good pace but were are there also so let’s try and do it until the end.”

American Beauty: Beaubier blasts to maiden Moto2™ pole on home turf

The American put in a stunner in Texas for pole, ahead of Vietti pulling a front row out the hat and Canet despite a crash

 

Cameron Beaubier (6). Photo courtesy Dorna.
Cameron Beaubier (6). Photo courtesy Dorna.

An American, riding for an American team, in America, on pole! That sounds good for the home crowd, doesn’t it? It certainly does for Cameron Beaubier (American Racing) who bagged a dream debut Moto2™ pole position at the Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas, taking the honour by over 0.3s from Championship leader Celestino Vietti (Mooney VR46 Racing Team). Vietti came through Q1 to start on the front row, however, and it’s a familiar sparring partner in P3: Aron Canet (Flexbox HP40), despite a late crash, starts from third.

Q1

After finishing Free Practice down in P15, Vietti had to battle it out in Q1. The Italian didn’t top the first part of qualifying either, that accolade went to Bo Bendsneyder (Pertamina Mandalika SAG Team), but he safely made it into the pole position shootout alongside the Dutchman, Marcos Ramirez (MV Agusta Forward Racing) and Jeremy Alcoba (Liqui Moly Intact GP).

Q2

After the first set of laps were thrown into the hat in Q2, it was none other than Vietti leading the way, the Italian putting in a 2:09.091. Augusto Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) then crashed unhurt at Turn 17 though, bringing out the red flags, as Tony Arbolino (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) then went down unhurt at Turn 8. Neither rider had set a lap time. Ai Ogura (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia), who was P3, was then the third rider who crashed, rider also ok. The Japanese rider went down on the exit of Turn 11 and that meant more yellow flags were shown, which meant more laps would be chalked off.

After the drama had settled, all eyes turned to Beaubier. Three red splits went the way of the home hero and crossing the line, the American went provisional pole by 0.3s.

Canet was on a flyer though, over four tenths up in the first sector, but Turn 17 caught the Spaniard out. The front end washed away, bringing out the yellow flags once more, but it wasn’t quite done and dusted yet with a couple of minutes to go…

Fermin Aldeguer (MB Conveyors Speed Up) and Arbolino were out on track and threatening, but ultimately neither would get close to Beaubier’s time. That was that – the American sophomore is on pole for the Grand Prix of the Americas!

The Grid

Behind Beaubier, Vietti and Canet, Arbolino managed to recover from that early crash to claim P4 on his last lap. The Italian will start alongside Shimoko GASGAS Aspar Team pairing Albert Arenas and Jake Dixon.

Jorge Navarro (Flexbox HP40) faces a Long Lap Penalty in Sunday’s race for crashing under yellow flags in FP3 but the Spaniard starts P7, ahead of Aldeguer, Sam Lowes (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) and rookie Pedro Acosta (Red Bull KTM Ajo).

Can Beaubier convert a phenomenal home GP pole position into victory? Find out when the Moto2™ race goes green at 11:20 local time (GMT-5)! The intermediate class are first out.

Moto2™ FRONT ROW

1 Cameron Beaubier (American Racing) – Kalex – 2’08.751

2 Celestino Vietti (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) – Kalex – +0.340

3 Aron Canet (Flexbox HP 40) – Kalex – +0.532

Cameron Beaubier: “Honestly, I don’t know…I didn’t even, I was not expecting pole out there. My goal was to qualify on the first two rows that way I could have a clean start tomorrow. Man, I just felt hooked up, the American Racing boys have been working so hard this year, especially this weekend, you know? I know this track is good for me, it was good for me last year, and I knew we could put in a good show this year. So, obviously, it’s just qualifying I don’t want to get too excited but honestly, it feels so good after the struggles last year, definitely a lot more lows than highs.”

Migno pips Foggia by just 0.067, Artigas takes first front row in third

The Italians duel in out in Q2, and Sunday could be set for another classic race on veteran pace

 

Andrea Migno (16). Photo courtesy Dorna.
Andrea Migno (16). Photo courtesy Dorna.

A final flying lap effort from Andrea Migno (Rivacold Snipers Team) saw the Italian edge out compatriot Dennis Foggia (Leopard Racing) in the battle for pole position in Moto3™ Q2 at the Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas. Just 0.067s split the duo as Xavier Artigas (CFMoto Racing PrüstelGP) comes through Q1 to claim a fantastic first ever front row, with World Championship leader Sergio Garcia (Gaviota GASGAS Aspar Team) taking P15 and left with work to do on Sunday.

Q1

Joining the fray in the Q2 shootout from Q1 were Artigas, who took over late on and denied Scott Ogden (VisionTrack Racing Team) the honours of topping the session. They were joined by Stefano Nepa (Angeluss MTA Team) and Elia Bartolini (QJMotor Avintia Racing Team) as the fight for pole got underway.
FIM MotoGP™ Stewards: For riding slow on line and interfering with other riders in Q1, Bartolini was subsequently given a back of the grid start for the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas Moto3™ race. He also has to complete a Long Lap Penalty.

