2022 Austin MotoGP Qualifying Result: Turning Really Red

With the King of COTA indisposed by less than royal duties and returning to find many challengers to his qualifying crown, pole position was fair game once again. And the game was played mostly amongst Bologna bullets, the red machines trading top place amongst themselves throughout Q2 before Jorge Martin turned his final flying lap into an all-time lap record around COTA. Untroubled by his additional Q1 duties, the Spaniard deposed Jack Miller by only three thousandths of a second, but the Australian will be happy enough with second on the grid after the nightmare of Argentina. 2021 polesitter Pecco Bagnaia briefly saw his name at the front as well but eventually dropped to third, one tenth of a second off pole.

And yet, a front row lockout was not enough for Ducati, with Johann Zarco and Enea Bastianini opening the second row of the grid, despite a minor tumble for the Italian at the start of the session. Fabio Quartararo didn’t have the easiest start to qualifying either, the world champion horizontally sightseeing at turn 19 with eight minutes remaining, but he rushed back to pitlane and saved a second row start on his second machine. Alex Rins navigated his way out of Q1 to qualify seventh, ahead of teammate Joan Mir and compatriot Marc Marquez – the Honda man dropping to ninth on the grid after failing to improve on his final run, uncharacteristically ending qualifying one second off pole.

The Hondas of Takaaki Nakagami and Pol Espargaro sandwich Luca Marini on the fourth row of the grid, while the championship leader will have to start from 13th position. With the three podium men from Argentina battling it out in Q1, one of them was always going to be disappointed and Aleix Espargaro sealed his own faith when he crashed at turn eight with three minutes remaining. The Spaniard will open row five ahead of teammate Maverick Viñales – in a rather unpleasant turn of events for Aprilia – and Andrea Dovizioso. KTM’s struggles continue, with Brad Binder as their leading light in 17th, surrounded by Marco Bezzecchi and Fabio Di Giannantonio on row six.


Pos No. Rider Bike Time Diff Prev
1 89 Jorge Martin Ducati 2:02.039    
2 43 Jack Miller Ducati 2:02.042 0.003 0.003
3 63 Francesco Bagnaia Ducati 2:02.167 0.128 0.125
4 5 Johann Zarco Ducati 2:02.570 0.531 0.403
5 23 Enea Bastianini Ducati 2:02.578 0.539 0.008
6 20 Fabio Quartararo Yamaha 2:02.634 0.595 0.056
7 42 Alex Rins Suzuki 2:02.694 0.655 0.060
8 36 Joan Mir Suzuki 2:02.947 0.908 0.253
9 93 Marc Marquez Honda 2:03.038 0.999 0.091
10 30 Takaaki Nakagami Honda 2:03.054 1.015 0.016
11 10 Luca Marini Ducati 2:03.059 1.020 0.005
12 44 Pol Espargaro Honda 2:03.096 1.057 0.037
    Q1 Results:        
Q2 89 Jorge Martin Ducati 2:02.487    
Q2 42 Alex Rins Suzuki 2:02.723 0.236 0.236
13 41 Aleix Espargaro Aprilia 2:02.922 0.435 0.199
14 12 Maverick Viñales Aprilia 2:03.121 0.634 0.199
15 4 Andrea Dovizioso Yamaha 2:03.133 0.646 0.012
16 72 Marco Bezzecchi Ducati 2:03.328 0.841 0.195
17 33 Brad Binder KTM 2:03.467 0.980 0.139
18 49 Fabio Di Giannantonio Ducati 2:03.576 1.089 0.109
19 21 Franco Morbidelli Yamaha 2:03.579 1.092 0.003
20 88 Miguel Oliveira KTM 2:03.983 1.496 0.404
21 25 Raul Fernandez KTM 2:04.140 1.653 0.157
22 87 Remy Gardner KTM 2:04.185 1.698 0.045
23 73 Alex Marquez Honda 2:04.229 1.742 0.044
24 40 Darryn Binder Yamaha 2:04.646 2.159 0.417
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Celebrations in Ducati land! Q1 to pole position for JM89.

Interesting to see the reactions in the boxes. Davide Tardozzi was very happy when Pecco went quicker than Jack.

Paolo Ciabatti not best pleased when Miller went fastest, celebrations when Jorge Martin took pole.

Danilo Petrucci was hanging out with the Pramac team not Ducati Corse. It's the Vibe!

So Cota is a Ducati track now or what? Still a motocross track but not as bumpy as last year.

Marc a second off the pace in Ninth! I'm predicting first corner frolics and first lap shenanigans.

4am start in east Oz is a bit early. I will be watching, sleep is a luxury, ask any parent. Moto3 starts at 5:30 am that's more like it.

My position in the MM punters picks championship may even improve.

Marc lost one good lap to a yellow, he backed out of it and then he backed out of his last 2 laps. Not sure why.

I wonder if the Ducati rear end issues have translated to 'not so bad' as everyone else suffers with the front.

I noticed the reactions in the garage too. Pretty unambiguous.

