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Qatar MotoGP, Lusail Qualifying | Jorge Martin storms the desert with pole, +0.2s cover top six

Gold & Goose

Jorge Martin wasted no time in stamping his authority on the 2024 MotoGP World Championship season as he rattled off a convincingly quick lap record to take pole position for the Qatar MotoGP curtain raiser.

The Spaniard - who famously scored a pole position at the Lusail International Circuit in only his second MotoGP appearance back in 2021 - was on fine form as he pumped in a benchmark of 1m 50.789s on his first run and didn't look back.

Indeed, though the Prima Pramac Racing Ducati rider wasn’t quickest in any of the four sectors that make up a lap of the Qatari circuit, his consistency from start to finish proved telling as he proceeded to out-fox his rivals.


Not that he had it easy after just +0.2s covered the top six by the end of the session with each rider dipping below 1m 51secs - far quicker than Luca Marini’s pole-winning lap of 1m 51.762secs achieved only four months ago at the same venue.

That said, Martin might have stood to go quicker with his final effort but for a yellow flag for Brad Binder’s downed KTM, though it didn’t matter as he held almost a tenth over Aleix Espargaro, the experienced Aprilia rider showing his hand when it mattered to penetrate what threatened to be a Ducati washout.

Indeed, though Ducati had strength in numbers for the final Q2 session with six of the 12 available spots, Espargaro had enough to defeat Enea Bastianini, the factory Ducati rider earning an early fillip around the venue where he scored his first MotoGP win in 2022 by out-qualifying title-winning team-mate Pecco Bagnaia in third.

Despite his late slip, KTM’s Binder joined Aprilia’s Espargaro in breaking the Ducati stronghold with a well-poised run to fourth on the grid, the South African sharing the second row with Bagnaia - who missed out on his shot at pole when he ran wide at the penultimate corner - and Marc Marquez, the six-time World Champion a solid sixth for his first Ducati race.

Qatar MotoGP winner in 2023, Fabio di Giannantonio will attempt to defend his Lusail crown from seventh on the grid as the only Pertamina Enduro VR46 Racing Ducati rider to reach Q2. Indeed, Marco Bezzecchi once again looked in trouble as he fought his Ducati GP23, the Italian ending up 15th on the grid.

Having made waves by comfortably reaching Q2 for his MotoGP debut, Pedro Acosta is well-placed for an equally good result in this weekend’s two races from eighth on the grid, ahead of Alex Marquez, who couldn’t translate his timesheet topping pace from Practice into anything more than ninth.

Similarly, Maverick Vinales couldn’t make an impression in Q2 as he settled for tenth, ahead of the two riders who made it through from Q2, Jack Miller in 11th and Raul Fernandez in 12th.

The latter, who gave Trackhouse Racing Aprilia the boost of reaching Q2 on its MotoGP debut, was a faller in Q2 but still out-qualified his more experienced team-mate Miguel Oliveira, the Portuguese in 14th.

With the European brands dominating Q2, it was left to Johann Zarco to fly the flag for the Japanese contingent, the Frenchman just missing out on a shot at pole in 13th.


Behind Bezzecchi in 15th, Fabio Quartararo led Yamaha’s limp hopes in a disappointing 16th, ahead of Joan Mir - who suffered a fall in Q1 - and Augusto Fernandez.

There was also frustration for Alex Rins ahead of his Yamaha debut as technical issues prevented him from completing his session, leaving him 20th, while 2023 Qatar MotoGP pole sitter Luca Marini couldn’t manage better than 21st ahead of his Repsol Honda debut.

🇶🇦 ⏱️ 2024 Qatar MotoGP, Lusail | Qualifying Results

Saturday | Conditions - Dry, Sunny

🇶🇦 ⏱️ 2024 Qatar MotoGP Results | Lusail International Circuit, Qatar | Qualifying Results | Round 1 of 21
Pos.NameNat.TeamMotorcycleLap Time
1Jorge Martin🇪🇦Prima Pramac RacingDucati GP241m 50.789
2Aleix Espargaro🇪🇦Aprilia RacingAprilia RS-GP1m 50.872
3Enea Bastianini🇮🇹Ducati Leonovo TeamDucati GP241m 50.875
4Brad Binder🇿🇦Red Bull KTM Factory RacingKTM RC161m 50.913
5Pecco Bagnaia🇮🇹Ducati Leonovo TeamDucati GP241m 50.928
6Marc Marquez🇪🇦Gresini RacingDucati GP231m 50.961
7Fabio di Giannantonio🇮🇹Pertamina Enduro VR46 RacingDucati GP231m 51.019
8Pedro Acosta🇪🇦Red Bull GasGas Factory Tech3KTM RC161m 51.130
9Alex Marquez🇪🇦Gresini RacingDucati GP231m 51.266
10Maverick Vinales🇪🇦Aprilia RacingAprilia RS-GP1m 51.306
11Jack Miller🇦🇺Red Bull KTM Factory RacingKTM RC161m 51.340
12Raul Fernandez 🇪🇦Trackhouse RacingAprilia RS-GP1m 51.521
13Johann Zarco🇫🇷LCR HondaHonda RC213V1m 51.537
14Miguel Oliveira🇵🇹Trackhouse RacingAprilia RS-GP1m 51.565
15Marco Bezzecchi🇮🇹Pertamina Enduro VR46 RacingDucati GP231m 51.864
16Fabio Quartararo🇫🇷Monster Energy YamahaYamaha M11m 51.918
17Joan Mir🇪🇦Repsol Honda TeamHonda RC213V1m 52.026
18Augusto Fernandez🇪🇦Red Bull GasGas Factory Tech3KTM RC161m 52.204
19Takaaki Nakagami🇯🇵LCR HondaHonda RC213V1m 52.228
20Alex Rins🇪🇦Monster Energy YamahaYamaha M11m 52.327
21Luca Marini🇮🇹Repsol Honda TeamHonda RC213V1m 52.952
22Franco Morbidelli🇮🇹Prima Pramac RacingDucati GP241m 52.980

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