Qualifying session : Martin breaks the Misano Circuit record for pole position for the San Marino GP Qualifying session : Martin breaks the Misano Circuit record for pole position for the San Marino GP

Qualifying session : Martin breaks the Misano Circuit record for pole position for the San Marino GP

Jakarta - Jorge Martin broke the Misano Circuit lap record in the qualifying session, Saturday, to take pole position for the San Marino Grand Prix.

The Pramac team racer recorded a best time of one minute 30.390 seconds, almost half a second faster than the previous record set by Marco Bezzecchi in Friday's practice session.

"Obviously this was an extraordinary lap, in general a very good weekend," said Martin as quoted by AFP.

"I took a lot of risks to get that pole position , I'm very proud of my team, and myself to be able to get back to that position."

The 25-year-old Spaniard beat Bezzecchi's time twice in qualifying, in order to carry out his mission to reduce the 50-point deficit from current standings leader Francesco Bagnaia from the factory Ducati team.

Bagnaia is 0.436 seconds away from completing the front row in third starting position, an impressive performance considering the Italian rider suffered a leg injury following an accident at the Catalunya GP last week.

Bagnaia was thrown from his motorbike while driving around corner two of the Catalunya Circuit until he fell to the asphalt and found both his legs crushed by Brad Binder's KTM motorbike.

He was declared fit to race on Sunday and has ambitions to win sprint points and the main race in his hometown.

"We'll see, I'm behind my rivals so it will be interesting. I'm not sure what my physical condition is but 13 rounds I should be able to," he said.

Meanwhile, Bezzecchi, who is 0.397 seconds behind the polesitter , has the task of reducing the gap of 71 points from Bagnaia in the standings.

The VR46 racer also suffered an arm injury following a series of accidents on the first lap of the Catalunya GP last week.

"Hopefully I can survive those laps. It won't be easy, but I will do it," said Bezzecchi.

Last week's race winner Aleix Espargaro will start from P6 after having to survive Q1 first.

Espargaro, who crashed in practice, will be accompanied by Aprilia teammate Maverick Vinales, who finished 0.090 seconds behind Bagnaia in fourth place.

Marc Marquez will start P9 for Repsol Honda amid rumors that the six-time MotoGP world champion could potentially move to Ducati's satellite team, Gresini for next season.

Ducati CEO Claudio Domenicali would not comment further on the possibility, but only said he was "interested and entertained" by the reports and pleased that the Italian bike manufacturer was now well regarded.

San Marino GP qualifying results:

1 Jorge Martin Pramac Ducati (GP23) 1'30.390
2 Marco Bezzecchi Mooney VR46 Ducati (GP22) +0,397
3 Francesco Bagnaia Ducati Lenovo (GP23) +0,436
4 Maverick ViΓ±ales Aprilia Racing (RS-GP23) +0,526
5 Dani Pedrosa Red Bull KTM (RC16) +0,633
6 Aleix Espargaro Aprilia Racing (RS-GP23) +0,692
7 Brad Binder Red Bull KTM (RC16) +0,713
8 Luca Marini Mooney VR46 Ducati (GP22) +0,820
9 Marc Marquez Repsol Honda (RC213V) +0,833
10 Miguel Oliveira RNF Aprilia (RS-GP22) +0,887
11 Alex Marquez Gresini Ducati (GP22) +0,888
12 Raul Fernandez RNF Aprilia (RS-GP22) +0,951
13 Fabio Quartararo Monster Yamaha (YZR-M1) 1'31,467
14 Michele Pirro Aruba.it Ducati (GP23) 1'31,533
15 Stefan Bradl LCR Honda (RC213V) 1'31,56
16 Johann Zarco Pramac Ducati (GP23) 1'31.667
17 Augusto Fernandez Tech3 GASGAS (RC16)* 1'31.678
18 Jack Miller Red Bull KTM (RC16) 1'31.713
19 Franco Morbidelli Monster Yamaha (YZR-M1) 1'31.845
20 Takaaki Nakagami LCR Honda (RC213V) 1'31.851
21 Fabio Di Giannantonio Gresini Ducati (GP22) 1'31.914
22 Joan Mir Repsol Honda (RC213V) 1'31.944
23 Pol Espargaro Tech3 GASGAS (RC16) 1'32.14


Cape Town : Marrakesh hosts an African Cup of Nations qualifiers match despite the earthquake

Congo's match with Gambia in the African Cup of Nations qualifiers will be held in Marrakesh tomorrow, Sunday, despite the devastating earthquake in the Moroccan city, which killed more than 1,000 people and injured hundreds on Friday night.

The Morocco-Liberia match in Agadir, 260 kilometers from the earthquake site, was postponed today, Saturday.

The Congolese and Gambian players spent the night sleeping next to the swimming pools inside the residence hotel after a 7.2-magnitude earthquake shook the Atlas Mountains and damaged buildings in Marrakesh in the strongest earthquake in Morocco in more than six decades.

The two teams' coaches said that the players were psychologically shocked by this event, but they were informed that they had to go ahead and play the match.

Tomorrow's match in Group G between Gambia and Congo will be held in Marrakesh because Gambia, as the host country, does not have a suitable stadium to host international matches.

“We were told that our match on Sunday should be played,” Gambia coach Tom Saintfiet said. “It is strange that the Morocco match was postponed and this did not happen to our match.”

“We have been out (of the rooms) for about 13-14 hours now,” Saintveit added.

He continued, “The hotel was damaged, but we hope to get new rooms on the ground floor, but we think it is better to postpone this match because the players’ mood is bad and everyone feels a little afraid.”

“We are fine, but we are still in shock,” Congolese coach Pol Pot said. It is difficult to stay mentally focused. We fell asleep near the pool. It was scary. “The situation is complicated so far for the players.”

The Moroccan Federation announced the postponement of the national team’s match against Liberia in Group 11, which was scheduled for today, Saturday, in Agadir.

The Moroccan Federation said in a statement, “Following the earthquake that struck some areas in Morocco, the Royal Moroccan Football Federation announces the postponement of the match that was scheduled to bring together this Saturday evening between the national team and its Liberian counterpart at the conclusion of the qualifiers for the 2024 African Cup of Nations finals until a later time.” This is in agreement with CAF.”

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