Vinales beats Acosta to pole as Martin crashes

In a dramatic Q2 session, Vinales dominated on his factory Aprilia with the first ever sub-2m01s lap of the Circuit of the Americas to score his first pole since Valencia last year with a 2m00.864s.

Vinales set the initial pace in the first half of the 15-minute Q2 session, doing so as pole favourite Martin suffered two falls.

Martin could do no more than sixth on his Pramac Ducati, while Tech3 rookie sensation Pedro Acosta qualified on the front row for the first time in his MotoGP career in second.

Marc Marquez, chasing an eighth MotoGP victory at COTA, will start third on his Gresini Ducati.

Vinales posted a new lap record of 2m01.243s on his first flying lap in Q2 to set out his stall early, though Marquez shadowed him by 0.023s.

Martin was on a quick first lap when he slid off his Ducati at the Turn 11 hairpin, but quickly remounted and elected to go for a second flying effort.

Fastest through the first sector, the lap grew messier for the Spaniard and ended when the rear end of his bike came round on him going through the fast Turn 18 right-hander.

Martin was able to get back to his Pramac garage for his second bike, but didn’t have the speed to threaten for pole.

Jorge Martin, Pramac Racing

Jorge Martin, Pramac Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

With just under two minutes to go, Vinales fired in a 2m00.864s to cement pole position by 0.328s.

Starting alongside him for this afternoon’s sprint and Sunday’s grand prix is Acosta, who produced a 2m01.192s lap at the end of Q2 to secure his first front row start in MotoGP.

He beat Marc Marquez by 0.074s, with the Gresini rider securing his first front row on the Ducati ahead of reigning double world champion Francesco Bagnaia.

The factory Ducati rider missed the front row by 0.086s and headed team-mate Enea Bastianini, with Martin trailing in sixth.

A crash late on in Q2 left Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro down in seventh ahead of VR46 Ducati rider Fabio Di Giannantonio and Pramac’s Franco Morbidelli.

Marco Bezzecchi was 10th after a crash at Turn 1 on the sister VR46 Ducati, with KTM’s Jack Miller and Gresini’s Alex Marquez completing the top 12 after coming through Q1.

Trackhouse Racing duo Raul Fernandez and Miguel Oliveira start 13th and 14th for the team’s first home race, with 2023 Americas GP winner Alex Rins the top Yamaha in 15th.

Pedro Acosta, Red Bull GASGAS Tech3

Pedro Acosta, Red Bull GASGAS Tech3

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

He beat team-mate Fabio Quartararo after the Frenchman crashed at Turn 1 at the start of his final flying lap, while an early tumble for KTM’s Brad Binder led to a difficult Q1 for the South African.

He will start 17th, while LCR’s Johann Zarco headed the Honda charge in 19th as all four RC213Vs locked out the back of the grid.

MotoGP Americas GP Qualifying Results

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