2019 Motegi MotoGP Qualifying Result: Full House

Despite the persistently grey cloud cover, all the talk of rain was forgotten by the time the premier class came out to play catch for grid spots. A mostly dry surface throwing some damp obstacles greeted the gladiators in the battle for pole and the newly crowned world champion rewarded the resilient spectators with another masterful display of dominance in challenging conditions. After a rapid first run and an anticlimactic second run, it was home advantage for Honda, Marc Marquez securing his 90th career pole position, another BMW and finally taking the missing piece in his collection of pole positions on the current calendar. The show for second best came down to friendly fire in the Petronas Yamaha garage, Franco Morbidelli taking a rare win over his much applauded teammate Fabio Quartararo.

Petronas colours sealing the rest of the front row demoted the factory machine of Maverick Viñales to the second row of the grid, where the Spaniard will be joined by Q1 fast man Cal Crutchlow. After an underwhelming Friday, the LCR man found some speed in the tricky conditions provided on Saturday and even looked like a pole hopeful, if only briefly. Jack Miller closes the second row of the grid, half a second off pole.

Andrea Dovizioso kept a low profile on his way to seventh position, a smidgen ahead of teammate Danilo Petrucci and with Aleix Espargaro admirably closing the third row of the grid for Aprilia. Valentino Rossi posted an identical time to the elder Espargaro but had to settle for fourth row, in the company of the two Suzukis of Alex Rins and Joan Mir. Takaaki Nakagami put in an incredible effort to lead throughout Q1 but Rins’ late charge demoted the local favourite, who will start his last race of the season from row five.


Pos. Num. Rider Bike Time Gap 1st Prev.
1 93 Marc MARQUEZ Honda 1'45.763    
2 21 Franco MORBIDELLI Yamaha 1'45.895 0.132 0.132
3 20 Fabio QUARTARARO Yamaha 1'45.944 0.181 0.049
4 12 Maverick VIÑALES Yamaha 1'46.090 0.327 0.146
5 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW Honda 1'46.189 0.426 0.099
6 43 Jack MILLER Ducati 1'46.337 0.574 0.148
7 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati 1'46.410 0.647 0.073
8 9 Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati 1'46.427 0.664 0.017
9 41 Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia 1'46.558 0.795 0.131
10 46 Valentino ROSSI Yamaha 1'46.558 0.795  
11 42 Alex RINS Suzuki 1'46.600 0.837 0.042
12 36 Joan MIR Suzuki 1'46.616 0.853 0.016
    Q1 Results:        
Q2 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW Honda 1'46.695    
Q2 42 Alex RINS Suzuki 1'46.964 0.269 0.269
13 30 Takaaki NAKAGAMI Honda 1'46.998 0.303 0.034
14 63 Francesco BAGNAIA Ducati 1'47.594 0.899 0.596
15 44 Pol ESPARGARO KTM 1'47.654 0.959 0.060
16 88 Miguel OLIVEIRA KTM 1'47.894 1.199 0.240
17 82 Mika KALLIO KTM 1'47.979 1.284 0.085
18 17 Karel ABRAHAM Ducati 1'48.121 1.426 0.142
19 99 Jorge LORENZO Honda 1'48.492 1.797 0.371
20 55 Hafizh SYAHRIN KTM 1'48.522 1.827 0.030
21 50 Sylvain GUINTOLI Suzuki 1'49.186 2.491 0.664
22 29 Andrea IANNONE Aprilia 1'49.243 2.548 0.057
  53 Tito RABAT Ducati      
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Marquez got another BMW for his pole position?  Are they handing out S1000RRs instead of Tissot watches? 

Reynard11 is right. To help spice up qualifying even further, BMW sponsor the BMW M Award, a prize for the rider with the best qualifying performance over the entire season. Points are scored using the same system as the championship - 25 for 1st, 20 for 2nd, 16 for 3rd, etc - and the rider with the most points over the season wins a BMW M car, this year a BMW X4 M Competition.

It is customary for riders to either give the car to a member of the team, or sell the car and share the proceeds among the team members. Though they usually keep the car the first time they win it. But Marquez has won this award a lot. 

I believe that whomever scores the most pole positions over the course of the season wins a new M3 (or similar).