Q2

Guevara set the early pace with a 2:16.609 as Foggia sat P9 after his first effort, but the times would tumble on the next set of flying times. Migno then took over by 0.127s from Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Tech3), with Foggia climbing to P4 with six and a half minutes to go. As he always tries to do, the 2021 runner-up was lapping alone…

On his fifth flying lap, having not pitted for fresh rubber, Foggia pulled a phenomenal final sector out the hat and took provisional pole by 0.058s with just under two minutes to go. That was then 0.086s as Foggia improved again, but on their final laps, Migno and Artigas bettered the Italian. With one last shot at it, Foggia did improve once again but his last attempt wasn’t quite enough – Migno bagged pole by 0.067s ahead of the Leopard Racing rider.

The Grid

Behind Migno, Foggia and Artigas, Öncü will start from P4 in Austin with Jaume Masia (Red Bull KTM Ajo) and rookie Diogo Moreira (MT Helmets – MSI) joining the Turkish rider on the second row. Moreira is once again the top rookie.

Daniel Holgado (Red Bull KTM Ajo) was once again close to the Brazilian however, with veteran Japanese duo Kaito Toba (CIP Green Power) and Ayumu Sasaki (Sterilgarda Husqvarna Max) locking out Row 3 alongside the 2021 FIM Moto3™ Junior World Champion.

Izan Guevara (Gaviota GASGAS Aspar Team), last year’s winner in Texas, completed the top 10, and teammate Garcia, the title leader and Argentina GP winner, has a mountain to climb from P15 on Sunday. Can the GASGAS guys move forward?

Make sure you tune into the Moto3™ race at a later time than usual in Austin to find out, with lights out at 14:30 for the lightweight class.

Moto3™ FRONT ROW

1 Andrea Migno (Rivacold Snipers Team) – Honda – 2’15.814

2 Dennis Foggia (Leopard Racing) – Honda – +0.067

3 Xavier Artigas (CFMoto Racing PrüstelGP) – CFMoto – +0.252

Andrea Migno: “We finally did a great lap, we know that Foggia and many other riders will be fast tomorrow but we are there because we were in the front positions all the sessions so we are ready. We did a good job during the weekend and maybe we are ready for tomorrow, I hope to do a great race tomorrow.”

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Tech3 KTM Factory Racing:

Tech3 KTM Factory Racing to Start American Rodeo from Rows 7 and 8

Tech3 KTM Factory Racing’s Remy Gardner and Raul Fernandez were both looking forward to their first MotoGP qualifying day at the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas. With three qualifying sessions in the bag already, strengths and weaknesses have become clearer, and one of the most obvious points to improve for both riders has been to be able to focus on one time attack to get a decent lap time done to start races from higher grid positions. However, the job was never going to be easy for our two rookies, who were also experiencing the Circuit of the Americas, very demanding physically, for the first time with a MotoGP engine. It was not the Saturday hoped for, as Raul Fernandez and Remy Gardner will start from the 21st and 22nd positions.

Raul Fernandez, who admitted yesterday to be struggling with the front of the bike when trying to do a time attack, did not seem to encounter a good feeling with his KTM RC16 today. During Free Practice 3, he slightly improved his lap time compared to yesterday (-0.228), but appeared to be struggling again to do a fast lap, and was therefore on the Q1 entry list. When Qualifying time came around at 14:10 local time (GMT-5), it would have been easy for the Spanish rookie to get confused by the behaviour of the other riders, all waiting for each other without anyone wanting to set off ahead, but Raul kept his focus and managed to improve again his time to 2’04.140 (his best time of the weekend so far), and will start the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas from the 21st position.

After a good first day in the office on Friday, Remy Gardner used the full FP3 and FP4 sessions to continue the work started yesterday. At the end of his third run this morning, he was able to improve his time (2’04.099), taking a good step towards the right direction. At the end of the combined practices, he sat in P20, meaning that the Australian was going into Qualifying 1, alongside his teammate and KTM Factory riders. Unfortunately, Remy suffered a small crash within the first laps of the qualifying session, resulting in a time loss, and was unable to take advantage of the full fifteen minutes. His best lap time was 2’04.185, less rapid than the one registered during Free Practice 4, and he will start Sunday’s race behind his teammate, in P22. The Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas will begin at 13:00 (GMT-5).

 

Raul Fernandez (25). Photo courtesy Tech3 KTM Factory Racing.
Raul Fernandez (25). Photo courtesy Tech3 KTM Factory Racing.

 

Raul Fernandez

Grid Position: 21

Time: 2’04.140

Laps: 7

“We had a difficult day today. In a similar way to yesterday, we had a good pace, but we struggled to do a fast lap with the qualifying tyres. Tomorrow is the race, it is an important day and I will try to do my best. Thanks to the team for their job.”

 

Remy Gardner (87). Photo courtesy Tech3 KTM Factory Racing.
Remy Gardner (87). Photo courtesy Tech3 KTM Factory Racing.

 

Remy Gardner

Grid Position: 22

Time: 2’04.185

Laps: 6

“It is a great shame that I crashed. In order to do the lap time, I had to push a lot. It appeared that when I was overriding, the times were improving, but unfortunately I went too far and it ended up with a crash. On the first flying lap, I had a really good sector one and was confident, but it got cancelled because of a yellow flag. After my crash, I lost a bit of confidence for the second run and was not able to improve my time from this morning. Tough day in the office, but hopefully we can come back from this tomorrow.”

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Mooney VR46 Racing Team:

P11 FOR MARINI IN QUALIFYING AT AUSTIN 

The rider of the Mooney VR46 Racing Team hits the Q2 and will start the race from the fourth row. 16th place for Marco Bezzecchi

Austin (USA), April 9th 2022 – Luca Marini will start from the eleventh box of the grid for the Americas GP which will take place tomorrow at COTA (01.00 pm local time, 08.00 pm CET). Both Mooney VR46 Racing Team riders are in the slip stream of the strongest group with Marco Bezzecchi finishing in P16.

