Martin on pole in Ducati grid lockout in Austin

MotoGP — Grand Prix of Argentina — Autodromo Internacional, Termas de Rio Hondo, Argentina — April 3, 2022 Pramac Racing’s Jorge Martin in action during the race REUTERS/Agustin Marcarian

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April 9 (Reuters) — Jorge Martin overtook Jack Miller and Francesco Bagnaia on his final lap to snatch pole position at the Grand Prix of the Americas as Ducati riders dominated qualifying in Austin, Texas on Saturday to secure the top five places on the grid.

Pramac Ducati’s Martin, who finished second in Argentina last weekend,beat Marc Marquez’a lap record at the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) to lead the Ducati quintet in qualifying, edging out Australian Miller by three thousandths of a second.

Bagnaia completed the front row in third while Spaniard Martin’s team mate Johann Zarco jumped up to fourth late in the session.

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«After the crash in FP3, I was in 17th and couldn’t expect to be here in pole position,» said Martin, who has qualified on the front row for all four races this season.

«Thanks to the team because they did a amazing job to get the bike back on track. I’m super happy, pole position means a lot. Riding here at COTA is unbelievably fun.»

Enea Bastianini recovered from a crash on his initial run to make up the top five and finish ahead of world champion Fabio Quartararo, who fell off his Yamaha earlier.

Six-times MotoGP champion Marquez will start ninth on his Honda after missing the last two races due to vision problems following a crash in Indonesia.

The qualifying result was the 29-year-old’s worst on the Texas track, where he has won seven of the last eight races including last year’s event.

A MotoGP winner for the first time last weekend in Argentina, Aleix Espargaro will start 13th on the grid after a late accident ended the championship leader’s hopes of reaching Q2.

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Reporting by Hritika Sharma in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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