MotoGP: Martin Breaks Lap Record, Takes Pole Position At Misano

MotoGP: Martin Breaks Lap Record, Takes Pole Position At Misano

© 2023, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc. By David Swarts.

Jorge Martin broke the lap record and claimed pole position during MotoGP qualifying Saturday at Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli, in San Marino. Riding his Prima Pramac Racing Ducati Desmosedici, Martin lapped the 2.6-mile (4.2 km) track in 1:30.390, breaking the All-Time Lap Record of 1:30.846 set by Marco Bezzecchi on Friday and topping the field of 24 riders.

Bezzecchi was second-best with a time of 1:30.787 on his Mooney VR46 Racing Team Ducati, and defending World Champion Francesco Bagnaia secured the third and final spot on the front row with a 1:30.826 on his Lenovo Team Ducati.

 

MotoGP Comb Qual

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Dorna:

Martin smashes lap record for magnificent Misano pole

Bezzecchi and Bagnaia lead the resistance as qualifying sets the stage for some spectacular showdowns

Saturday, 09 September 2023

Qualifying laps don’t get any better than that! Jorge Martin (Prima Pramac Racing) will start the Gran Premio Red Bull di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini Tissot Sprint and Grand Prix race from pole position after setting a phenomenal 1:30.390 – a Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli all-time lap record. Key rivals and home heroes Marco Bezzecchi (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) and Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) join him on the front row on their home turf after stellar efforts in qualifying, despite riding through the pain barrier.

Q1: APRILIA RULE

As the first hot laps were slammed in, Miguel Oliveira (CryptoDATA RNF MotoGP™ Team) led by a healthy 0.3s over Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™), with Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing) 0.6s adrift in P8 – as younger brother Pol Espargaro (GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3) suffered an early crash.

Quartararo improved his time to a 1:31.678 to get a tenth and a half clear of third place Michele Pirro (Aruba.it Racing), but Pirro’s fellow wildcard Stefan Bradl (HRC Team) then pounced to P2. Pol Espargaro’s session was then over as he went down unhurt for a second time, as Aleix Espargaro shot to P1 by 0.021s. Could Quartararo get himself back into the top two? Not quite. The slimmest of margins cost El Diablo – 0.038s to be precise – as Oliveira returned to P1 on his last lap, heading through with Aleix Espargaro.

Q2: LAP RECORD OBLITERATED

After a brief pause in proceedings, the fastest 12 riders fired up their machines as we got set for the San Marino GP pole position fight. After the slower banker laps were set, the rapid times started to come in as Bezzecchi’s 1:31.027 handed the Italian a tenth advantage over Martin, with Bagnaia’s first lap placing him a brilliant P3 – 0.152s off Bezzecchi’s time. Martin then went for another time attack and it was a new all-time lap record – a 1:30.832 saw the Spaniard rise to P1, 0.195s clear of the chasers.

As the pack peeled back into pitlane, Martin led Bezzecchi and Bagnaia, with Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) P4 and Aleix Espargaro P5 – the leading quintet in the title race setting the pace in the opening part of Q2.

An absolute barnstormer then came from Martin on fresh rubber, a mind-blowing 1:30.390 putting the #89 0.6s clear on provisional pole. Dani Pedrosa (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) was the rider in second, but briefly, as elsewhere Pecco climbed onto the front row again. Bezzecchi responded to return to take over in second, but the #72 was a mighty four tenths adrift.

On his final lap, Pecco was giving it all he had. A red split came through Sector 2 but time was lost in the latter half of the lap, as the Championship leader improved his time but stayed P3 – 0.039s away from Bezzecchi. In the end though, no one could get within touching distance of Martin’s absolute stunner. A first pole since the 2022 Valencia GP was clinched by the title-chasing Spaniard, and what a time to do it!

THE GRID

Behind the Martin, Bezzecchi, Bagnaia front row, Maverick Viñales (Aprilia Racing) was able to set his personal best time on the final lap to climb to the front of Row 2 in P4. He has wildcard Pedrosa – the leading KTM! – and Aleix Espargaro for company behind the leading trio.

Binder fronts Row 3 in P7, with Luca Marini (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) and Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) claiming P8 and P9 respectively. Oliveira, Alex Marquez (Gresini Racing MotoGP™) and Raul Fernandez (CryptoDATA RNF MotoGP™ Team) round out the top 12. Find the full grid below!

The stage is set for some serious action on the Rimini riviera. Don’t miss it.

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