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  • MotoGP Qatar GP: Luca Marini Takes Pole Position, Jorge Martin Wins Sprint Race in Lusail

  • The Round 19 of MotoGP 2023, Qatar Airways Grand Prix of Qatar took place at the Lusail International Circuit in Lusail on November 18, 2023.

    In Qualifying, Luca Marini (Mooney VR46 Ducati) took his second pole position of the season with a new lap record, following Indonesian GP.
    Fabio Di Giannantonio (Gresini Ducati) was 2nd, and his team-mate Alex Marquez (Gresini Ducati) advanced to Q2 from Q1 and finished 3rd.
    World Championship title contenders Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo) and Jorge Martin (Pramac Ducati) were 4th and 5th, respectively, and will start on the second row on Sunday.
    Johann Zarco (Pramac Ducati) advanced to Q2 from Q1 along with Alex Marquez, and took 6th.
    Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda), Maverick Viñales (Aprilia Racing), and Raul Fernandez (RNF Aprilia) will start the third row.
    Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing) was 10th, but will drop six places on the grid, to 16th, for Sunday's grand prix (and has been given a 10,000 Euros fine) as punishment for slapping Franco Morbidelli (Monster Yamaha) in Saturday practice.
    Luca Marini said, “Fantastic Saturday. The weekend is not finished so we need to find something for tomorrow because today the race was really difficult for me. After four laps I finished the rear tyre. It was really difficult to arrive at the end of this sprint race. I am really worried about tomorrow. But we will see and try to understand what happened to find a solution because in practice this never happened. Usually the harder rear makes an improvement lap-by-lap but today was the complete opposite. Also, the front tyre was a question mark. I felt good with the soft but everyone else is using the hard. At the beginning of this sprint race I was quite strong. But as soon as I started struggling with the rear tyre my pace was finished. Tyre management will be the key of the race tomorrow.”

    In the Sprint Race, Jorge Martin took his sixth victory of the season and got 9 points.
    Fabio Di Giannantonio was 2nd behind Jorge Martin by 0.391s. It is his first podium of the season in the Sprint Race. Pole sitter Luca Marini was 3rd.
    Alex Marquez finished 4th ahead of Francesco Bagnaia, who was 5th. This result marks the gap is seven between Francesco Bagnaia and Jorge Martin in World Championship. It means the title battle will go to the final round of the year in Valencia next weekend.
    Maverick Viñales (Aprilia Racing) was 6th and Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM) was 7th, each. Also, Fabio Quartararo (Monster Yamaha) finished 8th and Augusto Fernandez (Tech3 GASGAS) was 9th. Four riders got points.
    While, Johann Zarco finished 10th, but missed the points.
    Jorge Martin said, “This morning I felt like something was still wrong but then we found something and the right tyres which we normally make a big mistake with. So this was good and the team did an amazing job. We used our experience with the temperatures to be fast and I was actually really confident going into the race that I could win it. When I made this small mistake at turn four I struggled to keep calm but I saw that I was faster than them and tried to just put my pace on the track. It was a big combination of things. The bike wasn't working well but when the track is so dirty you cannot make any mistakes. In another track you can ride and maybe you are two or three tenths slower, but when you are on these tracks with a small line I was losing a lot of laps. I was really frustrated but I knew something wasn't okay. Today went well and we could see my potential. I can't wait to watch the race [back]. I had a lot of doubt about the start going into the race because I didn't make a good start in the practices; I was spinning and thinking I would be 20th on the first lap if I did the same. But I was able to do a great start.”

    Qatar Airways Grand Prix of Qatar Qualifying Results
    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
    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

    Qatar Airways Grand Prix of Qatar Sprint Race Results
    1. Jorge Martin / Pramac Ducati / 20m 52.634s
    2. Fabio Di Giannantonio / Gresini Ducati / +0.391s
    3. Luca Marini / Mooney VR46 Ducati / +2.875s
    4. Alex Marquez / Gresini Ducati / +3.370s
    5. Francesco Bagnaia / Ducati Lenovo / +3.957s
    6. Maverick Viñales / Aprilia Racing / +4.239s
    7. Brad Binder / Red Bull KTM / +5.761s
    8. Fabio Quartararo / Monster Yamaha / +6.454s
    9. Augusto Fernandez / Tech3 GASGAS / +8.285s
    10. Johann Zarco / Pramac Ducati / +8.314s
    11. Marc Marquez / Repsol Honda / +9.596s
    12. Jack Miller / Red Bull KTM / +10.173s
    13. Marco Bezzecchi / Mooney VR46 Ducati / +10.646s
    14. Raul Fernandez / RNF Aprilia / +11.117s
    15. Franco Morbidelli / Monster Yamaha / +12.163s
    16. Pol Espargaro / Tech3 GASGAS / +12.745s
    17. Iker Lecuona / LCR Honda / +19.285s
    18. Takaaki Nakagami / LCR Honda / +26.238s
    19. Joan Mir / Repsol Honda / +28.446s
    20. Enea Bastianini / Ducati Lenovo / +35.553s

    Photo by MotoGP
  • source : MotoGP
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