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Valencia MotoGP, Qualifying: Vinales on first pole with Aprilia, Bagnaia rebounds ahead of Martin

Gold & Goose

Maverick Vinales will start a MotoGP race from pole position for the first time in more than two years after topping qualifying for the 2023 Valencia MotoGP finale, while Pecco Bagnaia snatched the initiative over Jorge Martin ahead of their title face-off.

The defending champion shrugged off his Friday issues to ease through to Q2 before going on to place his factory Ducati GP23 onto the front row in second, while a mistake on his final flying lap consigned Martin to sixth.

It sets the stage for a tantalising tussle between the two title contenders ahead of this afternoon's Sprint Race with Bagnaia well-placed to turn his current 21-point lead into an insurmountable one over his Pramac Ducati rival.


Indeed, while Bagnaia began the day on the back foot, he wasted no time in sending a message to Martin by getting down to lap record-breaking pace to pass his Q1 test with ease.

Continuing to nibble away at his new benchmark during the crucial Q2 session, at no stage did Martin - the Valencia MotoGP pole winner for the past two season - look capable of matching Bagnaia for outright pace.

With the Spaniard going on to fluff his line on the exit of Turn 4 during his final flying lap, there was no coming back at his rival as he was forced to settle for sixth. 

Complicating Martin’s hopes of keeping the title fight alive into Sunday’s final race of the year, Bagnaia will win the title if he out-scores his rival by four points this afternoon.

While the focus remains on Bagnaia and Martin, it shouldn’t detract from Vinales’ achievement of pole position, his first since the 2021 Dutch MotoGP and his first since joining Aprilia Racing.

Consolidating his fine Friday form, Vinales left it late to usurp Bagnaia to snatch pole position with the first-ver sub-1m 29secs lap of the Circuit Ricardo Tormo. 

Johann Zarco popped up to third place to start his final outing with Pramac Ducati from the front row, while KTM found its form at the right time to head up row two, Jack Miller getting the better of Brad Binder in fourth and fifth respectively.

Marco Bezzecchi starts seventh on the VR46 Ducati, ahead of the brothers Marquez - Alex ahead of Marc - who bagged a respective seventh and eighth despite each crashing in the closing stages of the session.

Raul Fernandez continued his run of strong qualifying form to complete the top ten, ahead of Fabio di Giannantonio, who couldn’t tap into his strong Friday pace en route to 11th. Aleix Espargaro completes row four in 12th.


2023 Valencia MotoGP, Circuit Ricardo Tormo - Qualifying Results

Saturday - Conditions: Dry, Sunny
2023 Valencia MotoGP - Circuit Ricardo Tormo - Qualifying Results - Round 20 of 20
Pos.NameNat.TeamMotorcycleLap Time
1Maverick Vinales🇪🇦Aprilia RacingAprilia RS-GP1m 28.931
2Francesco Bagnaia🇮🇹Ducati Lenovo TeamDucati GP231m 29.023
3Johann Zarco🇨🇵Prima Pramac RacingDucati GP231m 29.144
4Jack Miller🇦🇺Red Bull KTM Factory RacingKTM RC161m 29.161
5Brad Binder🇿🇦Red Bull KTM Factory RacingKTM RC161m 29.171
6Jorge Martin🇪🇦Prima Pramac RacingDucati GP231m 29.182
7Marco Bezzecchi🇮🇹Mooney VR46 RacingDucati GP221m 29.223
8Alex Marquez🇪🇦Gresini Racing MotoGPDucati GP221m 29.261
9Marc Marquez🇪🇦Repsol Honda TeamHonda RC213V1m 29.275
10Raul Fernandez🇪🇦CryptoData RNF RacingAprilia RS-GP1m 29.438
11Fabio di Giannantonio🇮🇹Gresini Racing MotoGPDucati GP221m 29.510
12Aleix Espargaro🇪🇦Aprilia RacingAprilia RS-GP1m 29.797
13Augusto Fernandez🇪🇦GasGas Factory Racing Tech3KTM RC161m 29.233
14Enea Bastianini🇮🇹Ducati Lenovo TeamDucati GP231m 29.389
15Fabio Quartararo🇨🇵Monster Energy YamahaYamaha M11m 29.613
16Takaaki Nakagami🇯🇵LCR Honda IDEMITSUHonda RC213V1m 29.864
17Luca Marini🇮🇹Mooney VR46 RacingDucati GP221m 29.901
18Pol Espargaro🇪🇦GasGas Factory Racing Tech3KTM RC161m 29.953
19Franco Morbidelli🇮🇹Monster Energy YamahaYamaha M11m 30.045
20Alex Rins🇪🇦LCR Honda CastrolHonda RC213V1m 30.257
21Lorenzo Savadori🇮🇹CryptoData RNF RacingAprilia RS-GP1m 31.044
WJoan Mir🇪🇦Repsol Honda TeamHonda RC213V- - -

CLICK HERE for full results from each Valencia MotoGP session

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