After gaining the direct access into the Q2 at the end of free practices, Luca is able to do of another step forward on the Ducati DesmosediciGP between the FP4 (02:04.286) and the final qualifying session. He closes with a lap time of 2:03.059, a time that means the fourth row.

Steps forward also for Marco after a first complicated approach to the Austin track yesterday in the free practices. With his 2:03.328 in Q1 he conquers the sixth row just 6 tenths from the Q2.

 

Luca Marini (10). Photo courtesy Mooney VR46 Racing Team.
Luca Marini (10). Photo courtesy Mooney VR46 Racing Team.

 

Luca Marini #10 

I’m not completely satisfied: I expected to be closer to the Top guys, the gap is still very high. On the bike I don’t feel slow, which is one more reason to analyse the data, understand exactly where I’m losing and being able to make a step forward for the race. In braking now I feel better, I am strong, but I can work on the speed in entry and in the middle of the corner to improve a tenth in each sector. In FP4 the pace was not bad at all, I did a single run to better manage the rear tire on the long run and being competitive. Tomorrow will be tough, I will try to stay in the Top10.

 

Marco Bezzecchi (72). Photo courtesy Mooney VR46 Racing Team.
Marco Bezzecchi (72). Photo courtesy Mooney VR46 Racing Team.

 

Marco Bezzecchi #72:

I can’t complain about how it went today: compared to yesterday, the sensations were much better and even in braking I had less problems. I’m closer to the group, both on the flying lap and on the pace, and I am satisfied. Let’s fix the last details to make a last step forward tomorrow between warm up and then the race.

Pablo Nieto, Team Manager:

It is always important for us to qualify for the Q2 and Luca did it this morning. He has a good pace, he will not start far from the top guys and tomorrow he can have fun in the race. Not bad also Marco: he made a small mistake in his flying lap in Q1 but surely tomorrow he can approach the front group and recover places.

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team:

WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team duo to line up in rows 5 and 8 in Texas 

Andrea Dovizioso is getting closer to the top with each round, while rookie Darryn Binder continues learning process.

Fresh mornings are marking the conditions during this Americas Grand Prix weekend. But with rising temperatures, the tension was also rising at the Circuit of the Americas on Saturday. Hot and windy weather greeted riders and teams for the all-important Qualifying sessions this afternoon.

Although he managed to improve his fastest lap from Friday by 0.336 seconds in FP3 this morning, Andrea Dovizioso concluded the combined Free Practice sessions in P16, which means he had to compete in Q1 again in the afternoon. Although the temperatures have been high, the Italian did a decent lap to finish in fifth, which made him miss out on a potential Q2 spot by just 0.410 seconds. He’ll start the Grand Prix of the Americas from row five tomorrow, his best starting position to date.

In the meantime, Darryn Binder was learning a lot throughout Saturday. The premier class rookie faced some tough sessions today, having ridden his last race at the COTA in the Moto3 class. Yet, he improved his fastest lap time from Friday by 0.383 seconds this morning and was on his way to go even quicker in Qualifying, but unfortunately went down in turn three. The South African will start his fourth MotoGP race from the eighth row of the grid.

The big final rodeo ride overseas, before the paddock returns to Europe will be kicked off tomorrow at 13:00 local time (20:00 CET) with a demanding distance of 20 laps at the 5.5-kilometer circuit close to Austin, that is known as the live music capital of the world.

 

Andrea Dovizioso (04). Photo courtesy WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team.
Andrea Dovizioso (04). Photo courtesy WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team.

 

ANDREA DOVIZIOSO

“To be honest, I’m a bit disappointed, because yesterday I felt slightly better, but today I couldn’t manage to further improve and the gap to the front was bigger today than yesterday. I’m not too confident about that, but let’s see. Because the Austin race is probably the physical most demanding race of the season, so anything can happen. Tomorrow the conditions will be even worse, as it looks like the wind will be super strong and this will affect us. We just need to find out if it will be in a positive or negative way.”

 

Darryn Binder (40). Photo courtesy WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team.
Darryn Binder (40). Photo courtesy WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team.

 

DARRYN BINDER

“It has been a bit tricky today. This morning, I felt alright in the middle run, I managed to set my fastest lap of the weekend so far and I felt fairly good. I decided to go out on the hard front, as I thought the temperature was high enough, but I think this was really on the limit and on my out lap I lost a bit of temperature and then I lost the front going into turn one. That was an unfortunate way to end FP3. In FP4, the temperature was a lot higher, we went out on used tyres, trying to get the soft close to race distance to see what it feels like. Overall, I felt alright. Unfortunately, in Qualifying on the first lap, I got right behind my brother and I was chasing him. But into turn three, I was too inside, rode over the curb and as I touched the curb, I lost the front. I ran back to jump on the other bike, but had only the soft front option available to go out and in the hotter temperatures after falling twice today, my front feeling was already a bit low and I struggled to get a good lap together at the end on the soft front. It’s unfortunate. I feel like I could have made a step in Qualifying, I knew where to improve, but I wasn’t able to do it. So, I’m a bit disappointed with myself.”

