Marini Breaks Lusail Lap Record in Qualifying

November 18, 2023Ray Milton

Luca Marini set the tone in qualifying after claiming pole position in Qatar. Behind in were the two Gresini Racing riders Fabio Di Giannantonio and Alex Marques in P2 and P3 respectively. Francesco Bagnaia and Jorge Martin will line up on the second row as they head into the Qatar Sprint race. The pair were separated by 0.022s in qualifying. As things heat up its everything on the line for Martin and Bagnaia as the championship race could tilt in either riders favor after this weekend.

Of note, Aleix Espargaro was handed a 6 place grid penalty for unsportsmanlike behavior after he was seen punching Franco Morbidelli at the end of qualifying. Espargaro was also issued a €10,000 fine for the incident. He will start from P16 in the races this weekend as a result of the penalty. Iker Lecuona (LCR Honda Castrol) was also handed a penalty for impeding Enea Bastianini during the session. He received a 3 place grid penalty for the incident.

After managing a leading pace in early practice Raul Fernandez (CryptoDATA RNF MotoGP Team) could only muster a P9 finish in qualifying. It was not a very successful day for Honda as 3 of the 4 Hondas on grid will start from the back of the pack. The exception is Marc Marques who finished P7

Full Qualifying Results are below