MotoGP Valencia: Martin on pole as Quartararo starts from fourth

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Picture: GeeBee Images

Prima Pramac’s Jorge Martin secured his fifth pole position of 2022 with a 1’29.621 lap at Valencia on Saturday.

Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez celebrated a stellar second after suffering with illness across the opening day while Jack Miller completed the front row, 0.008s back, for his final race with Ducati Lenovo despite a late session off.

Perfect mid-20’s temperatures greeted the premier class for the final qualifying of the year. Gresini’s Enea Bastianini facing the Q1 fight alongside Suzuki Ecstar’s Alex Rins and KTM’s Miguel Oliveira with Tech3’s Raul Fernandez cleared to compete following a trip to hospital after his heavy FP3 crash.

Monster Energy Yamaha’s Franky Morbidelli set the initial 1’30.981 pace before Maverick Viñales bettered on the Aprilia. Bastianini staking his claim on the second promotion position until his fellow Italian hit back on the M1. Viñales continued to fine-tune the target out front as he circulated with a 1’30.3 effort. Bastianini, Morbidelli and Oliveira this time battling for the runners up honours until Rins swept through to P1 utilising the soft/soft Michelin combination.

Alex Marquez suffered a technical on the LCR at the halfway stage as Repsol Honda’s Pol Espargaro endured a turn two crash as his first hot lap of the final run fired up. Viñales, the first out of pitlane and now the man to beat as the session counted down thanks to a 1’30.090.

Bastianini’s push for promotion ended in the gravel with a minute to go. Oliveira’s challenge fading in the closing sector as he consolidated fourth with Rins advancing alongside his countryman.

Q2 found Martin in charge with a 1’29.621 as the first laps registered. Miller sitting second from Rins and Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro with the elder Marquez in fifth.

Monster Energy Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo took fourth with his third lap of the afternoon while title-rival Pecco Bagnaia circulated over a second adrift in eleventh. Joan Mir joining his teammate in the top four as the session neared the halfway stage before Quartararo displacing the 2020 Champion next time around.

The top five was covered by six tenths as the second runs prepared. Viñales joining the fun in fourth with his first shot of the final session, a tenth ahead of his former teammate, before losing out next time around as he pushed for the front row.

Bagnaia secured seventh with his best lap of the weekend as Martin looked to blitz the benchmark. The last sector denying the move as Marquez arrived to second and Miller crashed out with two to go.

Quartararo advanced from tenth to sixth in the penultimate minute before pushing hard next time around for fourth. Johann Zarco suffering a last minute crash from ninth in the standings as Bagnaia cruised back to pitlane one place ahead. The defending champion crossed the line seconds before the chequered flag for a final attempt before running wide at the first corner and through the gravel trap at turn two with his session literally done and dusted.

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