Vinales Leads in Qatar as Lorenzo Drops into Q2

Maverick Vinales will lead the MotoGP field into Qualifying 2 after retaining top spot in final practice on Friday night. The Spaniard’s FP1 time remained unbeaten with most improvements coming from further down the order, resulting in opening weekend disappointment for Jorge Lorenzo who will have to go through Q1 on his Ducati debut.

Conditions didn’t appear to be conducive to fast lap times early in FP3 with Jonas Folger, one of the stars of the weekend so far, sliding off at turn four. Pramac Ducati had also enjoyed a promising weekend but their fortunes took a nose dive with Danilo Petrucci tumbling at turn ten while FP2 pacesetter Scott Redding was forced to pit when his fairing came loose on the main straight.

The overall top ten remained unchanged until the final five minutes when Cal Crutchlow climbed from twelfth to eighth, knocking Lorenzo out of Q2, although the three-time MotoGP champion responded with a 1:55.461 to regain the final top ten spot. It proved to be a short reprieve though as Andrea Iannone, the man cast aside by Ducati in favour of Lorenzo, leapt all the way up to second on the Suzuki with a sensational late flyer, confirming Jorge’s participation in Q1.

Marc Marquez was third quickest by virtue of his FP1 time while Johann Zarco and Andrea Dovizioso took fourth and fifth respectively at the death, demoting Redding to sixth when the Pramac rider crashed. Folger’s crash saw him slip behind Dani Pedrosa to eighth while Crutchlow held onto ninth despite a fall of his own at turn two.

The last automatic Q2 spot went to Valentino Rossi although the Italian’s FP3 display did little to dispel fears over his lack of pace.


2017 Grand Prix of Qatar: Combined Practice Classification

PosRiderConstructorTeamBest Time 
125. Maverick VinalesYamahaMovistar Yamaha MotoGP1:54.316FP1
229. Andrea IannoneSuzukiTeam SUZUKI ECSTAR1:54.848FP3
393. Marc MarquezHondaRepsol Honda Team1:54.912FP1
45. Johann ZarcoYamahaMonster Yamaha Tech 31:55.008FP3
54. Andrea DoviziosoDucatiDucati Team1:55.042FP3
645. Scott ReddingDucatiOCTO Pramac Racing1:55.085FP2
726. Dani PedrosaHondaRepsol Honda Team1:55.113FP3
894. Jonas FolgerYamahaMonster Yamaha Tech 31:55.208FP2
935. Cal CrutchlowHondaLCR Honda1:55.211FP3
1046. Valentino RossiYamahaMovistar Yamaha MotoGP1:55.414FP2
119. Danilo PetrucciDucatiOCTO Pramac Racing1:55.435FP3
1299. Jorge LorenzoDucatiDucati Team1:55.461FP3
1319. Alvaro BautistaDucatiPull & Bear Aspar Team1:55.581FP2
1476. Loris BazDucatiReale Avintia Racing1:55.624FP1
1541. Aleix EspargaroApriliaAprilia Racing Team Gresini1:55.634FP3
1643. Jack MillerHondaEG 0,0 Marc VDS1:55.959FP2
1717. Karel AbrahamDucatiPull & Bear Aspar Team1:56.003FP2
1842. Alex RinsSuzukiTeam SUZUKI ECSTAR1:56.179FP2
1953. Tito RabatHondaEG 0,0 Marc VDS1:56.368FP2
208. Hector BarberaDucatiReale Avintia Racing1:56.725FP1
2122. Sam LowesApriliaAprilia Racing Team Gresini1:56.854FP3
2244. Pol EspargaroKTMRed Bull KTM Factory Racing1:57.116FP2
2338. Bradley SmithKTMRed Bull KTM Factory Racing1:57.654FP3