Late Charge Takes Martin to Misano Pole

by Louis Suddaby
Jorge Martin - Photo Credit: MotoGP.com

Jorge Martin took his eighth pole position from twelve attempts to steal a march on championship rival Marco Bezzecchi at Misano. The Spaniard trails Bezzecchi by twelve points after the cancellation of Silverstone but looks well placed to close the gap after grabbing his 17th career pole, five places ahead of his rival who endured a frustrating afternoon.

Bezzecchi had actually looked the stronger of the two protagonists through qualifying, running second for much of the session behind early leader Gabriel Rodrigo. However, as the field returned to the track as one for the final efforts, Bezzecchi became mired in traffic, causing him to veer off track at turn 11 and lose any possibility of improving when track conditions were at their quickest.

Martin wasn’t going to make the same mistake and after some ruthless and decisive overtaking moves, the Gresini rider set a new Moto3 pole position record with a 1:41.823, enabling him to pip Rodrigo by three tenths of a second. Aron Canet recovered from a quiet session to secure a front row start in third while Fabio Di Giannantonio heads an all-Italian second row, just ahead of Enea Bastianini and Bezzecchi.

Two more Italians head the third row with Nicolo Bulega seventh ahead of Lorenzo Dalla Porta while Jakub Kornfeil and Ayumu Sasaki complete the top ten.

Jerez winner Philipp Oettl was due to start 24th although a crash during qualifying left him with a concussion and race direction wisely pulled him from the race.

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