Bagnaia hangs on to claim Sachsenring MotoGP pole - The Race
MotoGP

Bagnaia hangs on to claim Sachsenring MotoGP pole

Jun 18 2022
By Valentin Khorounzhiy

Francesco Bagnaia claimed Ducati’s seventh pole of the MotoGP season in qualifying for the German Grand Prix at the Sachsenring.

Practice standout Bagnaia took the lead early on in Q2, albeit his initial benchmark was immediately followed by him running deep into the gravel at Turn 1.

Electing to make his second run on another soft tyre earlier than anyone else, he went quicker still – posting a 1m19.931s – when the track was mostly empty around the midpoint of the pole shootout.

He then headed out for a third run, but started it too late to get another flying lap in – yet this wasn’t enough of a drama to prevent him from claiming pole position.

Championship leader Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha) got closest of anyone to dethroning Bagnaia, ending up 0.076s short in second, with Pramac Ducati’s Johann Zarco completing the front row just a quarter of a tenth down.

Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro is set to head into battle from fourth place on the grid, having finished just 0.008s ahead of Gresini Ducati rookie Fabio Di Giannantonio. The latter followed Espargaro on his fastest lap in Q2, having thoroughly dominated Q1.

Bagnaia’s team-mate Jack Miller was only two tenths off the pace but only sixth, his final attempt seemingly thwarted by yellow flags for a Takaaki Nakagami crash at Turn 1.

But Miller may yet face a penalty, having fallen off at Turn 13 shortly after Espargaro’s crash at the same corner during the pre-qualifying FP4 session – with yellow flags appearing to have been still in effect.

If Miller is penalised, it would promote VR46 Ducati rider Luca Marini, Pramac Ducati’s Jorge Martin and Aprilia’s Maverick Vinales.

The Q2 order was completed by Nakagami, VR46 Ducati rookie Marco Bezzecchi – who progressed from Q1 alongside Di Giannantonio – and Suzuki’s Joan Mir, irate on his GSX-RR after taking the chequered flag.

Honda rider Pol Espargaro came up just 0.004s short of denying Bezzecchi a spot in Q2, having to settle for 13th, ahead of KTM factory duo Miguel Oliveira and Brad Binder.

Oliveira was potentially on course to challenge for Q2 late in the first segment, but made an apparent error at Turn 12, this effectively consigning KTM to a fifth consecutive race of having none of its four bikes in the pole shoot-out.

Gresini Ducati’s Enea Bastianini, a three-time race winner in 2021, was all the way down in 17th, three places up on fellow Italian Franco Morbidelli – the factory Yamaha man suffering his ninth successive Q1 elimination.

The grid will be down to 23 riders for Sunday’s race, with Suzuki’s Alex Rins having withdrawn due to lingering pain in his wrist – which was fractured in a multi-bike Barcelona crash and subsequently operated on.

Qualifying Results

Pos Name Team Bike Group 1 Group 2
1 Francesco Bagnaia Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati 1m19.931s
2 Fabio Quartararo Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 1m20.007s
3 Johann Zarco Pramac Racing Ducati 1m20.03s
4 Aleix Espargaró Aprilia Racing Aprilia 1m20.12s
5 Fabio Di Giannantonio Gresini Racing MotoGP Ducati 1m20.6s 1m20.128s
6 Jack Miller Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati 1m20.15s
7 Luca Marini Mooney VR46 Racing Team Ducati 1m20.168s
8 Jorge Martin Pramac Racing Ducati 1m20.219s
9 Maverick Viñales Aprilia Racing Aprilia 1m20.468s
10 Takaaki Nakagami LCR Honda IDEMITSU Honda 1m20.562s
11 Marco Bezzecchi Mooney VR46 Racing Team Ducati 1m20.6s 1m20.593s
12 Joan Mir Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 1m20.732s
13 Pol Espargaró Repsol Honda Team Honda 1m20.604s
14 Miguel Oliveira Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 1m20.656s
15 Brad Binder Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 1m20.757s
16 Alex Marquez LCR Honda Castrol Honda 1m20.888s
17 Enea Bastianini Gresini Racing MotoGP Ducati 1m20.905s
18 Stefan Bradl Repsol Honda Team Honda 1m20.908s
19 Andrea Dovizioso WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team Yamaha 1m20.965s
20 Franco Morbidelli Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 1m21.02s
21 Remy Gardner Tech3 KTM Factory Racing KTM 1m21.089s
22 Raul Fernandez Tech3 KTM Factory Racing KTM 1m21.322s
23 Darryn Binder WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team Yamaha 1m21.322s

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