Bagnaia Seizes Sepang Pole by a Whisker in Thrilling Qualifying Battle

MALAYSIA: In a heart-stopping showdown at the Sepang International Circuit, Francesco Bagnaia narrowly edged out Jorge Martin to claim pole position for the afternoon’s sprint contest. The tension reached its peak during the critical qualifying session on Saturday morning, setting the stage for an electrifying race.

Martin of the Pramac team initially seemed poised for a third straight pole, breaking his lap record with a blazing 1m57.549s. However, Bagnaia, riding for the Ducati squad, responded with an emphatic 1m57.491s, snatching the pole by a mere 0.058 seconds.

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The stakes were high as the riders vied for supremacy, with Martin recovering from a late crash to secure the second spot on the grid. Enea Bastianini of Ducati completed the front row, adding an extra layer of drama to the contest.

Ducati dominated the 15-minute Q2 segment, with Alex Marquez initially setting the pace before being overtaken by Luca Marini. Martin’s impressive lap, over two-tenths faster than his previous record, showcased the fierce competition among the riders.

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The battle for the pole took an unexpected turn when Bagnaia had to abort a flying lap due to a crash by Marini. In the closing stages, Martin’s crash at Turn 4 on his final lap opened the door for Bagnaia to secure his seventh pole of the season.

As the riders prepare for the sprint contest, the closely contested qualifying promises a thrilling race at Sepang. The front row sets the stage for a fierce battle between Bagnaia, Martin, and Bastianini, keeping fans on the edge of their seats for what is sure to be a nail-biting race day.

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Originally posted 2023-11-11 06:15:00.