After a thrilling battle with Jorge Martin in Argentina, Aleix Espargaro claimed Aprilia’s first-ever MotoGP pole.
All eyes were on Espargaro heading into a session that promised so much after he dominated Argentina MotoGP practice.
Following the initial flurry of laps, Espargaro moved top by over three tenths, securing Aprilia’s first-ever MotoGP pole.
Joan Mir’s bike had to have its tyres removed and transferred to his second GSX-RR machine, which caused immediate complications for Suzuki.
The problem was the bike cutting out, which was quickly resolved.
On the track, Vinales briefly took the lead until Martin established a new time of 1:34.425s. Espargaro, on the other hand, quickly surpassed the Pramac Ducati rider’s effort with a spectacular time of 1:38.125s.
While Espargaro posted an unbreakable time, Jack Miller became the latest crasher after a front-end washout at turn one.
After the Ducati rider was observed touring on the racing line over the final flying laps, additional handbags erupted between Quartararo and Miller.
Tensions between the two will undoubtedly be high coming into tomorrow’s race after their incident during the Indonesian Grand Prix.
Due to the fact that it cost Quartararo dearly on his lap and nearly ended in collision, Miller is likely to receive a penalty.
Following a great sector four, Martin, who had three personal best sectors, took over at the front. The Spaniard improved by over three tenths to win by -0.256s, but Espargaro fought back quickly, as he had done all day.
While grip appeared to be good throughout the Termas de Rio Hondo Circuit, riders struggled with bike wobbling on the exit of turn 11, which was evident again during qualifying.
Luca Marini of Mooney VR46 Ducati finished third in his maiden Q2 appearance of the season, matching his best ever MotoGP qualifying result of third.
Pol Espargaro, who, like Marini, waited until the last possible moment to set his best time, starts from the second row, and Maverick Vinales, riding the second Aprilia RS-GP, is fifth. Fabio Quartararo, the defending world champion, completes the second row.
Qualifying began for the second weekend in a row with factory Ducati rider Francesco Bagnaia having to go through Q1.
Enea Bastianini, the championship leader who has struggled in his debut premier class appearance at Termas, joined the Italian, as did Mandalika race winner Miguel Oliveira, FP1 pacesetter Takaaki Nakagami, and impressive newcomer Marco Bezzecchi.
Bagnaia, who had been flustered at the conclusion of FP2, began Q1 in a same manner, returning to pit lane without setting a representative lap.
Running wide and bike shaking were becoming more and more of a problem for the Ducati rider, who seemed like a shell of the Bagnaia we saw over the final few races of 2021.
Bagnaia, like all great champions, was able to maintain his composure, refocus, and then record a blazing time of 1:38.610s to win by three tenths of a second. However, Nakagami and Pol Espargaro, who finished first and second for Honda, had more to give.
Bagnaia had one last chance to break Honda’s hearts, but the runner-up in the 2021 championship was unable to do so as Nakagami and Espargaro advanced. As a result, Bastianini was also unable to advance. P13 and P14 will be the starting positions for the two Ducati riders.
MOTOGP ARGENTINA, TERMAS – FULL QUALIFYING RESULTS
|1||Aleix Espargaro||SPA||Aprilia Racing (RS-GP)||1’37.688s||5/6||334k|
|2||Jorge Martin||SPA||Pramac Ducati (GP22)||+0.151s||5/6||334k|
|3||Luca Marini||ITA||Mooney VR46 Ducati (GP22)||+0.431s||6/7||331k|
|4||Pol Espargaro||SPA||Repsol Honda (RC213V)||+0.477s||2/3||334k|
|5||Maverick Viñales||SPA||Aprilia Racing (RS-GP)||+0.508s||6/7||337k|
|6||Fabio Quartararo||FRA||Monster Yamaha (YZR-M1)||+0.593s||6/7||333k|
|7||Alex Rins||SPA||Suzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR)||+0.767s||7/8||337k|
|8||Joan Mir||SPA||Suzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR)||+0.828s||6/7||336k|
|9||Johann Zarco||FRA||Pramac Ducati (GP22)||+0.849s||7/8||336k|
|10||Takaaki Nakagami||JPN||LCR Honda (RC213V)||+0.888s||5/7||334k|
|11||Brad Binder||RSA||Red Bull KTM (RC16)||+1.244s||8/8||334k|
|12||Enea Bastianini||ITA||Gresini Ducati (GP21)||1’38.566s||7/8||340k|
|13||Francesco Bagnaia||ITA||Ducati Lenovo (GP22)||1’38.61s||5/7||333k|
|14||Jack Miller||AUS||Ducati Lenovo (GP22)||Penalty|
|15||Franco Morbidelli||ITA||Monster Yamaha (YZR-M1)||1’38.805s||7/8||328k|
|16||Miguel Oliveira||POR||Red Bull KTM (RC16)||1’38.871s||7/8||329k|
|17||Marco Bezzecchi||ITA||Mooney VR46 Ducati (GP21)*||1’38.877s||6/8||335k|
|18||Andrea Dovizioso||ITA||WithU Yamaha RNF (YZR-M1)||1’38.938s||6/8||331k|
|19||Alex Marquez||SPA||LCR Honda (RC213V)||1’39.095s||8/8||334k|
|20||Fabio Di Giannantonio||ITA||Gresini Ducati (GP21)*||1’39.126s||6/8||333k|
|21||Raul Fernandez||SPA||KTM Tech3 (RC16)*||1’39.153s||7/7||334k|
|22||Remy Gardner||AUS||KTM Tech3 (RC16)*||1’39.159s||7/7||332k|
|23||Darryn Binder||RSA||WithU Yamaha RNF (YZR-M1)*||1’39.38s||7/7||334k|
|24||Stefan Bradl||GER||Repsol Honda (RC213V)||1’39.487s||6/7||334k|