Maverick Vinales will start the opening Grand Prix of the season from pole position after qualifying day at Losail was completely washed out by wet weather. Torrential rain earlier in the day left conditions impossible for running under the floodlights in Qatar, meaning tomorrow’s grids for all three classes will be decided by combined free practice times.
The heavens had opened on Friday night following FP3 and a further downpour during the daylight hours on Saturday left patches standing water at several corners. With drainage almost non-existent due to the rarity of wet weather in the desert, conditions barely improved as the evening unfolded and with a number of gravel traps also completely flooded, the decision was taken to cancel all qualifying sessions on safety grounds.
As a result, Vinales’ stunning benchmark set on Thursday night has secured a maiden MotoGP pole for the Spaniard on his Yamaha debut while Andrea Iannone and Marc Marquez round out the front row. Johann Zarco will head the second row on his premier class debut with Andrea Dovizioso and Scott Redding alongside while Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo will have their work cut out from tenth and twelfth respectively.
In Moto2, Franco Morbidelli will lead a Marc VDS 1-2 on the grid after edging out Alex Marquez in final practice while Jorge Martin will start from pole position for the first time in Moto3, just ahead of Philipp Oettl and Romano Fenati.