Where to for Jack? Can’t see him going back to Pramac. 
Aprilia when Vinales loses it?! Suzuki? 
I feel I’m being optimistic.

one manufacturer == qualifies top 5 slots in premier class  !?!  feel this has got to be a first ever.    Not surprised by any of the individual results..   Miller, Beast, and Zarco have been at the front and rather expected Pecco & Jorge to be there also, but all 5 together?

Honda have done this a few times I think....better still they've done the top six places on the grid, 1998 Mugello. Of course they had 14 bikes on the grid and one who didn't qually.

Race Results: not just once but 4 times in succession in 1998 -- Malaysian, Spanish, Italian and French..  and likely others that year alone.   Didn't realize just how dominant Honda was in those years.

yep, noticed the same thing, I hope his manager is doing his job

but where could he go???

But in the current lexicon could we say that factory Ducati is a toxic work environment (for the riders at least)? At what point does bad luck for a factory just turn out to be bad practices? Somehow the factory guys have a hard time of it each year. Somehow future heroes become zeros. Somehow the factory is looking to other riders and satellite teams get wins. Here we go again. How many races before we see this with Bagnaia? Hope I'm wrong but the evidence is starting to stack up.

...and yet the factory red win more races each year. 100% no relationship possible with that factory team bar a bike part that manages to bolt itself on.

Seems like amateur hour at Ducati when it comes to rider psych. I could be wrong, maybe they did spend a few 100K on psych tests to tell the best way to motivate. Pecco gets cotton, Jack the Spartan treatment.

When we win, the bike was amazing. When we lose, the problem was sitting between the handlebars and the footpegs wearing leathers.

are usually attributed to the objects stopping the rims wearing out on the asphalt.

Jack controls his fate. All he has to do is win everything. Races certainly, but the title is key. He has the talent, the bike, and the time. Jack is due a stretch of good luck (no tearoffs in airbox). Win it all or at the very least be top Ducati, and jobs won't be an issue.

Is getting a bit ridiculous in the premier class. I know that more rules just make things messier, but surely it can't continue in this vein. Just like the manufacturers exploit every loophole they find, so too will the riders - unless it gets closed. 

Funny to see Ducati acting so surprised at having positions one to five after they literally bought out half the grid. No salt against those in the front two rows though, some epic riding by the lot of them. 

There's a generous handful of riders who could feasibly end up on the podium tomorrow, here's hoping for some epic battles. I'm expecting a much more varied line up of factories at the end of the race. 

Can we call it a one-rider bike? Unfortunately that one rider isn't even enough. What we seem to have is not like the Honda and Ducati of prior years. Those were fast in a single set of hands but dangerous to all others. Everyone can ride the Yammy even if one guy extracts the most, it just doesn't have the pace. Perhaps the power deficit has finally grown too large but that is surely not the only issue. Perhaps in Europe some tracks will come to it. That is not the kind of thoughts you want to be thinking if you're in the factory garage.

Currently we have a 2021 Ducati, a KTM and Aprilia. I'm gonna guess this one is between Marc and Peco with Fabio and the Suzuki near.

Anyone else notice Fabio being -0.1-something on sector 2 and by the end of sector 3 (the straight) he was +0.2-something.  He gave away over 0.3 just in that sector...

Wow. A two minute + lap, 20 corners, but still a difference of three one-thousandths of a second, Jorge to Jack. 

You mean aside from the hubris of calling it the Circuit of the Americas? *Nervous laughter emoji* I think it's a fine circuit, but not ever going to be seen as legendary - I just wish they could sort out the bumps and the republican party. 

Given the nature of the clay soil and the wet/dry cycles of the area, I doubt it's possible to eliminate the bumps in the long term. No matter how often and how well CotA digs down, compacts the soil and resurfaces, the underlying clay will always expand/contract with the prevailing moisture and give rise to more bumps.

As for your other wish, well, that's a discussion for another forum. :) 

That was how I summed up my weekend at COTA for the gp in 2017--no need to return. Although I will never say never, since it is the only opportunity to see gp live in North America.

Aside from the clay and the bumps for the riders, its just not a great fan experience. Two minute laps means fewer times around, which means fewer views of the battle for the lead. And you don't see a lot of track from almost any spot. Believe it or not, I liked Indy better (and don't get me started on Laguna Seca...).

Twenty turns is silly, not necessary, and the endless right-lefts T2 through T9 must have looked good on paper, but just don't work IMO.

On the positive side, Austin is overflowing with great music, and its a cheap Southwest flight for me in NorCal. And their political leaders are absolutely enlightened! (just baiting Brian here  ;-)

^ Sing it brother Stephen. It has some points of interest, and demands clever ballsy agile physical riding to link turns and get the best of it. Several turns pull you into overcooking them to enjoy big wide runoff.

I have always had a difficulty over focusing upon late braking then surviving the apex rather than early drive out points and throttle. Sloppy and unskilled. I love chicanes because they allow me to reach out past this shortcoming. Doesn't everyone like the flip-flop feeling of S's? Whelp, somehow even this "highlight" here ends up rather tasteless and bland. A bit mechanical. Mastering a few of the linked corners looks a rewarding challenge, but so does mowing my lawn.

Rising to bait. I'm in Florida so I can't disparage anyone's state.