Aprilia laughing and Fabio Quartararo making a little grimace. This was the scenario at the end of Saturday afternoon at the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit. This 2022 Argentinian Grand Prix will not only remain the one that has been disrupted by delays in the delivery of equipment, canceling the day of Friday. It is also part of the small history of the discipline thanks to Aleix Espargaro who therefore offered the Aprilia team its first pole position since the creation of MotoGP.
The Spaniard, in the front row throughout the session, set a time of 1’37”688 just five thousandths from the absolute track record. Jorge Martin (Ducati), who saw himself on pole for a time, had to “settle” for second place while Luca Marini (Ducati) will occupy third place on the grid.
Frenchman Fabio Quartararo had a frustrating session which he finished in sixth place, behind Pol Espargaro (Honda, 4th), who had pulled out of Q1, and Maverick Viñales (Aprilia, 5th). The reigning world champion, after setting the third fastest time on his first attempt, was hampered by Jack Miller, at the entrance to turn 7, on the second, showing his displeasure with large gestures from the arms. He eventually had his very last flying lap canceled out, ruining his chances of getting back to the front row at the last second. Johann Zarco (Ducati) will start in ninth position on the grid.
Bagnaia and Bastianini eliminated in Q1
Already in difficulty in the championship with only one small point in two races, Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati) suffered a new disappointment by being eliminated in Q1. The Italian suffered at the start of the session, setting a first time only four minutes from the end of the session. He then took the lead in the standings but was overtaken by Pol Espargaro (Honda) and Takaaki Nakagami (Honda) who joined Q2. Similar fate for championship leader Eneia Bastianini (Ducati) who was also eliminated in Q1, taking 13th place on the grid. Note, finally, that Stefan Bradl, replacing Marc Marquez at Honda, will start last.