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12 days ago

Ducati dominate for first Valencia pole since Stoner

A Desmosedici machine hasn’t been on pole at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo since 2010, but that changed at the 2021 season finale

Jorge Martin (Pramac Racing) proved once more that he is a Saturday master, as the rookie pipped Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) to a rare Bologna factory pole position at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo. Before Sunday’s season finale gets underway at the Gran Premio Motul de la Comunitat Valenciana, check out 10 stats that have emerged from qualifying.

1. With four poles in his rookie season, Martin becomes the first rookie with four (or more) pole positions in MotoGP™ since Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) with six poles back in 2019. Prior to the race, Martin is second in the fight for the Rookie of the Year with 91 points, three behind Enea Bastianini (Avintia Esponsorama).

2. This is Ducati’s 11th pole position of the season. Their previous best in a single MotoGP™ season was in 2008 with nine. In addition, there has been at least one Ducati rider on the front for every race this year (for a total of 30 front rows for Ducati riders out of 54 front row spots).


3. This is the first pole at Valencia for Ducati since 2010 with Casey Stoner.

4. With Martin, Francesco Bagnaia and Ducati Lenovo Team teammate Jack Miller, this is the second Ducati 1-2-3 in qualifying in MotoGP™ along with Emilia-Romagna this year with Bagnaia, Miller and Luca Marini (SKY VR46 Avintia).

5. Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) is fourth for his second-best qualifying result of the season after Algarve last time out in third. He will be aiming to win for the second time in MotoGP™ along with the European GP last year.  

6. Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) has qualified fifth. This is the 15th time this year he starts from the front two rows of the grid. He will be aiming to stand on the podium for the first time since Catalunya this year when he was second.

7. After coming through Q1, Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) has qualified sixth for his second-best qualifying of the season along with the Portuguese GP when he was second. He has finished on the podium twice at Valencia, in 2018 and 2020, both times in second place.


8. Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) has qualified ninth as the top Honda. This is the first time there is no Honda rider in the top eight in the premier class in qualifying in Valencia.

9. Valentino Rossi (Petronas Yamaha SRT) has qualified 10th for his best qualifying result since he was eighth at Silverstone this year. He will be aiming to stand on the podium for the 200th time in the premier class.

10. Fun fact: Valentino Rossi will retire after having covered more than 46,000 km in races.

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