The tricky conditions in Misano caught out much of the grid, but not Pol Espargaro who used his years of Grand Prix experience to secure fourth on the grid for Sunday’s race with Repsol Honda Team teammate Marc Marquez starting in seventh.
A morning of light and consistent rain meant there was no chance of improved conditions early in the day at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli, the MotoGP grid fighting for Q2 passage on a wet track. Marc Marquez and Pol Espargaro did exactly what they needed to and showed their speed in the wet, setting the fifth and sixth fastest times respectively.
Espargaro’s Free Practice 4 was complicated by the changing conditions, most riders setting just a handful of laps on wets before returning to the pits to wait for the track to dry more. Ending the session in 18th and six seconds off the fastest rider, Espargaro and his crew were well aware they had plenty still to show. As the track opened for Q2, conditions continued to steadily improve and times dropped.
Electing to stay out on track throughout Q2, Espargaro was able to continually assess the Misano circuit as its conditions improved and timed his last flying lap perfectly – a 1’33.313 moving him onto the provisional front row with just seconds remaining. A late lap from Marini pushed the #44 to fourth, Espargaro in turn securing his best grid slot since he was on pole for the British GP. Content with his starting position, Espargaro is keen to bring the fight to his rivals on Sunday.
Saturday in Italy proved to be a more complicated day for Marc Marquez. He fell during Free Practice 4 after switching to slicks. Although he walked away from the Turn 15 tumble, Marquez would not return to the track during the final practice session. Q2 started with a massive moment for Marc Marquez, launched out of his seat and almost over the handlebars before expertly returning to the seat of his Honda RC213V to continue his run.
But a fall later in the session at Turn 6 would end Marquez’s day. Despite the problems, the #93 set a 1’33.850 for seventh on the grid. Starting a row behind his teammate, Marquez is confident of a stronger race but remains realistic with his expectations after a difficult day.
Gran Premio dell'Emilia-Romagna Qualifying Results
Close to the city of Rimini, the Misano Adriático circuit was constructed in 1972 and has since undergone an array of modifications. A regular scene for Italian Grands Prix throughout the 80s and early 90s, Misano returned to the MotoGP calendar in 2007.With updated facilities, track and grandstands, the Misano… read more.
|Length||4.226 kilometres / 2.626 miles|
|Longest straight||0.565 kilometres / 0.351 miles|
Misano World Circuit "Marco Simoncelli", Via Daijiro Kato, Misano Adriatico, Rimini, Italy - View in Google Maps
|Pole Position||1m30.390s (168.3 km/h) Jorge Martin (Ducati, 2023)|
|Race Lap||1m31.791s (165.7km/h) Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati, 2023)|
|Race Time||41m33.421s (164.7 km/h) Jorge Martin (Ducati, 2023)|
|2023 Sprint Winner||Jorge Martin (Ducati)|
|2023 Race Winner||Jorge Martin (Ducati)|