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Japanese MotoGP, Qualifying | Martin sends message with pole over title rival Bagnaia

Gold & Goose
Jorge Martin, Pramac Racing, Ducati GP23, 2023 MotoGP, Japanese MotoGP, Motegi, action [Gold & Goose]

Jorge Martin has ramped up the pressure on 2023 MotoGP World Championship title rival Pecco Bagnaia by taking a timely record-breaking pole position for the Japanese MotoGP.

The Spaniard, who has leapt into the title reckoning after disparate fortunes for the two leading riders in the standings in India last weekend, was in fine form over a single lap as he broke Brad Binder’s one-day old lap record around the Motegi circuit.

Taking almost two-tenths out of Binder’s erstwhile marker, Martin will get away from a potentially crucial pole position in both today’s Sprint Race and tomorrow’s full-length feature, but will have Bagnaia for company on the front row after the Italian did his bit to minimise the potential damage to his slender 13 point margin.


Jack Miller notched up his first front row start since the British MotoGP at Silverstone, the Australian this time stealing the headlines for KTM in a strong session for the Austrian firm with Binder well positioned in fifth himself.

Between them will be Marco Bezzecchi, who will need to get ahead of Martin and Bagnaia from fourth on the grid if he is to count himself among the title contenders, the Italian coming into this race some 44 points adrift.

Fabio di Giannantonio enjoyed his strongest qualifying performance of the year on the sole Gresini Ducati to start sixth, ahead of Marc Marquez, who made the most of progressing through from Q1 to claim seventh on the grid.

Aprilia Racing hold down positions eighth and ninth, Maverick Vinales ahead of Aleix Espargaro, while Johann Zarco completes the top ten from Raul Fernnadez - who upset Fabio Quartararo to once again make it through from Q1 - and Pol Espargaro, the GasGas Tech3 rider’s first appearance in Q2 this season ending with him in 12th.

Elsewhere, Joan Mir’s hopes of making it into Q2 again fell foul when he crashed in Q1 en route to 15th, while Yamaha’s best representative will be Quartararo in 14th. His wild-card team-mate Cal Crutchlow, meanwhile, starts 19th, just ahead of Stefan Bradl, who is a late stand-in for Alex Rins after he decided not to continue this weekend after Friday practice.

2023 Japanese MotoGP | Twin Ring Motegi, Japan | Qualifying Results | Round 14 of 20
Pos.NameNat.TeamBikeLap Time
1Jorge Martin🇪🇦Prima Pramac RacingDucati GP231m 43.198
2Pecco Bagnaia🇮🇹Ducati Lenovo TeamDucati GP231m 43.369
3Jack Miller🇦🇺Red Bull KTM Factory RacingKTM RC161m 43.551
4Marco Bezzecchi🇮🇹Mooney VR46 RacingDucati GP221m 43.624
5Brad Binder🇿🇦Red Bull KTM Factory RacingKTM RC161m 43.709
6Fabio di Giannantonio🇮🇹Gresini Racing MotoGPDucati GP221m 43.808
7Marc Marquez🇪🇦Repsol Honda TeamHonda RC213V1m 43.812
8Maverick Vinales🇪🇦Aprilia RacingAprilia RS-GP1m 43.815
9Aleix Espargaro🇪🇦Aprilia RacingAprilia RS-GP1m 43.822
10Johann Zarco🇨🇵Prima Pramac RacingDucati GP231m 43.851
11Raul Fernandez🇪🇦CryptoData RNF RacingAprilia RS-GP1m 44.054
12Pol Espargaro🇪🇦GasGas Factory Racing Tech3KTM RC161m 44.096
13Augusto Fernandez🇪🇦GasGas Factory Racing Tech3KTM RC161m 44.129
14Fabio Quartararo🇨🇵Monster Energy YamahaYamaha M11m 44.138
15Joan Mir🇪🇦Repsol Honda TeamHonda RC213V1m 44.150
16Miguel Oliveira🇵🇹CryptoData RNF RacingAprilia RS-GP1m 44.427
17Franco Morbidelli🇮🇹Monster Energy YamahaYamaha M11m 44.521
18Takaaki Nakagami🇯🇵LCR Honda IDEMITSUHonda RC213V1m 44.626
19Cal Crutchlow🇬🇧YAMALUBE RS4GPYamaha M11m 45.273
20Stefan Bradl🇩🇪LCR Honda CastrolHonda RC213V1m 45.451
21Michele Pirro🇮🇹Ducati Lenovo TeamDucati GP231m 45.707
WAlex Rins🇪🇦LCR Honda CastrolHonda RC213V

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