Marc Marquez, third, and Pol Espargaro, sixth, will start the Qatar Grand Prix from the first and second rows of the grid as the Repsol Honda Team look to start 2022 in fighting style.

The steady upward trajectory of the new Repsol Honda Team RC213V continued on Saturday in Qatar, both Marc Marquez and Pol Espargaro able to consistently challenge for the top five in every session. Even with Lusail’s changeable conditions due to the time, weather, wind and sand, the pairing were able to keep the pace. Thanks to a strong Friday evening showing, Marquez and Espargaro were able to progress directly into Q2.

Marc Marquez returns to the front row of the grid for the first time since the 2021 Americas GP, where he also qualified third. 2013, his rookie season in the premier class, was the only occasion that Marquez has missed starting on the front row of the grid while racing in Qatar. Having put together a productive Free Practice 4, Marquez and his team have a good indication of what to expect on Sunday when the lights go out and will use Saturday evening and Sunday’s Warm Up to confirm a few final points. The #93 is no stranger to close racing under the floodlights and is ready to do it all again tomorrow.

Pol Espargaro’s Qualifying results picked up where they left off in 2021 as the #44 was back inside the top six. As always, the MotoGP class was split by the narrowest of margins and Espargaro missed out on the front row by less than 0.1s. Under half a second divided the entire top ten in Q2 when the flag came out. A mistake in the final sector left Espargaro wanting more and he’s ready to fight from the start having shown great speed through sectors one and two during practice. Even with the mistake, sixth place shows the great improvements made by HRC and Espargaro, who qualified 12th for the opening race of the year. Battling at the front and making the most of this first race is Espargaro’s objective for what is sure to be an exciting race.

Tomorrow’s 22-lap race will officially open the year and is scheduled to start at 18:00 Local Time, just after the sun sets.

Marc Marquez

Third 1'53.283

“It’s important to start in the front two rows of the grid and this was the goal for today. Qatar is not one of the best circuits for my style but thanks to a step we made in Free Practice 4 I have been feeling better. I’m happy but tomorrow is the most important day and we are not the fastest guy out there at the moment. Of course there’s still time to work and we will try to manage everything well. Our FP4 pace is close and the track can change a lot here with the wind, the sand and humidity. Let’s see what happens on Sunday, I am excited!”

Pol Espargaro

Sixth 1'53.346

“Speaking honestly, it’s a shame to be so close to the front row and just miss out. But we have to look at the bigger picture, I made a mistake and still we are this close to the front row still. It shows the progress we are making but starting on the front two rows is good. These top six positions are where you need to be at the start of the race. Apart from this it was a very good day, I was calm and didn’t get too excited with how we were feeling on the bike. We’ve made the first step of the year and tomorrow we will see what will unfold in the race, anything can still happen.”

MotoGP 2022
Qualifying Round 1   Qatar

Qualifying Results - Qatar Grand Prix

Dry
Humidity
75%
Track Temp
24°C
Air Temp
21°C
Pos. Rider Num Nation Team Constructor Time/Gap
1 Martin Jorge 89 SPA Pramac Racing Ducati 1'53.011
2 Bastianini Enea 23 ITA Team Gresini Racing MotoGP Ducati 0.147
3 Marquez Marc 93 SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 0.272
4 Miller Jack 43 AUS Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati 0.287
5 Espargaro Aleix 41 SPA Aprilia Racing Aprilia 0.308
6 Espargaro Pol 44 SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 0.335
7 Binder Brad 33 RSA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 0.339
8 Mir Joan 36 SPA Team Suzuki Ecstar Suzuki 0.396
9 Bagnaia Francesco 62 ITA Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati 0.400
10 Rins Alex 42 SPA Team Suzuki Ecstar Suzuki 0.470
11 Quartararo Fabio 20 FRA Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 0.624
12 Morbidelli Franco 21 ITA Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 0.971
13 Zarco Johann 5 FRA Pramac Racing Ducati 0.268 Q1
14 Oliveira Miguel 88 POR Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 0.307
15 Bezzecchi Marco 73 ITA Mooney VR46 Racing Team Ducati 0.403
16 Nakagami Takaaki 30 JPN LCR Honda Honda 0.526
17 Marini Luca 10 ITA Mooney VR46 Racing Team Ducati 0.710
18 Marquez Alex 73 SPA LCR Honda Honda 0.712
19 Vinales Maverick 12 SPA Aprilia Racing Aprilia 0.716
20 Dovizioso Andrea 4 ITA WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team Yamaha 0.732
21 Di Giannantonio Fabio 49 ITA Team Gresini Racing MotoGP Ducati 0.764
22 Gardner Remy 87 AUS Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing KTM 0.866
23 Fernandez Raul 25 SPA Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing KTM 1.377
24 Binder Darryn 40 RSA WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team Yamaha 2.499
Location Information

The fabulous Lusail International Circuit lies on the outskirts of Doha, the capital city of Qatar. Built in little over a year, the track cost $58 million USD and required round-the-clock dedication from almost 1,000 workers in order to get it ready for the inaugural event – the Marlboro Grand… read more.

Length 5.380 kilometres / 3.343 miles
Width 12 metres
Left corners 6
Right corners 10
Longest straight 1.068 kilometres / 0.664 miles
Constructed 2004

Losail International Circuit, Al Daayen, Qatar - View in Google Maps

www.circuitlosail.com

Records

Pole Position 1m 52.772s (171.7km/h) Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati, 2021)
Race Lap 1m 54.624s (168.9 km/h) Maverick Viñales (Yamaha,2021)
Race Time 42m13.198 (168.2km/h) Enea Bastianini (Ducati, 2022)
2022 Race Winner Enea Bastianini (Ducati)