The final qualifying session of the season was an open invitation for premier class riders to squabble for pole and put up a fight against the more nervous title contenders. The session started and finished unsurprisingly with Jorge Martin in the limelight, the Spaniard posting the best time of the weekend on only his second lap in Q2 and going on to secure a third consecutive pole position. While keen to finally get his first victory of the season, Martin will face serious competition from someone equally eager to achieve that: Marc Marquez. The sniffly and nearly voiceless Spaniard surprised himself as he took second on the grid after an otherwise lowkey Saturday. Jack Miller will want a say in the last race of 2022 as well, the Australian claiming a front row for his final outing with Ducati, despite a late tumble.
Starting on the first two rows was a necessity for Fabio Quartararo and he almost seemed disappointed to end up fourth, after running wide on his final flying lap. Alex Rins escaped Q1 and managed to climb as high up as fifth, flying the Suzuki flag one final time from the middle of the second row. After topping Q1, Maverick Viñales was the lead Aprilia in sixth position, three tenths of a second off pole.
Brad Binder in seventh was the sole KTM in Q2 and the fast-starting South African is likely to be serious competition for Pecco Bagnaia on the third row. The Italian was in no rush early on and although he improved throughout the session, he was never really in contention for pole and had to settle for eighth place, ahead of a friendlier face, that of Johann Zarco. Aleix Espargaro rounded out the top 10 in qualifying, opening fourth row ahead of Luca Marini and Joan Mir.
The big headline in Q1 was Enea Bastianini crashing out on a hot lap that was likely to help him into Q2, forcing the Gresini man to settle for 13th and attempt another trademark comeback come Sunday. While Marquez gave Honda one reason to smile later on, there weren’t many of those to go around in Q1, where Alex Marquez struggled with a technical issue on his way to 15th on the grid, Pol Espargaro crashed out and dropped to 21st, and Taka Nakagami was handed a three-place grid penalty for impeding Martin in FP3, leaving him last on the grid.
|19||49||Fabio Di Giannantonio||Ducati||1:30.695||0.605||0.107|