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Repsol Honda:

Challenging Austin Saturday as resolute Repsol Honda Team plot Sunday recovery

Marc Marquez and Pol Espargaro were left wanting much more from their respective Saturdays in Austin, the pair set to start on the third and fourth rows.

Saturday got off to a promising start for Marc Marquez aboard the Repsol Honda Team RC213V as he ended Free Practice 3 in fourth with a best time of 2’02.490. This continued a trend of constant progress over the course of the weekend as the eight-time World Champion returned. Continuing to show consistency in Free Practice 4, Marquez was able to complete a number of laps in the mid 2’03s as his and the team’s attention turned to the race.

A 2’03.038 in Q2 will see the seven-time COTA winner start in ninth place, misjudging the time remaining in the session saw Marquez unable to capitalise on a second flying lap around the long Circuit of the Americas. Expecting a long and phsyical race, Marquez is ready to fight forward and chase the Ducatis ahead.

Still feeling unwell, Pol Espargaro put together a great performance to finish in sixth on the combined times in FP3 with a 2’02.798, just over a quarter of a second off the fastest time. This was an important result as it allowed the #44 to save his energy by avoiding Q1. After his impressive effort in FP3 to end in the top ten, Espargaro will start round four from 12th place on the grid. His 2’03.096 was less than a tenth of a second from a top ten position on the grid for Sunday’s race. Espargaro was left to rue a number of mistakes in Q2 which cost the Repsol Honda Team rider a chance at fighting for the top six. A strong start will be critical in recovering and Espargaro has already begun to make a plan.

Redemption is scheduled for 13:00 Local Time on Sunday, April 10 when the lights go out for the Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas. Both riders will need to be precise in the opening laps to carve through the field, but the launch speed of the RC213V should help in the run up to Turn 1. Setting faster times in Free Practice 3, it’s clear both Repsol Honda Team riders have more speed to show on Sunday and will be ones to watch over the course of the 20 lap race.

 

Marc Marquez (93). Photo courtesy Repsol Honda.
Marc Marquez (93). Photo courtesy Repsol Honda.

 

Marc Marquez

NINTH  2’03.038

“Step by step the confidence is coming back more and more and today I was feeling and riding in a better way. In Qualifying, speaking honestly, I made some mistakes and I missed the last lap – I thought there was time for another lap. But anyway, we are still starting in ninth even with this. We made some good changes to the bike today and the goal for tomorrow is to finish the race in a good way. It won’t be easy starting ninth, but it will be a long and hard race where many things can happen.”

 

Pol Espargaro (44). Photo courtesy Repsol Honda.
Pol Espargaro (44). Photo courtesy Repsol Honda.

 

Pol Espargaro

12TH  2’03.096

“Today I was feeling better, the pain was gone in my stomach and my power was improving. The biggest issue today in Qualifying was the mistake I made, touching the green and then misjudging the timing of the session a bit. I think we had the potential to match what we did in FP3 and be in or around the top six. I was not riding well today and making some mistakes, not just with the timing but also some with my riding. Fortunately, we are starting very well this year and Turn One here is always tricky so let’s see what happens in the opening lap. More rest is needed and let’s see what we can do.”

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Aprilia:

APRILIA ON THE FIFTH ROW IN THE GP OF THE AMERICAS
 

CLOSE TO Q2, ALEIX ESPARGARÓ AND MAVERICK VIÑALES CLOSE OUT THE QUALIFIERS IN TEXAS WITH THE 13TH AND 14TH TIMES. PROMISING RACE PACE FOR BOTH

The Aprilia Racing riders, Aleix Espargaró and Maverick Viñales, will start from the fifth row of the grid in the Grand Prix of the Americas scheduled for tomorrow after obtaining the 13th and 14th time respectively in the qualifiers held at COTA.

With performances close to sending them straight through to Q2 in free practice, in Q1 Aleix and Maverick once again came extremely close to going through to the session that decides the top 12 spots, hindered only by traffic and a harmless crash for Espargaró.

Despite the complicated day in terms of qualifiers, both riders are still optimistic for the race, counting on the good pace recorded with used tyres in FP4.

 

Aleix Espargaro (41). Photo courtesy Aprilia.
Aleix Espargaro (41). Photo courtesy Aprilia.

 

ALEIX ESPARGARÓ

“I’ve worked hard so far to be competitive on this track and, to be honest, I’m a bit disappointed with the result today. We know we can battle for the top spots in the race because our pace is truly good, so I’m happy about that. Quite simply, I was never able to get in a good flying lap today with the soft tyre and the, on my final try in Q1, I also crashed. It’s true that I ran into traffic and that there were a lot of slow riders on the track waiting for the others, and that shouldn’t happen, but it was my mistake. I should have stayed more focused, and I should have just thought about doing my best. Today things didn’t go as we’d hoped and starting from the thirteenth spot will make everything a bit more complicated, but I’m optimistic. We are fast with used tyres, and I feel like I’m in good form physically. I think we can be competitive even in the second part of the race.”

 

Maverick Vinales (12). Photo courtesy Aprilia.
Maverick Vinales (12). Photo courtesy Aprilia.

 

MAVERICK VIÑALES

“Today we had the potential to go through to Q2 and earn a spot on the second row. Unfortunately, we didn’t manage to improve on our times with the new tyre and we’ll have to figure out why. On the other hand, we’re competitive with the used tyre, so much that our race pace is on par with the best. Of course, we’re starting from behind and it won’t be simple, but we still have the warm-up session to take a few more steps forward, after which anything can happen in the race.”

