Spaniard Jorge Martin (Ducati-Pramac) took his second pole position of the season on Saturday for the Grand Prix of the Americas in Austin, while reigning French world champion Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha) crashed and will start 6th on Sunday .
Behind Martin, four other Ducati follow: Jack Miller (Ducati), Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati), Johann Zarco (Ducati-Pramac) and Enea Bastianini (Ducati-Gresini). Marc Marquez (Honda), back from injury after two missed Grands Prix, will start 9th Sunday at 1:00 p.m. local (8:00 p.m. French) for the 4th round of the season.
Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia), leader of the championship after the very first victory of his career last week in Argentina, will only start 13th, after a fall in the first part of qualifying.
A sixth pole for Martin in Moto GP
“After the accident in free practice 3, I didn’t expect to be in pole position today,” smiled Martin, “so thanks to the team for the great job getting me back on track, I’m super happy and focused on tomorrow (Sunday)”.
The 24-year-old Spaniard has indeed come a long way after a crash during practice. But “Martinator” pulled out all the stops. First by setting the fastest time in the first part of qualifying (Q1), to be drafted in Q2, where he snatched pole… for only 3/1000 of a second ahead of Miller. It is already the sixth pole position for Martin in MotoGP, the premier category of motorcycle speed which he joined in 2021.
Already the fastest in the qualifying exercise in Qatar at the beginning of March for the first GP of the year, Martin had also set the second fastest time in Indonesia and Argentina. Unlucky after two retirements, he waited for Argentina to finish a race this year, in 2nd place, moving up to 9th overall.
Miller and Bagnaia will start on the front row for the first time this season. A strong comeback for the official Ducati team, which struggled in the first three rounds.
After a fall eight minutes from the end, Quartararo, 5th in the championship, managed to set the 6th time only, when he was leading the time sheet during practice.