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MotoGP Indonesia 2023 qualifying result: Marini on pole as Bagnaia falters

Luca Marini took pole in MotoGP Indonesia 2023 qualifying.
Photo by Gold and Goose / Icon Sport

In a huge qualifying session in the context of the 2023 MotoGP World Championship, Francesco Bagnaia will start both races in Mandalika down in thirteenth, while his title rival, Jorge Martin, was sixth. Pole went to Luca Marini, for the first time in the Italian’s career.

Practice report

Two packed sessions took place in Mandalika on Friday, the second of which sent the top ten straight to Q2. At the top of the timesheets, the two factory Aprilias made an instant impression, as Aleix Espargaro led from Maverick Vinales. Behind them, a brave effort put Marco Bezzecchi in third, just five days after he had surgery to repair a broken collarbone. Thankfully, a crash in FP1 did not cause him any issues.

Brad Binder was fourth, ahead of the first of the championship contenders, Jorge Martin, who was four tenths from the top. Marc Marquez, who is Gresini-bound for 2024, made it into the top six, in front of Miguel Oliveira, Fabio de Giannantonio, Jack Miller and Fabio Quartararo, who completed the top ten.

As you may have spotted, the big name missing was Francesco Bagnaia. The Italian was unable to get a clean lap in and a mistake in the penultimate corner of his last lap sealed his fate. Completing the session in sixteenth meant he would have to go through Q1 on Saturday, as would Luca Marini and Pol Espargaro, the first of the riders to miss out.

Enea Bastianini and Alex Rins were in the last positions, but both felt comfortable enough to keep riding for the rest of the weekend. The same could not be said for Alex Marquez, who withdrew after a painful FP1 session.

MotoGP Indonesia 2023 qualifying 1

A shock in Q1, as Fransesco Bagnaia failed to get into Q2 after he was knocked out at the chequered flag by none other than his own teammate, Enea Bastianini, by a tenth of a second. A huge result, that will see the championship leader start both races in 13th.

Fastest in the session was Luca Marini, who claimed promotion easily, in his return after missing the weekend at Motegi due to a broken collarbone in the Indian Sprint. Behing Bagnaia, Johann Zarco, Franco Morbidelli and Pol Espargaro were a few of the riders that also got eliminated. The Frenchman crashed in the final stages of Q1, which meant he could not progress in the next phase of qualifying.

MotoGP Indonesia 2023 qualifying 2

As if the first segment of qualifying did not provide enough action, the second one started with a crash for Marco Bezzecchi and another for Jorge Martin! The yellow flags also meant a few laps were eliminated, while both riders returned to their garages and went back on track on their spare bikes for the second half of the 15-minute session.

In a thrilling battle for pole position, Aleix Espargaro went fastest, before he was beaten by his teammate by three tenths of the session. Then, Luca Marini -who started the day from Q1- went fastest by half a tenth to get pole position, his first in MotoGP! No other rider was able to get amongst the top trio until the end of Q2.

Fabio Quartararo followed in fourth, in front of Brad Binder. Jorge Martin will start both races from sixth, after a far less than ideal session, but still a positive one in terms of the championship. Seventh was Fabio di Giannantonio, was just in front of the rider that will replace him in 2024, Marc Marquez, who also had a crash late in the session.

Bezzecchi also had a tricky session and qualified ninth, in front of Jack Miller, Enea Bastianini and Miguel Oliveira, who completed the top twelve.

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