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Team Suzuki ECSTAR:

THE AIM IN AMERICA IS RIDE THE RODEO ALL THE WAY TO A PODIUM

Alex Rins: 7th – 2’02.694 (+ 0.655)

Joan Mir: 8th – 2’02.947 (+ 0.908)

The Suzuki duo of Alex Rins and Joan Mir came into Saturday’s action determined to find the ideal set-up on their GSX-RRs around a track they enjoy, and to put themselves in contention for strong finishes for Sunday’s GP of the Americas.

FP3 was an action-packed session, and Mir decided to go for a time attack with around 20 minutes still left on the clock. He got up to fourth on his first flying lap, but an unfortunate crash at Turn 11 with 10 minutes left cost him the chance to improve further. Mir was uninjured and, thanks to the pace shown on Friday, he stayed within the crucial Top 10. Rins was trying hard to put in fast laps, but yellow flags at the end of the session denied him a final quick lap and a potential place in Q2.

In FP4 the riders confirmed their preference for the hard-soft tyre combination and readied themselves for the fast and furious qualifying. In Q1, despite being distracted and disrupted by other riders cruising, Rins was able to finish second and progress to Q2. Both Rins and Mir gave their all in Saturday’s final session, eventually taking seventh and eighth – the same grid positions they had a week ago in Argentina, where they finished the race third and fourth.

 

Alex Rins (42). Photo courtesy Team Suzuki ECSTAR.
Alex Rins (42). Photo courtesy Team Suzuki ECSTAR.

 

Alex Rins:

“My performance was good today overall, but it wasn’t an easy run; it was like being on a rollercoaster because my results were up and down! I missed the chance to go directly into Q2 after the yellow flag in FP3, but I managed to do it in Q1 and I’ll start from seventh on the grid tomorrow. There are a lot of Ducatis in front of us and they seem to be strong, but I feel the GSX-RR can be strong too. I love this track and I will try hard to get a great result.”

 

Joan Mir (36). Photo coourtesy Team Suzuki ECSTAR.
Joan Mir (36). Photo courtesy Team Suzuki ECSTAR.

 

Joan Mir:

“I felt great in FP3 this morning when the track was cooler, but then in the afternoon, when it was hotter, I didn’t have the same pace or feeling. I expected more from qualifying, but I had some trouble with getting the bike stopped. This was a problem we managed to overcome yesterday, but in FP4 and Q2 I started to feel it again – it was tricky to fix. We’ll do our best to find the best way for the race, I feel that my setup overall is strong so that makes me optimistic for tomorrow, we just need to improve a few small things.”

Livio Suppo – Team Manager:

“Qualifying was exciting and competitive, it’s always tough with small margins between all the riders. In the end it’s been a positive day for us here in America. Our settings for the race are good, and we feel confident about the ability of our riders and our bike at this track. For sure it will be a tough and very physical race, but we’ll fight for it.”

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Gresini Racing:

TOP-FIVE DESPITE CRASH IN COTA QUALIFYING FOR BASTIANINI

#AmericasGP qualifying.

There’s a little bit of bitterness in the pit-box of team Gresini MotoGP this afternoon at the end of qualifying for the fourth round of the season. Enea Bastianini’s top-five, which came at the end of a quite challenging qualifying session, left a bittersweet taste in his mouth. The 2’02secs logged by the rider #23 came after a crash at turn 15: from one side the incredible ability by the Italian to turn things around, on the other the disappointment for missing a front row which was well within range.

It was a Saturday of highs and lows also for Fabio Di Giannantonio, whose progression in FP3 was halted by an issue on the bike before the Rome-born rider was able, nevertheless, to improve both feeling at lap-times between FP4 and Q1. His 18th place finish is the confirmation of a consistently good work done in the Gresini garage – #49 side.

The MotoGP race will begin at 13:00 local time (GMT -5), for what will be one of the most demanding encounters of the whole season. From row two, Bastianini will spearhead his charge to the podium, while Di Giannantonio will be looking for his first points in the premier class.

5º – ENEA BASTIANINI #23 (2’02.578s)

“I was able to save part of the fairing during the crash at turn 15 also by using my leathers a bit, and from there I get going again – and was also able to log a good time. I’m a bit sad to be the last of the Ducati in the top five, but the fact that we’re all close to each other is a good sign ahead of tomorrow. We can be among the protagonists, not sure if for the victory but surely for the podium. We will need to manage the race well, which is very demanding on the physical side, but we’re ready on that aspect, too.”

18º – FABIO DI GIANNANTONIO #49 (2’03.576s)

“In FP3 we did all we could due to the issue that stopped our work with the bike #1. In FP4 we confirmed the set-up that we liked the most and in Q1 we made a step forward which was quite unexpected – lap-time wise. Every time I get on track I learn something new… I think we can make improve by a few more tenths in the warmup: in that case, we can have fun in the race.”

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Monster Energy Yamaha:

CHALLENGING COTA QUALIFYING FOR MONSTER ENERGY YAMAHA MOTOGP

Austin (Texas), 9th April 2022

GRAND PRIX OF THE AMERICAS

QUALIFYING

Today‘s qualifying sessions at the Circuit of The Americas didn‘t go to plan for Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP. Fabio Quartararo suffered a crash on his first run. Fortunately unhurt and quickly back out on his second bike, he earned himself P6 on the grid. Franco Morbidelli had a better feeling in FP4, but he struggled to reproduce it in Q1. He will start the race from P19.

