Quartararo bounces back to claim Indonesian pole
Reigning world champion beats both Ducatis Pramac Racing as we witness incredible drama in Q1
For the first time since the 2021 Catalunya GP, Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™) will start a MotoGP™ race from pole position after an incredibly dramatic Pertamina Grand Prix of Indonesia. Jorge Martin and his Pramac Racing teammate Johann Zarco will start from P2 and P3, but eight-time world champion Marc Marquez, his Repsol Honda teammate Pol Espargaro and Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) fail to emerge from a spectacular Q1.
An incredibly spectacular T1
Q1 was one of the most competitive and unpredictable we’ve seen in a long time. Eight world champions were battling for the top two spots, including Repsol Honda Team duo Marc Marquez and Pol Espargaro, Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) and Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar). But they weren’t going to have it easy. Not at all.
Mooney VR46 Racing Team’s Marco Bezzecchi and Luca Marini were the top two after the early lap times. Their VR46 Academy teammate Bagnaia then took over at the top of the timesheets, with Marc Marquez P4 – and on a three-stop strategy. Mir was in 12th position after the first stint, 0.5 seconds behind the very important first two.
Double disaster: Marquez loses twice and misses the second quarter
The drama then unfolds for Marc Marquez. Pushing hard, the front of his RC213V was swept away at turn 13. The eight-time world champion got to his feet and immediately returned to the pit lane, and was back with three minutes to go. Pecco had no such problems however, the Italian took a 0.4 second lead over Fabio Di Giannantonio (Gresini Racing MotoGP™) with the fastest lap of the weekend.
What did we say totally unpredictable? Marc Marquez had just passed Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) and was pressing hard for the first two. But, at turn 12, number 93 was down again. Then Mir was on deck as Repsol Hondas and Mir missed out on a place in Q2, with Bagnaia and Di Giannantonio in the lead. What a Q1 barnstorming session in Indonesia.
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A classy Q2 from Quartararo
Above all, Pecco and Di Giannantonio had two, beaming with fresh soft rear tires to put on in Q2. Quartararo was the fastest driver once the early laps were settled, a 1:31.227 was the first benchmark, as teammate Franco Morbidelli crashed unscathed at turn 5. As the drivers boxed for fresh rubber, it was a provisional first line of Quartararo, Bagnaia and Martin. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing) was P4 ahead of Di Giannantonio and his teammate Enea Bastianini. Fellow Ducati star Jack Miller (Ducati Lenovo Team) had failed to set a time six minutes from time.
Bagnaia comes out for his second run and improves his time, but Quartararo spins faster right behind. El Diablo set a blistering 1:31.067, Martin moved up to P2 to demote Pecco to P3, with Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) grabbing P4. Aleix Espargaro then crashed at Turn 10 unscathed, the yellow flags went out, but the incident was cleared in time for the riders to get a final shot on pole.
And there were late movements on the timesheets. Zarco, Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) and Bastianini all set their personal best times on the final lap to finish P3, P4 and P5 respectively, pushing Pecco to P6. Nobody could beat Quartararo though, the Frenchman grabbing his first pole since the 2021 Catalunya GP.
Brad Binder’s final lap sees the South African start from the spearhead of line 2, as the front two from Qatar set off together at Mandalika. P5 for Bastianini is a good result for the Italian, and Pecco joins Binder and The Beast on row 2 – he’ll take that after having to deal with Q1.
Oliveira starts P7 ahead of Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) and Miller. Aleix Espargaro had to settle for 10th place after his crash, the Spaniard starts ahead of Di Giannantonio – his best MotoGP™ qualification in 11th place – and Morbidelli.
If that didn’t whet your appetite for the first Indonesian GP in 25 years on Sunday, we don’t know what will. It promises to be breathtaking in Mandalika, tune in at 15:00 local time (GMT+8) to see who claims victory.
1. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™) – 1:31.067
2. Jorge Martin (Pramac Racing) +0.213
3. Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) +0.311
4. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) +0.366
5. Enea Bastianini (Gresini Racing MotoGP™) +0.437
6. Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) +0.440
7. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) +0.499
8. Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) +0.515
9. Jack Miller (Ducati Lenovo Team) +0.647
10. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing) +0.656