Jorge Martin destroyed the two-wheeled lap record at Misano to secure his first pole of the 2023 MotoGP season in commanding style, while Fabio Quartararo missed Q2 once again.
Martin was a man on a mission from the early reckonings of the pole shootout, the Pramac Ducati rider firing himself to the top of the lap chart by the time the opening runs had been completed on a 1:30.832s effort, a new lap record in itself to head Friday pacesetter Marco Bezzecchi.
The Spaniard risked it all though having bolted on a fresh set of rubber to his Desmosedici for the final runs, Martin pushing every braking zone to the point of losing the front to bang in a stunning 1:30.390s, a time that left him over six-tenths-of-a-second clear of anyone else.
While he was unable to further improve upon his benchmark across his final couple of attempts, the likes of Bezzecchi and series leader Francesco Bagnaia did their best to challenge.
Bagnaia looked on for potentially snatching away the point half-way round the lap as he tracked around a tenth up on his title rival, though Martin’s blistering final split ultimately kept him on top by a commanding 0.397s in the end ahead of VR46 Ducati man Bezzecchi.
Bagnaia ended up third just a fraction behind his countryman, a strong run less than a week on from his horrific Catalan Grand Prix crash that left him severely bruised.
Maverick Vinales was best of the rest in fourth for Aprilia – albeit over half-a-second adrift of pole-man Martin – while KTM test rider Dani Pedrosa once again defied belief to complete the top five as the best-placed of the Austrian marque’s pilots.
Catalan GP winner Aleix Espargaro did well to salvage sixth having progressed from Q1, while Brad Binder was seventh on the second factory KTM just clear of the sister VR46 entry of Luca Marini.
Marc Marquez impressed once again to claim ninth on his Repsol Honda, the six-time premier class champion lapping just four-tenths off a spot on the front row, while Miguel Oliveira rounded off the top ten for RNF Aprilia by just 0.001s over Gresini’s Alex Marquez having also escaped the clutches of Q1.
Raul Fernandez meanwhile completed his first ever appearance in the pole shootout 12th, the RNF man lapping just 0.064s away from team-mate Oliveira in the end.
Quartararo meanwhile narrowly missed out on Q2 once again for Yamaha, the Frenchman coming just 0.038s from stealing away Espargaro’s Q1 exit passage – therefore leaving him 13th on the grid for both the sprint and grand prix encounters.
Michele Pirro also missed out on a chance to fight in the pole shootout as the Ducati tester managed 14th just ahead of Honda’s test pilot Stefan Bradl, the duo heading the struggling Pramac Ducati of Johann Zarco who could secure only 16th.
Also struggling was the third factory KTM of Jack Miller, the Aussie forced to make do with a lowly 18th on the grid just ahead of the second Yamaha of Franco Morbidelli and the lone LCR Honda of Takaaki Nakagami, his temporary team-mate Takumi Takahashi ejected from the rest of the weekend due to not lapping underneath the 105% barrier prior to qualifying.
Pol Espargaro will start from the very back of the field in 23rd having crashed twice during Q1, the GasGas man first falling foul of Turn 2 early in the test before ending his session in the gravel thanks to a spill at the high-speed Turn 14.