6th FABIO QUARTARARO 2’02.634 / 5 LAPS

19th FRANCO MORBIDELLI 2’03.579 / 7 LAPS

The Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP team faced some setbacks in today‘s COTA qualifying sessions. Fabio Quartararo took part in Q2, but a crash cost him vital time. He rejoined the session on his second bike, taking 6th place. Franco Morbidelli had a good FP4 session but didn‘t feel the same confidence in the bike in Q1. He will start tomorrow‘s Grand Prix of The Americas from 19th on the grid.

After topping FP3 and riding a solid FP4, Quartararo was feeling pumped for the Q2 heat. His first lap earned him provisional fourth place. Eager for a front-row start, he dug a little deeper. He set one red and two orange sectors when he had a crash in Turn 19.The rider was quickly back on his feet and hurried back to the pits.

With a little less than five minutes left, the Frenchman started his second run on his second bike and showed no sign of slowing down. He was in eighth place at the time but soon moved up to provisional fifth with a 2‘02.634s, only to be pushed to sixth later on. He had one lap remaining but wasn‘t able to better his time. He kept hold of sixth place, 0.595s from pole, and will be starting from the second row.

Morbidelli was one of the first riders to start the Q1 session. It was part of his strategy, as a lap around the COTA track takes over 2 minutes, so there was no time to waste. The Italian‘s first 2‘03.579s hot lap put him in third place. He had to find over 0.6s to bridge the gap to the top 2. Unable to better his time on his next try, Morbido entered the garage for a fresh set of tyres with eight and a half minutes left on the clock.

Two and a half minutes later, the Yamaha man resumed his mission. He gave it three more goes but didn‘t improve. He finished the session in ninth place and will start tomorrow‘s race from P19.

MASSIMO MEREGALLI

TEAM DIRECTOR

Another mixed day for us. We had a positive FP3 and FP4 in terms of pure pace and speed with both riders. Franco had definitely a better feeling on the bike than he had yesterday, and he missed Q2 by less than 0.1s. Fabio was able to work on rear tyre race distance with good indications. It‘s really a pity that on Fabio‘s first time attack, while he was pushing at his maximum, he lost the front. But it‘s impressive what he did! He left the garage with four minutes to go and was able to improve immediately on his first lap on his second bike, securing a place on the second row. It was a different story for Franco, who suddenly had no confidence with the front. That spoiled his session. We expect that it will be a hard race, but we will try to be in the game and play a prominent role.

 

Fabio Quartararo (20). Photo courtesy Monster Energy Yamaha.
Fabio Quartararo (20). Photo courtesy Monster Energy Yamaha.

 

FABIO QUARTARARO

I tried my best. I knew that if I wanted to have a great race tomorrow, I needed to take a risk. I pushed 100%, but then I crashed. I also tried my best on the second run, and I did do better, but in Sector 1 I made a lot of mistakes. I did improve in Sector 3 and 4, but when it‘s getting hot, we struggle a bit more with grip. In the end, I‘m still happy. I did my best, and a crash can happen sometimes. I think we will have to give our maximum from the beginning of the race tomorrow. Let‘s see what happens when tyre degradation comes into play. We are not so bad, so we will see what we can do. I want to have a good race, have fun, have a good start, a great first lap, and manage to improve.

 

Franco Morbidelli (21). Photo courtesy Monster Energy Yamaha.
Franco Morbidelli (21). Photo courtesy Monster Energy Yamaha.

 

FRANCO MORBIDELLI

It was an interesting day, in the way that in FP4 the level was not that bad. I felt much better than yesterday. In FP4 the pace didn‘t look so bad. It wasn‘t wonderful, but it wasn‘t bad. We were still up there, so it was interesting. But in qualifying we were nowhere. I couldn‘t push. I couldn‘t extract performance from the package. That‘s unfortunate, but the team is investigating it. We are working, we‘re trying to understand what happened and how to make sure it doesn‘t happen in future.

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by KTM Factory Racing:

BINDER HEADS KTM MOTOGP™ QUALIFYING EFFORT AT THE RED BULL GRAND PRIX OF THE AMERICAS

MotoGP 2022 – Round 04 of 21, Circuit of the Americas (USA) – Qualification

MotoGP shimmered in the Texan sunshine at the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas and round four of the 2022 series. During a regular practice and qualification schedule in the USA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Brad Binder was the fastest KTM RC16 rider as the South African claimed 17th place on the start grid for Sunday’s race.

Binder the leading MotoGP RC16 rider again but will sit on the sixth row

Miguel Oliveira and the Tech3 KTM Factory Racing duo take 20th, 21st and 22nd

Deniz Öncü top KTM RC4 runner in Moto3™ with 4th

MotoGP circulated one of the most technical and challenging layouts on the calendar for round four as the championship returned to the undulating Circuit of the Americas in Austin just six months after the previous visit late in 2021. Hot sunshine and blustery conditions marked two days of the event program as the teams and riders did their best to alter set-up to suit the mix of twisty corners, a long straight, hard-braking and slow curves that form the 5.5km trajectory.

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing and Tech3 KTM Factory Racing worked their way through the conundrum of optimizing the RC16 both for the rapid time attack pace and competitiveness for the long 20-lap distance on Sunday afternoon. After Free Practice 3 on Saturday morning the top 16 riders were split by one second.

