until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League


Satellite Ducatis top Qatar MotoGP grid, Quartararo only 11th

by Valentin Khorounzhiy
3 min read

until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

Pramac Ducati rider Jorge Martin took pole position in the first qualifying session of the 2022 season at Qatar’s Losail circuit, beating nearest rival Enea Bastianini by a tenth and a half.

Martin, who celebrated his maiden premier-class pole in the Doha Grand Prix at this very circuit last year, fired in an unassailable 1m53.011s in the final minutes of the Q2 pole shoot-out, benefitting from a tow from Honda’s Pol Espargaro.

Espargaro’s team-mate Marc Marquez had led at that point, making perfect use of Ducati’s Francesco Bagnaia as a reference rider up ahead.

But by the time it was all said and done the six-time MotoGP champion was shuffled down not just by Martin but also by the year-old Gresini-run Ducati of Enea Bastianini, whose late bid for pole unravelled in the final sector but was still easily good enough for a career-best second-place qualifying.

Jack Miller was the top factory Ducati in fourth, followed by Aleix Espargaro for Aprilia, the latter shrugging off the deletion of his fastest lap for track limits to go slightly faster still with his final attempt.

His brother Pol Espargaro’s last-gasp lap proved good enough for sixth, while Brad Binder – who dominated Q1 – followed Martin on his solitary Q2 run to bank seventh, which is comfortably his employer KTM’s best-ever qualifying at a Losail circuit that has never favoured it.


After an ultra-impressive showing in practice, Suzuki’s Joan Mir and Alex Rins had to settle for a more familiar eighth and 10th respectively, sandwiched by Bagnaia.

The two Yamaha representatives in Q2 completed the order, with reigning champion Fabio Quartararo – after just barely squeezing out of Q1 – beating team-mate Franco Morbidelli by three and a half tenths but still ending up 0.624s off pole.

Martin’s Pramac team-mate Johann Zarco had a Q1 effort comfortably good enough for Q2 chalked off due to yellow flags, brought out at Turn 2 by a crash for RNF Yamaha rookie Darryn Binder.

Zarco, who would’ve progressed at the expense of his compatriot Quartararo had the lap stood, had to settle for 13th on the grid and will be joined on row five by the second works KTM of Miguel Oliveira and the top rookie, VR46 Ducati rider Marco Bezzecchi – whose best lap was recorded in Zarco’s tow.

The two LCR Hondas of Takaaki Nakagami and Alex Marquez will start either side of 17th-placed VR46 man Luca Marini on row six.

In the all-rookie Tech3 pairing, Remy Gardner claimed first blood over Raul Fernandez by an impressive five tenths, benefitting from timing his second run to follow Aprilia’s Maverick Vinales, only three places ahead in 19th on the grid.

Qualifying Results

Pos Name Team Bike Group 1 Group 2
1 Jorge Martin Pramac Racing Ducati 1m53.011s
2 Enea Bastianini Gresini Racing MotoGP Ducati 1m53.158s
3 Marc Marquez Repsol Honda Team Honda 1m53.283s
4 Jack Miller Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati 1m53.298s
5 Aleix Espargaró Aprilia Racing Aprilia 1m53.319s
6 Pol Espargaró Repsol Honda Team Honda 1m53.346s
7 Brad Binder Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 1m53.512s 1m53.35s
8 Joan Mir Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 1m53.407s
9 Francesco Bagnaia Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati 1m53.411s
10 Alex Rins Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 1m53.481s
11 Fabio Quartararo Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 1m53.654s 1m53.635s
12 Franco Morbidelli Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 1m53.982s
13 Johann Zarco Pramac Racing Ducati 1m53.78s
14 Miguel Oliveira Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 1m53.819s
15 Marco Bezzecchi Mooney VR46 Racing Team Ducati 1m53.915s
16 Takaaki Nakagami LCR Honda IDEMITSU Honda 1m54.038s
17 Luca Marini Mooney VR46 Racing Team Ducati 1m54.222s
18 Alex Marquez LCR Honda Castrol Honda 1m54.224s
19 Maverick Viñales Aprilia Racing Aprilia 1m54.228s
20 Andrea Dovizioso WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team Yamaha 1m54.244s
21 Fabio Di Giannantonio Gresini Racing MotoGP Ducati 1m54.276s
22 Remy Gardner Tech3 KTM Factory Racing KTM 1m54.378s
23 Raul Fernandez Tech3 KTM Factory Racing KTM 1m54.889s
24 Darryn Binder WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team Yamaha 1m56.011s
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