Alex Marquez secures first MotoGP pole as dry tyre gamble pays off

Alex Marquez will lead an all Ducati 1-2-3 off the line in today's MotoGP Sprint race after advancing through Q1 and securing a maiden premier class pole.
Alex Marquez, Gresini Ducati MotoGP Argentina 2023
Alex Marquez, Gresini Ducati MotoGP Argentina 2023

Despite having previous experience of conditions due to taking part in a tricky MotoGP Q1 session, Quartararo and Marquez were unable to lead the way in Q2.

That honour went the way of Johann Zarco as the Pramac Ducati rider broke into the 1m 46s barrier. 

Riders such as Francesco Bagnaia and Luca Marini looked set to jump up the order, however, slow fourth sectors hindered both men. 

With just five minutes remaining and track conditions still wet, Bagnaia and Marco Bezzecchi made bold switches to dry tyres.

A sketchy out lap didn’t deter Bagnaia from attempting a flying lap, although the reigning world champion was two seconds down in just the first sector. 

Then came a stunning lap from Morbidelli as he went eight tenths clear of Zarco - the Yamaha rider was still circulating on wet tyres.

However, Morbidelli’s hopes of securing an unlikely pole were ended when Bezzecchi went quickest by nearly two seconds.

But Bezzecchi, like Morbidelli, has to watch his time get beaten by Marquez after the Gresini rider found even more time with his dry tyres.

Marquez and Quartararo advance to all-important MotoGP Q2 session

As a vital Q1 got underway for Fabio Quartararo, the Yamaha rider made the worst possible start as he ran off-track at turn five. 

Fabio Quartararo , Argentina MotoGP, 31 March
Fabio Quartararo , Argentina MotoGP, 31 March

A clear sign that conditions were worsening, Raul Fernandez instead took a big gamble as he headed out on slick tyres. 

After setting a lap time that was three seconds off Alex Marquez’s fastest time, Fernandez immediately returned to pit lane as the gamble failed to pay off. 

Something we hadn’t seen all weekend, Quartararo then went fastest as he began finding more confidence on the wet tyres. 

Marquez, who was fastest prior to Quartararo taking over top spot, responded before crashing at the penultimate corner.

Looking set to knock Quartararo out of the top two, Brad Binder lost time during the closing stages of his final lap before clocking a time only good enough for P5. 

Yet more drama unfolded for Marquez after re-joining the action, as a fire underneath his Ducati meant he had to pull off circuit before getting back to pit lane.

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