Moto GP: Fabio Quartararo bounces back to bag pole position in Indonesia
Lombok (Indonesia) : Reigning World Champion Fabio Quartararo of Yamaha will start first on the grid in a Moto GP race for the first time since the 2021 Catalan GP, after grabbing the pole position in a dramatic qualifying session for Pertamina Grand Prix of Indonesia here on Saturday.Jorge Martin and his Pramac Racing teammate Johann Zarco will start from second and third position, but eight-time World Champion Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda teammate Pol Espargaro and Joan Mir of Team Suzuki Ecstar failed to make it out of a spectacular Q1.The first qualifying session (Q1) was very competitive and unpredictable as eight World Champions including Honda duo Marc Marquez and Pol Espargaro, Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Team), and Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) were battling it out for the top two positions.Mooney VR46 Racing Team’s Marco Bezzecchi and Luca Marini were the top two after the first lap times were slammed in. Their VR46 Academy stablemate Bagnaia then took over at the top of the timesheets, with Marc Marquez P4 and on a three-stop strategy.
Mir was down in P12 after the first stint, 0.5s away from the all-important top two.Drama then unfolded for Marc Marquez. Pushing hard, the front of his RC213V washed away at Turn 13. The eight-time World Champion was straight back up on his feet and immediately headed back to pitlane, and was back out with three minutes to go. Pecco was having no such issues though, the Italian went 0.4s clear of now second-place Fabio Di Giannantonio (Gresini Racing) with the best lap of the weekend.On his final run in Q1, Marc Marquez passed Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) and was pressing hard for the top two. But, at Turn 12, the number 93 was down again. Then, Mir was on the deck as both Repsol Hondas and Mir missed out on a Q2 place, with Bagnaia and Di Giannantonio heading through.Crucially, both Pecco and Di Giannantonio had two, beaming fresh soft rear tyres to throw on in Q2. Quartararo was the fastest rider once the first laps had been set, a 1:31.227 was the first benchmark, as his teammate Franco Morbidelli crashed unhurt at Turn 5.
As the riders boxed for fresh rubber, it was a provisional front row 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 with six minutes to go.Bagnaia came out for his second run and improved his time, but Quartararo was lapping quicker just behind. El Diablo set a blistering 1:31.067, Martin climbed to P2 to demote Pecco to P3, with Miguel Oliveira (KTM Factory Racing) grabbing the fourth position. Aleix Espargaro then crashed at Turn 10 unhurt, the yellow flags came out, but the incident was cleared in time for the riders to get one last shot at the pole.And there was late movement on the timesheets. Zarco, Brad Binder (KTM Factory Racing) and Bastianini all put in their personal best times on the last lap to go P3, P4, and P5 respectively, pushing Pecco down to P6. No one was able to beat Quartararo though, the Frenchman took his first pole since the 2021 Catalan GP.