Martin pips Miller to pole as Ducati dominate in Texas

The Spaniard comes from Q1 to claim a second pole position of 2022; Ducati lockout top five, Quartararo crashes, Marc Marquez struggles

Jorge Martin’s (Pramac Racing) stunning Saturday afternoon form continued at the Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas as the Spaniard comes from Q1 to claim a sensational second pole position of the season. It’s four front row starts in a row for Martin who beat Jack Miller (Ducati Lenovo Team) by just 0.003s with a 2: 02.039, as Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) claimed P3 to make it a Ducati triple threat on the front row . And just behind, two more Ducatis line up P4 and P5.

Q1 was – as we’re used to seeing nowadays with the competitiveness of the class – was a star-studded affair. World Championship leader Alex Espargaro and Aprilia Racing teammate fancied their chances of progressing, but so did Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar), Martin and Franco Morbidelli (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP (). Darryn Binder (WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP ™ Team), chasing big brother Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing), crashed at Turn 3 unhurt in the early stages.

Rins was the early pacesetter, and 2: 02.723 was the benchmark, but Martin took over at the summit with eight minutes to go. That saw Aleix Espargaro kicked out of the all-important top two, and chasing a time on his second run, Espargaro was down. Hopes of a Q2 place were gone for the Spaniard and the best he could hope for was a P13 grid slot. Luckily for the number 41, P3 in the session and P13 on the grid was where he stayed, as Martin and Rins progressed.

Q2 at the Circuit of The Americas then got underway and it was Miller who was the early pacesetter, as fellow Ducati rider Enea Bastianini (Gresini Racing MotoGP () crashed at Turn 15. The Italian was able to pick his GP21 straight back up though, and immediately set off chasing a pole position lap time – no damage done.

Then, another crash. This time it was Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP () at the penultimate corner. Rider ok, 100m Olympic sprinter mode was activated, but this was now a race against time for the Frenchman who was provisional P7.