All four KTM riders had to negotiate Q1. Binder was able to record his best chrono of the session at the last attempt but it was less than a second away from Q2 entry for the fourth time this year. Miguel Oliveira pushed to improve his competitiveness from Friday but had to settle for 20th. Raul Fernandez was just four hundredths of a second quicker than teammate Remy Gardner but the Australian also had a difficult task in Q1 after a crash.

 

Brad Binder (33). Photo courtesy KTM Factory Racing.
Brad Binder (33). Photo courtesy KTM Factory Racing.

 

Brad Binder: “It’s been a challenging weekend for us so far and a bit more difficult than we thought it would be. We’ve fought hard both days and it’s a bit disappointing to be back in 17th place. We need to understand what is going on and work for tomorrow: the points count for Sunday, not today. We need to dig deep and get a bit more comfortable for the race and if we can do that then I’m sure we can leave here with some solid points.”

 

Miguel Oliveira (88). Photo courtesy KTM Factory Racing.
Miguel Oliveira (88). Photo courtesy KTM Factory Racing.

 

Miguel Oliveira: “Tough times for sure and we didn’t expect to struggle so much here in Austin but we must keep working hard and keep our spirits up. We know this race will not define us. There is an opportunity tomorrow to get out there and fight for points and go to Europe with something in our hands. We still have some time to work and improve the bike and it all counts tomorrow.”

Raul Fernandez: “We had a difficult day today. In a similar way to yesterday, we had a good pace but we struggled to do a fast lap with the qualifying tyres. Tomorrow is the race, it is an important day and I will try to do my best. Thanks to the team for their job.”

Remy Gardner: “It is a great shame that I crashed. In order to do the lap time, I had to push a lot. When I was overriding, the times were improving but unfortunately I went too far. On the first flying lap, I had a really good sector one and was confident but it got cancelled because of a yellow flag. After my crash, I lost a bit of confidence for the second run and was not able to improve my time from this morning. Tough day in the office, but hopefully we can come back from this tomorrow.”

Moto3 & Moto2

Red Bull KTM Tech3’s Deniz Öncü was a slim half a second away from Pole Position in Moto3 as the Turk’s 4th place in Q2 saw him narrowly miss out on the front row of the grid. Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Jaume Masia was just behind in 5th as the Spaniard’s teammate, Daniel Holgado, dashed to 7th spot. Adrian Fernandez will start the race a little further back in 19th after missing the cut in Q1.

Moto2 class Pole Position was earned by Cameron Beaubier. Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Augusto Fernandez had a setback in Q2 with a fall midway through the session that left the Spaniard unclassified and down in 18th place. Rookie teammate Pedro Acosta fared better and was 10th fastest for the most advanced spot on the fourth row.

Races: April 10th – Moto2 18.20 CET | MotoGP 20.00 CET | Moto3 21.30 CET

Results Qualifying MotoGP Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas

1. Jorge Martin (ESP) Ducati 2:02.039

2. Jack Miller (AUS) Ducati +0.003

3. Francesco Bagnaia (ITA) Ducati +0.128

4. Johann Zarco (FRA) Ducati +0.531

5. Enea Bastianini (ITA) Ducati +0.539

17. Brad Binder (RSA) Red Bull KTM Factory Racing (Q1) 2:03.467

20. Miguel Oliveira (POR) Red Bull KTM Factory Racing (Q1) 2:03.983

21. Raul Fernandez (ESP) Tech3 KTM Factory Racing (Q1) 2:04.140

22. Remy Gardner (AUS) Tech3 KTM Factory Racing (Q1) 2:04.185

 

Results Qualifying Moto2 Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas

1. Cameron Beaubier (USA) 2:08.751

2. Celestino Vietti (ITA) +0.340

3. Aron Canet (ESP) +0.532

10. Pedro Acosta (ESP) Red Bull KTM Ajo +1.174

18. Augusto Fernandez (ESP) Red Bull KTM Ajo

 

Results Qualifying Moto3 Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas

1. Andrea Migno (ITA) Honda 2:15.881

2. Dennis Foggia (ITA) Honda +0.067

3. Xavi Artigas (ESP) CFMOTO +0.252

4. Deniz Öncü (TUR) Red Bull KTM Tech3 +0.516

5. Jaume Masia (ESP) Red Bull KTM Ajo +0.595

7. Daniel Holgado (ESP) Red Bull KTM Ajo +0.737

19. Adrian Fernandez (ESP) Red Bull KTM Tech3 (Q1) 2:17.659

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by LCR Honda Idemitsu:

TAKA ON THE FOURTH ROW IN AUSTIN

Takaaki Nakagami will start the American GP from the fourth row of the grid after qualifying in 10th position at Circuit of the Americas on Saturday. The LCR Honda IDEMITSU rider secured automatic progress to Q2 for the second race weekend running and will now look for another positive result in Sunday’s MotoGP showpiece in Texas.

Sitting in 17th position overnight, the Japanese star made the progress he was looking for in FP3, establishing himself amongst the leaders early on before claiming eighth place. He then finished 16th in FP4 and battled hard in a Ducati-dominated qualifying session, ending just behind leading Honda Marc Marquez.

 

Takaaki Nakagami (30). Photo courtesy LCR Honda.
Takaaki Nakagami (30). Photo courtesy LCR Honda.

