Dovizioso Tops Qatar Opener for Ducati

Andrea Dovizioso - Photo Credit:

Andrea Dovizioso set the early pace as the 2018 MotoGP season officially got underway under sunny skies at Losail. Last year’s championship runner-up edged out Valentino Rossi and Marc Marquez while Andrea Iannone ensured four different manufacturers ended the first session inside the top four.

Sunday’s race will take place after sunset under the floodlights but due to the revised schedule for 2018, FP1 and FP3 for the premier class will take place during daylight hours. As a result, the conditions weren’t particularly representative of the Grand Prix itself on Sunday with temperatures set to drop considerably later this evening.

Due to the higher temperatures, lap times were significantly slower than the pre-season test here two weeks ago with Dovizioso improving to a 1:55.366, 1.3 seconds slower than Johann Zarco’s testing benchmark. Rossi was a close second after previously hitting the front four minutes from time while Marquez trailed three tenths further back in third.

Iannone, who missed the final day of testing here due to illness, led a close pack of riders in fourth with Jorge Lorenzo fractionally slower in fifth after a strong start to the session. Zarco took sixth ahead of a visibly agitated Cal Crutchlow while Alex Rins, Danilo Petrucci and Tito Rabat rounded out the top ten, although those positions are sure to be shaken up in tonight’s second session.

Of the rookies, Tech 3’s Hafizh Syahrin led the way in an impressive fifteenth while KTM, whose bikes will be run by the French squad next season, suffered a tough start with a crash for Pol Espargaro.


2018 Grand Prix of Qatar (FP1 Result)

PosRiderConstructorTeamBest Time
14. Andrea DoviziosoDucatiDucati Team1:55.366
246. Valentino RossiYamahaMovistar Yamaha MotoGP1:55.427
393. Marc MarquezHondaRepsol Honda Team1:55.743
429. Andrea IannoneSuzukiTeam Suzuki ECSTAR1:55.816
599. Jorge LorenzoDucatiDucati Team1:55.888
65. Johann ZarcoYamahaMonster Yamaha Tech 31:55.943
735. Cal CrutchlowHondaLCR Honda Castrol1:55.989
842. Alex RinsSuzukiTeam Suzuki ECSTAR1:55.997
99. Danilo PetrucciDucatiAlma Pramac Racing1:56.076
1053. Tito RabatDucatiReale Avintia Racing1:56.111
1125. Maverick VinalesYamahaMovistar Yamaha MotoGP1:56.130
1226. Dani PedrosaHondaRepsol Honda Team1:56.265
1341. Aleix EspargaroApriliaAprilia Racing Team Gresini1:56.313
1419. Alvaro BautistaDucatiAngel Nieto Team1:56.528
1555. Hafizh SyahrinYamahaMonster Yamaha Tech 31:56.544
1643. Jack MillerDucatiAlma Pramac Racing1:56.680
1744. Pol EspargaroKTMRed Bull KTM Factory Racing1:56.999
1845. Scott ReddingApriliaAprilia Racing Team Gresini1:57.115
1930. Takaaki NakagamiHondaLCR Honda IDEMITSU1:57.183
2012. Thomas LuthiHondaEG 0,0 Marc VDS1:57.211
2121. Franco MorbidelliHondaEG 0,0 Marc VDS1:57.273
2238. Bradley SmithKTMRed Bull KTM Factory Racing1:57.389
2310. Xavier SimeonDucatiReale Avintia Racing1:59.151
2417. Karel AbrahamDucatiAngel Nieto Team1:59.462