MotoGP Qatar GP: VR46's Luca Marini Sets New Lap Record to Secure Pole Position

VR46's Luca Marini clinched his second MotoGP pole by setting a new lap record at the Qatar Grand Prix, leading a front row entirely dominated by year-old Ducati bikes.

By Divyam Dubey | on November 18, 2023 Follow us on Autox Google News

Luca Marini clinched a hard-fought pole position for the MotoGP Qatar Grand Prix, narrowly outpacing fellow Ducati satellite rider Fabio Di Giannantonio in the Saturday sprint that precedes the main event. This marked Marini's second pole in the MotoGP series, a feat made even more impressive by setting a new lap record at the recently resurfaced Losail circuit, with a blistering time of 1m51.762s. His strategic prowess was evident as he strategically drafted behind Aprilia's Maverick Vinales during the decisive pole shootout, securing his place at the front of the grid.

Despite Di Giannantonio's initial dominance, becoming the first rider to break the 1m52s barrier, Marini staged a remarkable comeback with a lap time of 1m51.762s, seizing the pole and underscoring his competitiveness on the VR46-run 2022-spec Ducati.

Also Read: MotoGP Qatar GP: Here’s When, Where and How to Watch Lusail International Circuit Race in India

MotoGP Qatar GP: Qualifying Result

MotoGP Bharat GP VR46 Luca Marini 1

Sharing the front row with Marini, Di Giannantonio, and the resurgent Alex Marquez, who battled through Q1, the lineup promised an electrifying start to the Qatar Grand Prix. Notably, factory Ducati rider Pecco Bagnaia, following closely in fifth place, injected further excitement into the proceedings. Jorge Martin secured the third spot, rebounding after a close call with Aprilia's Aleix Espargaro that necessitated an aborted first flying lap.

The midfield battles were no less intense, with Johann Zarco, who set the pace in Q1, claiming the sixth spot on the sister Pramac Ducati. Marc Marquez settled for seventh, utilizing Bagnaia as a reference for his second run. Maverick Vinales and Raul Fernandez rounded out the top 10, ensuring a competitive mix of manufacturers and riders on the starting grid.

However, the qualifying session was not without its share of off-track drama. Aleix Espargaro faced a stewards' investigation for an incident involving Yamaha's Franco Morbidelli during the third practice, adding a layer of intrigue to the pre-race narrative. Additionally, Iker Lecuona found himself under scrutiny for blocking Enea Bastianini during a flying lap in Q1, further intensifying the post-qualifying discussions.

Pos Rider Team Time
1 Luca Marini Mooney VR46 Ducati 1:51.762s
2 Fabio Di Giannantonio Gresini Ducati  +0.067s
3 Alex Marquez Gresini Ducati  +0.136s
4 Francesco Bagnaia Ducati Lenovo  +0.274s
5 Jorge Martin Pramac Ducati  +0.296s
6 Johann Zarco Pramac Ducati  +0.339s
7 Marc Marquez Repsol Honda  +0.341s
8 Maverick Viñales Aprilia Racing  +0.413s
9 Raul Fernandez RNF Aprilia  +0.586s
10 Aleix Espargaro Aprilia Racing  +0.704s
11 Brad Binder Red Bull KTM  +0.967s
12 Augusto Fernandez Tech3 GASGAS  +1.022s
  Qualifying 1:    
13 Marco Bezzecchi Mooney VR46 Ducati  1'52.504s
14 Fabio Quartararo Monster Yamaha  1'52.524s
15 Enea Bastianini Ducati Lenovo  1'52.828s
16 Jack Miller Red Bull KTM  1'52.889s
17 Miguel Oliveira RNF Aprilia  1'53.099s
18 Franco Morbidelli Monster Yamaha  1'53.143s
19 Pol Espargaro Tech3 GASGAS  1'53.362s
20 Joan Mir Repsol Honda  1'53.57s
21 Iker Lecuona LCR Honda  1'53.838s
22 Takaaki Nakagami LCR Honda  1'54.36s

Also Read: Off the Bucket List: I FINALLY went to the Greatest MotoGP Circuit to watch a race!

As the anticipation builds for the main event, notable disappointments include Fabio Quartararo, starting 14th on his Yamaha, and last year's Qatar Grand Prix winner, Enea Bastianini, who could only manage 15th on his factory Ducati. The mid-pack and beyond feature seasoned riders like Jack Miller, Miguel Oliveira, Franco Morbidelli, Pol Espargaro, Joan Mir, and the LCR duo of Iker Lecuona and Takaaki Nakagami. Each holds the potential to influence the race dynamics, adding an element of unpredictability to the highly anticipated MotoGP spectacle in Qatar.

Tags: MotoGP Qatar GP Luca Marini VR46 Ducati

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