Marc Márquez fastest in Qatar Friday sessions

Marc Márquez fastest on Friday in Qatar

Marc Márquez fastest on Friday in Qatar

Honda debutant Marc Márquez has topped both Friday practice sessions for the Qatar MotoGP and the line-up for the new Qualifying 2 system has been established.

The replacement for Casey Stoner beat Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) by one thousandth of a second at the Losail Circuit.

As for from 2013 onwards, the first three of four MotoGP practice sessions have a direct bearing on Qualifying. For this reason, there was much tension in the bottom half of the top ten as riders strived for a place in Saturday’s pole position shootout.

Britain’s Cal Crutchlow comfortably sealed a Q2 placing with third spot for Monster Yamaha Tech 3, as Lorenzo’s teammate Valentino Rossi was fourth on his return to Yamaha Factory Racing. Shooting into the top five in the late stages was Andrea Dovizioso on his first Ducati Team weekend, with Repsol’s Dani Pedrosa having struggled for front end grip since the start of first practice but still securing a Q2 effort with sixth.

As track conditions improved towards the end of third practice, a dramatic battled raged while riders continued to push rivals out of the top ten. Álvaro Bautista went seventh for GO&FUN Honda Gresini as the times suddenly became the tightest they have been all weekend. In eighth spot was Nicky Hayden on the second Ducati Team bike, with British rookie Bradley Smith impressing on his first outing by achieving ninth for Tech 3. Stefan Bradl looked to have a challenge on his hands as the times came down, but snatched back tenth for LCR Honda MotoGP.

Ninth tenths of a second separate the top ten – a group in which may of the riders are split up by margins of just thousandths of a second.

At the end of Q1 on Saturday, grid positions 13 and downwards will be decided. However, the fastest two riders will be promoted to Q2, making for a final top 12 contest. Judging by the latest form, it looks as though that battle will be between Pramac pairing Andrea Iannone and Ben Spies, plus Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaró on the leading CRT machine; the trio end Friday in positions 11 to 13.

Australia’s Bryan Staring on Gresini’s CRT bike was 21st of the 24 riders.

Practice #3

Position Rider           Team/Bike             Time
1 Marc Marquez Honda 1:56.084
2 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha  +0.001
3 Cal Crutchlow Tech 3 Yamaha  +0.242
4 Valentino Rossi Yamaha  +0.332
5 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati  +0.333
6 Dani Pedrosa Honda  +0.418
7 Alvaro Bautista Gresini Honda  +0.488
8 Nicky Hayden Ducati  +0.586
9 Bradley Smith Tech 3 Yamaha  +0.817
10 Stefan Bradl LCR Honda  +0.900
11 Andrea Iannone Pramac Ducati  +1.085
12 Ben Spies Pramac Ducati  +1.224
13 Aleix Espargaro Aspar Aprilia  +1.336
14 Hector Barbera Avintia FTR-Kawasaki  +1.872
15 Yonny Hernandez PBM Aprilia  +2.127
16 Randy de Puniet Aspar Aprilia  +2.312
17 Colin Edwards Forward FTR-Kawasaki  +2.779
18 Karel Abraham Cardion Aprilia  +3.096
19 Hiroshi Aoyama Avintia FTR-Kawasaki  +3.128
20 Danilo Petrucci Ioda-Suter-BMW  +3.671
21 Bryan Staring Gresini FTR-Honda  +3.674
22 Lukas Pesek Ioda-Suter-BMW  +3.753
23 Michael Laverty PBM-Aprilia  +3.996
24 Claudio Corti Forward FTR-Kawasaki  +4.355

Practice #2

Position Rider           Team/Bike             Time
1 Marc Marquez Honda 1:56.477
2 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha +0.268
3 Valentino Rossi Yamaha +0.328
4 Cal Crutchlow Tech 3 Yamaha +0.692
5 Stefan Bradl LCR Honda +0.780
6 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati +1.356
7 Dani Pedrosa Honda +1.400
8 Nicky Hayden Ducati +1.563
9 Ben Spies Pramac Ducati +1.660
10 Alvaro Bautista Gresini Honda +1.821
11 Bradley Smith Tech 3 Yamaha +1.863
12 Andrea Iannone Pramac Ducati +2.098
13 Aleix Espargaro Aspar Aprilia +2.154
14 Yonny Hernandez PBM Aprilia +2.394
15 Hector Barbera Avintia FTR-Kawasaki +2.427
16 Randy de Puniet Aspar Aprilia +2.708
17 Karel Abraham Cardion Aprilia +3.332
18 Danilo Petrucci Ioda-Suter-BMW +4.080
19 Hiroshi Aoyama Avintia FTR-Kawasaki +4.175
20 Lukas Pesek Ioda-Suter-BMW +4.442
21 Colin Edwards Forward FTR-Kawasaki +4.463
22 Claudio Corti Forward FTR-Kawasaki +4.844
23 Bryan Staring Gresini FTR-Honda +5.145
24 Michael Laverty PBM-Aprilia +5.339

 

 

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