Intense Showdown at Gran Premio Motul de la Comunitat Valenciana: Viñales Clinches Pole Position in Final Qualifying.
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The stage is set for a thrilling conclusion at the Gran Premio Motul de la Comunitat Valenciana as the grid is determined for the crowning of the 2023 MotoGP™ World Champion. The spotlight is on Francesco Bagnaia of the Ducati Lenovo Team, the Championship leader. Despite a trip through Q1, Bagnaia managed to secure the upper hand on the grid, lining up second with a clear line of sight down to Turn 1.
Jorge Martin of Prima Pramac Racing, after a rollercoaster ride of speed and drama, secured P6 on the outside of the second row, making the showdown even more intriguing.
Between them, Johann Zarco of Prima Pramac Racing and the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing duo, Jack Miller and Brad Binder, enter the race with likely different targets. However, it’s Maverick Viñales of Aprilia Racing who stole the spotlight by taking a stunning pole position. This was the rider’s first pole position since the 2021 Dutch TT.
Here’s a breakdown of how the final qualifying of the year unfolded:
Q1: After the first runs, Alex Marquez of Gresini Racing MotoGP™ led the way. Nevertheless, it was Bagnaia who set a new benchmark, beating the previous record by three-tenths. Despite challenges from Fabio Quartararo, Enea Bastianini secured fourth, joining Bagnaia in Q2.
Q2: In Q2, Bagnaia initially put himself in sixth place but quickly took over on top after the field pitted. Viñales, however, emerged as the fastest, securing a first pole with Aprilia. Zarco and Miller completed the front row, while Martin’s last attempt landed him on the second row.
The Grid: Viñales leads Bagnaia, with Zarco on the front row. Miller and Binder are threats in the fourth and fifth, adding an extra hurdle for Martin, who completes the second row.
As the stage is set for a crucial match point for Bagnaia, the pressure is on Martin to hit back during the Tissot Sprint. Bagnaia needs just four points to secure the crown, with a 21-point advantage on the way in. The magic number for Bagnaia to wrap it up is a gap of 25 or more. The excitement is palpable as the contenders gear up for the final showdown on the Valencia track.