 

Takaaki Nakagami – 10th

(2’03.054)

“Second day for us and we made a step forward from yesterday this morning and we made quite a good lap time and it was enough to get us through to Q2. This afternoon in the qualifying session we did our best, but it was not enough as we were looking for a better result. But P10 is not too bad for tomorrow’s race, which is really important and we’ll do our best as always.”

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by LCR Honda Castrol:

ÁLEX LOOKING TO FIGHT BACK IN AMERICAN GP

Álex Márquez will look to make a fast start at the Grand Prix of the Americas after a challenging day of qualifying in Texas on Saturday. The LCR Honda CASTROL rider made some progress on the set-up of his RC213v on the second day of free practice, but suffered in qualification and had to settle for 23rd position on the starting grid.

After finishing 18th in FP3, the Spaniard made a step forward in the next session as he demonstrated impressive race pace to claim 14th position in FP4, closing the gap on those ahead of him. But an early fall scuppered his hopes of challenging in Q1 and he will now be targeting a quick getaway at COTA on Sunday.

 

Alex Marquez (73). Photo courtesy LCR Honda.
Alex Marquez (73). Photo courtesy LCR Honda.

 

Álex Márquez – 23th

(2’04.229)

“Second day here in Texas and, in the morning, we made some improvements, but it was a bit difficult to get the feeling again. In FP4 we made a really good step and made progress for tomorrow’s race and the feeling was coming back again. I tried my best during qualy, but I had a crash on my first run when I was going quite fast. I had problems when I put on the new tyre, I suffered a lot with the front and I could not handle it with my riding style, so tomorrow for the race we need to take the opportunity to build up my confidence again and feel good on the bike. Tomorrow, I will try my best from the first to the last lap.”

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Lenovo Ducati Team:

Five Ducatis head the field in GP of the Americas qualifying with Martin, Miller and Bagnaia on the front row

Jack Miller will start second in tomorrow’s Americas GP at the Circuit of The Americas near Austin (Texas). As he has been fast already since the first sessions yesterday, the Australian rider kept improving today. After securing a spot directly into Q2 after closing FP3 in third place, Miller continued to impress with a strong qualifying that saw him close to taking pole position. In Q2, Jack managed to drop below the previous circuit record to take the top spot, but, with just a few minutes to the end of the session, Jorge Martin (Pramac Racing Team) beat him by just three thousandths.

Pecco Bagnaia completes the front row. Ninth yesterday and fifth this morning after FP3, the Italian rider improved along with his team in the afternoon, first being fastest in FP4 and then securing a front row start in qualifying, behind his teammate, thanks to a fast lap of 2:02.167.

In addition to being an all-Ducati front row, qualifying at the GP of the Americas will go down in history as the Borgo Panigale manufacturer places five bikes in the top five positions of the grid for the first time in a MotoGP race. It is the first time in nineteen years that a constructor has achieved such a result in the premier class. Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing Team) and Enea Bastianini (Gresini Racing) will start tomorrow’s race fourth and fifth, respectively, behind Martin, Miller and Bagnaia.

 

Jack Miller (43). Photo courtesy Ducati.
Jack Miller (43). Photo courtesy Ducati.

 

Jack Miller (#43 Ducati Lenovo Team) – 2nd (2’02.042)

“I’m thrilled to be on the front row, especially at this circuit! The first sector is very tight, and it’s almost impossible to overtake, so having a little bit of free air on the first lap will be important. Since the first sessions, the bike has worked well, and I felt comfortable right away. There are five Ducatis in the top five positions, and that’s a really fantastic result! I’m confident I can have a good race tomorrow. I don’t know what’s in store for us, but it will be crucial to manage the front tyre well throughout the race”.

 

Francesco Bagnaia (63). Photo courtesy Ducati.
Francesco Bagnaia (63). Photo courtesy Ducati.

 

Francesco Bagnaia (#63 Ducati Lenovo Team) – 3rd (2’02.167)

“This front row almost feels like a pole position after the start to the season we’ve had. Last year my strong point was always being able to get on track and push right away, but lately, I’ve found it harder to do that, but here we did. We took a big step forward in FP4, and I’m really happy. I have been missing this feeling! I’m thrilled and ready for the race tomorrow”.

The Ducati Lenovo Team riders will be back on track tomorrow, 9th April, at 9:40am for the warm-up, while the Americas GP will get underway at 1:00pm local time (CEST +7.00), over a 20-lap distance.

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Pramac Racing:

AMERICAS GP – Pole Position for Jorge Martin, Johann Zarco ended P4

The parc fermé of the Circuit of Americas is all Ducati, and for the fourth consecutive time Jorge Martin conquers the front row and the second pole position of the year, Johan Zarco finishes fourth. After a complicated start of the day that forced the Spanish rider to go through Q1, Jorge, also thanks to an excellent work of his team, succeeded in taking the Pole and setting the new track record with a time of 2:02.039. Excellent performance also for Johann Zarco, the French rider after having gained direct access to Q2, takes fourth place with a time of 2:02.570.

 

Jorge Martín

I didn’t think I could do it because this morning we were struggling a little bit, but in the fp4 thanks to a small modification we made a huge step. I want to thank my team that has done an incredible job and thanks to which tomorrow we can fight for important positions.

Johann Zarco

I am satisfied, we have been working well all weekend and I have finally found the good sensations I had last year. Tomorrow it will be important to start well and be consistent.

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