The first-ever MotoGP™ qualifying at the Buddh International Circuit has drawn to a close and has served as the perfect precursor to the racing action at the IndianOil Grand Prix of India! Marco Bezzecchi (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) stamped his authority on the chasing pack, with his 1:43.947 standing as the all-time lap record in India. Jorge Martin (Prima Pramac Racing) was the man to beat following practice but was denied by the Italian as the Spaniard fell just 0.043s short of his title rival for the pole. The Championship leader Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Tram) was leaving some hefty dark lines on the Indian Circuit as the champ slid his way to take the final front-row spot to keep himself well in the fight ahead of lights-out.
The Q1 battle
The green flag dropped on Saturday's Q1 session and it was an intense time-attack battle that decided the final two Q2 spots.
It was Raul Fernandez (CryptoDATA RNF MotoGP™ Team) who won the Q1 fight taking the top spot with a 1:44.410 as he consolidated a Q2 spot. Alex Marquez (Gresini Racing MotoGP™) suffered a crash in the closing stages but did take the 2nd spot with the yellow flags out on the circuit.
The other Gresini machine of Fabio Di Giannantonio was also battling it out for the top two positions but just missed out, with Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) falling victim to the yellow flags once again.
Game on in India!
The banker laps came in and it was Jorge Martin who was on top as the riders returned to the pits. There was still plenty of life left in the Q2 session, however. Fresh rubber then went in and the battle for pole was on for the first time in India!
Martin and Bezzecchi lit up the timing screens on their first flyers out of the box. Bezzecchi struck first with the first-ever 1:43 lap at the Buddh Circuit. Attacks came in from Martin and Luca Marini but no one could match the Italian's time as he took pole.
Bagnaia came out of the pits with fire in his belly as he had Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) glued to his rear wheel. The Italian chipped away at his lap time as he bagged an important front row beside his title rivals.
As close as you like in MotoGP™!
Luca Marini (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) will head the 2nd row after finishing 0.268s away from the top spot in P4. The Italian will be joined by a delighted Joan Mir (Repsol Honda Team) who bagged a positive P5 to make it two Repsol Hondas on row two with Marc Marquez in P6.
Taking the 7th spot on the grid was Johann Zaro (Prima Pramac Racing) with his compatriot Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™) enjoying a solid weekend for him in P8. The Frenchman will start from the middle of row three with Maverick Viñales (Aprilia Racing) taking P9.
Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing) will be one to keep an eye on as he'll be looking to carve his way through the grid from P10. The Spaniard will line up alongside Raul Fernandez who fought his way up through Q1.
Alex Marquez didn't put a lap in Q2 following his Q1 crash. The Spaniard has been declared unfit ahead of the Tissot Sprint.
The action has only just begun at the IndianOil Grand Prix of India as points are now up for grabs at the Buddh International Circuit. Make sure to tune in as the story unfolds for the Tissot Sprint at 15:30 local time (GMT +5:30)!
|1||Marco Bezzecchi (Mooney VR46 Racing Team)||1:43.947|
|2||Jorge Martin (Prima Pramac Racing)||+0.043|
|3||Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team)||+0.256|
|4||Luca Marini (Mooney VR46 Racing Team)||+0.268|
|5||Joan Mir (Repsol Honda Team)||+0.507|
|6||Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team)||+0.522|
|7||Johann Zarco (Prima Pramac Racing)||+0.568|
|8||Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™)||+0.777|
|9||Maverick Viñales (Aprilia Racing)||+0.794|
|10||Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing)||+0.803|