French world champion Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha) signed his first pole position in 2022 on Saturday; will be ahead of Spaniard Jorge Martin (Ducati-Pramac) and other Frenchman Johann Zarco (Ducati-Pramac) on Sunday at the Indonesian Grand Prix, the second race of the MotoGP season.
Find the pole and smile: After a disappointing 8th position in Qatar a fortnight ago, Quartararo signed the 16th pole position of his career in the elite. The first since June 2021 in Catalonia.
“It’s good to be back here, a long time ago!”, He smiled after his performance, in the square reserved for interviews with the first three. “I am very happy”.
In search of a rebound after Qatar, with a powerless Yamaha, Quartararo was expected on this brand new Mandalika track, by the sea, with a straight line of “only” 507 meters that corresponds more to the characteristics of the your bike. .
“And I’m even happier after FP4 (free practice 4, ed.), I did 15 laps at a time, I had a really good pace, it’s promising for Sunday,” he said.
“We weren’t wrong, thanks to the team, we never gave up, I’m fine before tomorrow and that’s the most important thing,” he concluded, not knowing pole in 12 races.
He will have to be wary of the first place of the two Ducati-Pramacs of Martin and Zarco, confident after these qualifications that have also seen the fall twice in a row of the six-time MotoGP champion Marc Márquez (Honda). Spanish will only start on Sunday 14th at 08:00 French time (15:00 local time).
“It was important to qualify well because it is difficult to advance on this circuit, and all the drivers have a very similar pace. I’m pretty sure for tomorrow,” warned Martin, who is still in Qatar before giving up the race.
“We work well with the team, looking for the right pace, in these conditions that make things so difficult,” explained Zarco.
“If I can get that pace and also some air, then I have a good chance for the race,” the Frenchman continued, as all the riders talked about the tropical, hot and humid conditions in Indonesia.
Brad Binder (KTM), Enea Bastianini (Ducati-Gresini), the surprise leader of the championship after his victory in Qatar a fortnight ago, and the 2021 runner-up Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati) will be in the second row.
The third row will consist of Miguel Oliveira (KTM), Alex Rins (Suzuki) and Jack Miller (Ducati).
Indonesia had already hosted two races at the World Motorcycle Speed Championships, in 1996 and 1997, but in the 500 cc category. It is the first time since its inception in 2002 that MotoGP, and its 1000 cc engines, call at the Indonesian archipelago.
In addition to the weather conditions, riders will have to be wary of the asphalt, recently redone after safety criticism in February during pre-season testing.
On Saturday, many pilots crashed. Márquez, already on the ground on Friday in training, lost control twice in a few minutes. Without serious a priori, except for the mind of the Spaniard, burdened by injuries for two years.
“All Honda had unexpected problems,” Márquez said. “I tried, although I didn’t feel good, because there were no other options to be in Q2. I could have avoided the second accident, but I knew I was making a good turn and it was my last chance.” .
Spaniard Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia, 10th on the grid), Italian Franco Morbidelli (Yamaha, 15th) and the 2020 champion, Spaniard Joan Mir (Suzuki, 18th) also fell.