Malaysian MotoGP - Qualifying 1 Results: Pecco holds his nerve, Miller highside

Qualifying (1) results from the Malaysian MotoGP at Sepang, round 19 of 20 in the 2022 world championship.
Francesco Bagnaia, MotoGP, Malaysian MotoGP, 22 October
Francesco Bagnaia, MotoGP, Malaysian MotoGP, 22 October
2022 Malaysian MotoGP, Sepang - Qualifying (1) Results
1Francesco BagnaiaITADucati Lenovo (GP22)
2Marc MarquezSPARepsol Honda (RC213V)
3Brad BinderRSARed Bull KTM (RC16)
4Jack MillerAUSDucati Lenovo (GP22)
5Cal CrutchlowGBRWithU RNF Yamaha (YZR-M1)
6Fabio Di GiannantonioITAGresini Ducati (GP21)*
7Pol EspargaroSPARepsol Honda (RC213V)
8Johann ZarcoFRAPramac Ducati (GP22)
9Miguel OliveiraPORRed Bull KTM (RC16)
10Remy GardnerAUSKTM Tech3 (RC16)*
11Alex MarquezSPALCR Honda (RC213V)
12Raul FernandezSPAKTM Tech3 (RC16)*
13Tetsuta NagashimaJPNLCR Honda (RC213V)
14Darryn BinderRSAWithU RNF Yamaha (YZR-M1)*

* Rookie

MotoGP title leader Francesco Bagnaia holds his nerve to confidently lead Qualifying 1 and is joined by Marc Marquez in progressing through to the Qualifying 2 shootout for the Malaysian MotoGP at Sepang.

With dark clouds gathering, riders poured out of the pits for the start of Qualifying 1, most of them queued up behind Bagnaia, whose late morning fall had sent him into Q1.

The toughest decision for Bagnaia and Ducati, with the #63 holding a 0.4s advantage, was whether to send the Italian out on another new tyre for the final minutes or save it for Q2.

While Bagnaia and Ducati held a hasty discussion, most of the field followed team-mate Jack Miller out of the pits for the final run. But the Australian ran wide on his flying lap and backed out, while Alex and then Marc also made mistakes.

Such incidents prompted Ducati to tell Bagnaia, now out on track, to return to the pits and save his tyre.

But worse was to follow for Miller who high-sided, off the throttle, into Turn 2, then was pushed from second to fourth by Marquez and Brad Binder.

Rookies Darryn Binder and Remy Gardner fell during the 15-minute session.

Those left outside the two transfer places will start, in the above order, from 13th on the grid onwards…

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After more title chase drama in Phillip Island, Francesco Bagnaia not only leads the MotoGP standings for the first time but can be crowned champion this weekend.

A 14-point advantage over Fabio Quartararo and 27-point lead over Aleix Espargaro means Bagnaia will become Ducati’s first champion since Casey Stoner if he scores at least 11 points more than Quartararo on Sunday and loses no more than 2 points to Espargaro.

That means Bagnaia must at least finish in the top five, which would also automatically rule Enea Bastianini (42 points behind and the final rider still in mathematical contention) out of the championship fight with only the Valencia finale to go.

Takaaki Nakagami is again absent due to hand injuries from Aragon and is replaced at LCR by Honda test rider Tetsuta Nagashima.

Pol Espargaro will have a three-place grid penalty on Sunday for 're-joining the track unsafely and creating a dangerous situation for another rider' (Johann Zarco) in FP1 at Sepang.

Covid restrictions forced the cancellation of the Malaysian MotoGP in 2020 and 2021, meaning ten of the full-time riders have no premier-class race experience at Sepang: Brad Binder, Alex Marquez, Jorge Martin, Enea Bastianini and Luca Marini, plus this year’s rookies Marco Bezzecchi, Fabio di Giannantonio, Darryn Binder, Remy Gardner and Raul Fernandez.

However, all riders and teams took part in official pre-season testing at the track in February.

Malaysian MotoGP full schedule (UK time)

Friday October 21

2am - Moto3 FP1

2.55am - Moto2 FP1

3.50am - MotoGP FP1

6.15am - Moto3 FP2

7.10am - Moto2 FP2

8.05am - MotoGP FP2

Saturday October 22

2am - Moto3 FP3

2.55am - Moto2 FP3

3.50am - MotoGP FP3

5.35am - Moto3 Q1

6am - Moto3 Q2

6.30am - Moto2 Q1

6.55am - Moto2 Q2

7.25am - MotoGP FP4

8.05am - MotoGP Q1

8.30am - MotoGP Q2

Sunday October 23

3am - Moto3 warm-up

3.20am - Moto2 warm-up

3.40am - MotoGP warm-up

5am - Moto3 race

6.20am - Moto2 race

8am - MotoGP race

Phillip Island, Australia: New 2022 MotoGP World Championship standings
Pos RiderNatTeamPointsDiff.
1^1Francesco BagnaiaITADucati Lenovo (GP22)233 
2˅1Fabio QuartararoFRAMonster Yamaha (YZR-M1)219(-14)
3=Aleix EspargaroSPAAprilia Racing (RS-GP)206(-27)
4=Enea BastianiniITAGresini Ducati (GP21)191(-42)
5=Jack MillerAUSDucati Lenovo (GP22)179(-54)
6=Brad BinderRSARed Bull KTM (RC16)160(-73)
7=Johann ZarcoFRAPramac Ducati (GP22)159(-74)
8^3Alex RinsSPASuzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR)137(-96)
9=Jorge MartinSPAPramac Ducati (GP22)136(-97)
10˅2Miguel OliveiraPORRed Bull KTM (RC16)135(-98)
11˅1Maverick ViñalesSPAAprilia Racing (RS-GP)122(-111)
12=Luca MariniITAMooney VR46 Ducati (GP22)111(-122)
13=Marc MarquezSPARepsol Honda (RC213V)104(-129)
14=Marco BezzecchiITAMooney VR46 Ducati (GP21)*93(-140)
15=Joan MirSPASuzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR)77(-156)
16^1Pol EspargaroSPARepsol Honda (RC213V)54(-179)
17˅1Alex MarquezSPALCR Honda (RC213V)50(-183)
18=Takaaki NakagamiJPNLCR Honda (RC213V)46(-187)
19=Franco MorbidelliITAMonster Yamaha (YZR-M1)31(-202)
20=Fabio di GiannantonioITAGresini Ducati (GP21)*23(-210)
21=Andrea DoviziosoITAWithU Yamaha RNF (YZR-M1)15(-218)
22=Darryn BinderRSAWithU Yamaha RNF (YZR-M1)*12(-221)
23=Remy GardnerAUSKTM Tech3 (RC16)*10(-223)
24=Raul FernandezSPAKTM Tech3 (RC16)*9(-224)
25=Cal CrutchlowGBRWithU Yamaha RNF (YZR-M1)6(-227)
26=Stefan BradlGERRepsol Honda (RC213V)2(-231)

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