Close racing is all but guaranteed after qualifying took place for the fourth round of the MotoGP™ eSport Global Series, with the finest of margins deciding the grid for both races.
Pole position went to LCR Honda CASTROL eSports Team’s Cristianmm17 for the first race and PieroRicciuti55 (Ducati Lenovo eSport Team) for the second after two dramatic qualifying sessions. On both occasions just 0.03s separated the top three at the end of the stints. Repsol Honda Team’s adriaan_26 was second in both sessions, with the Spaniard incredibly posting an identical time to pole in the second qualifying heat.
All the while it was another difficult qualifying day for current championship leader and reigning champion trast73 (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™), who will line up in fifth for both races. With just four points separating first and second in the title race, could we see the lead change hand on Friday September 23rd 12.00 (GMT +9), when the fourth round of the 2022 Global Series takes place?
After three thrilling rounds so far, round four is a Virtual Round. In another change for this year, there will be a different points-scoring system for these Virtual Rounds. The winner of a race will score 12.5 points, the runner up 10, with third place scoring 8 and so on.
The twelve gamers, hailing from Australia, the UK, Indonesia, Italy and Spain, made it through the Pro Draft and Draft Selection phases and have been chosen by the MotoGP™ teams to represent them in the prestigious five-round series.
Round four really puts the skillset of each finalist to the test. The two tracks disputed are ones that the MotoGP™ field are currently undertaking: Race 1 comes from the Chang International Circuit, the home of the Thai Grand Prix while Race 2 will be held at the prestigious Mobility Resort Motegi, the scene of the Japanese Grand Prix.
What’s more, it will take place at noon in the Japanese time zone on the same weekend MotoGP™ visits Japan for the first time since 2019!
Qualifying for race one was full of incident as just 0.2s covered the fastest five gamers. Cristianmm17 eventually took pole position by the narrowest of margins (0.032s!) from adriaan_26. Currently second in the Global Series standings, Ecstar Suzuki’s AndreaSaveri11 was third, just 0.034s back.
There was nothing to split PieroRicciuti55 and adriaan_26 in the second session, with the former getting the nod for pole position, as his second faster time bettered that set by the latter. Cristianmm17was third.
Jack Appleyard and Jack Gorst will present the show on Friday (September 23rd) at 12:00 (GMT +9) as well as being on commentary duties during an hour-long show, beginning with highlights of qualifying before the twelve finalists take on the two races.
Friday’s action will be available to watch live on motogp.com and esport.motogp.com, on selected TV broadcasters, and across social media platforms including YouTube (via the MotoGP™ and MotoGP™ eSport channels), MotoGP™ eSport Twitter, Instagram, Facebook (via MotoGP™ and MotoGP™ eSport pages) and Twitch via MotoGP™ and MotoGP™ eSport.