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Qualifying report
MotoGP Indian GP

MotoGP Indian GP: Bezzecchi leads Ducati 1-2-3-4 in qualifying

VR46 Ducati MotoGP rider Marco Bezzecchi has taken pole for the first Indian Grand Prix after pipping Pramac’s Jorge Martin by 0.043 seconds, while the factory Hondas starred.

Aside from the Q1 sessions prior to the pole shootout segment of qualifying, Valentino Rossi’s outfit has topped the timesheets across every outing at the Buddh International Circuit.

Having topped final practice, Bezzecchi saw off a challenge from Pramac’s Martin to take his third pole of the season and first since the British GP.

Reigning world champion Francesco Bagnaia cast aside a tough Friday in which he felt he was “missing something” on braking to complete the front row for the factory Ducati squad.

Having both made Q2 for the first time this season, the factory Honda duo of Joan Mir and Marc Marquez carried that form into qualifying to go fifth and sixth.

Gresini’s Alex Marquez will provisionally line up 12th, but did not take part in Q2 having crashed at the end of Q1 and needing to be taken to the medical centre for checks on his right hand and ribs. 

The team has since confirmed he will go to hospital for further evaluation having suffered fractures to his ribs.

Bezzecchi kicked off Q2 with the benchmark lap of 1m44.733s, though this was quickly bested by Martin with a 1m44.521s.

That pair traded top spot again on their second flying laps in the 15-minute segment, Bezzecchi setting a 1m44.401s before Martin made a big step with a 1m44.153s.

After a brief lull in action while the 11 riders taking part switched to fresh rubber, Martin’s challenge for pole faded as Bezzecchi set the first sub-1m44s lap of the weekend with a 1m43.947s.

Despite his best efforts, Martin could do no more than a 1m43.990s to line up second, while Bagnaia fired in a wild lap of 1m44.203s to complete the front row.

Luca Marini on the sister VR46 Ducati was fourth ahead of Mir and Marc Marquez.

Marquez suffered a small crash at Turn 3 early in Q2, but was able to remount and latched onto the back of Bagnaia to use the Ducati rider as a reference.

Behind him, Mir was doing the same and found a bit more time, the 2020 world champion securing his best qualifying result since he was sixth at the French GP for Suzuki in 2022.

Johann Zarco was seventh on the second Pramac Ducati ahead of Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo and the Aprilia duo of Maverick Vinales and Aleix Espargaro.

RNF Aprilia’s Raul Fernandez qualified 11th having set the pace in Q1 ahead of Alex Marquez.

Marquez’s late crash and the subsequent yellow flags in Q1 proved disastrous for team-mate Fabio Di Giannantonio, who missed the Q2 cut by 0.010s.

Having been left in Q1 by yellow flags at the end of FP2, KTM’s Brad Binder also fell foul of this in qualifying and could do no more than 14th as a result ahead of LCR Honda’s Takaaki Nakagami and Jack Miller (KTM).

Franco Morbidelli was 17th on his Yamaha ahead of Tech3’s Augusto Fernandez and RNF’s Miguel Oliveira, while Tech3’s Pol Espargaro, Stefan Bradl (LCR) and Michele Pirro (Ducati) completed the field.

MotoGP Indian Grand Prix qualifying results:

Q2 results:

         
Driver Info
   
Cla Rider # Bike Laps Time Interval km/h Speed Trap
1 Italy M. Bezzecchi Team VR46 72 Ducati 8 1'43.947 173.511 346
2 Spain J. Martin Pramac Racing 89 Ducati 8 +0.043 0.043 173.439 344
3 Italy F. Bagnaia Ducati Team 1 Ducati 7 +0.256 0.213 173.085 346
4 Italy L. Marini Team VR46 10 Ducati 8 +0.268 0.012 173.065 344
5 Spain J. Mir Repsol Honda Team 36 Honda 7 +0.507 0.239 172.669 344
6 Spain M. Marquez Repsol Honda Team 93 Honda 7 +0.522 0.015 172.644 344
7 France J. Zarco Pramac Racing 5 Ducati 8 +0.568 0.046 172.568 344
8 France F. Quartararo Yamaha Factory Racing 20 Yamaha 8 +0.777 0.209 172.224 346
9 Spain M. Viñales Aprilia Racing Team 12 Aprilia 7 +0.794 0.017 172.196 344
10 Spain A. Espargaro Aprilia Racing Team 41 Aprilia 8 +0.803 0.009 172.181 341
11 Spain R. Fernández RNF Racing 25 Aprilia 7 +1.247 0.444 171.454 339
12 Spain A. Marquez Gresini Racing 73 Ducati 0

Q1 results:

         
Driver Info
   
Cla Rider # Bike Laps Time Interval km/h Speed Trap
1 Spain R. Fernández RNF Racing 25 Aprilia 7 1'44.410 172.742 344
2 Spain A. Marquez Gresini Racing 73 Ducati 6 +0.109 0.109 172.561 342
3 Italy F. Di Giannantonio Gresini Racing 49 Ducati 8 +0.119 0.010 172.545 339
4 South Africa B. Binder Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 33 KTM 7 +0.241 0.122 172.344 344
5 Japan T. Nakagami Team LCR 30 Honda 8 +0.325 0.084 172.206 344
6 Australia J. Miller Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 43 KTM 7 +0.620 0.295 171.722 342
7 Italy F. Morbidelli Yamaha Factory Racing 21 Yamaha 7 +0.627 0.007 171.710 341
8 Spain A. Fernandez Tech 3 37 KTM 7 +0.656 0.029 171.663 342
9 Portugal M. Oliveira RNF Racing 88 Aprilia 7 +0.965 0.309 171.160 346
10 Spain P. Espargaro Tech 3 44 KTM 7 +1.042 0.077 171.035 342
11 Germany S. Bradl Team LCR 6 Honda 8 +1.107 0.065 170.929 342
12 Italy M. Pirro Ducati Team 51 Ducati 8 +1.737 0.630 169.915 341

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