Categories: world

Maverick Vinales Claims First Pole Position Of 2019, In ​​Qatar (Updated)

Race Lap Record: 1: 54.927, Jorge Lorenzo, 2016 All Time Lap Record: 1: 53.380, Marc Marquez, 2019 FIM MotoGP World Championship Losail International Circuit, Qatar March 9, 2019 Qualifying Results (all on Michelin tires): From Qualifying Session Two: 1. Maverick Vinales, Spain (Yamaha), 1: 53,546 2. Andrea Dovizioso, Italy (Ducati), 1: 53,744 3. Marc Marquez, Spain (Honda), 1: 53,745 4. Jack Miller, Australia (Ducati), 1: 53,809 5. Fabio Quartararo, France (Yamaha), 1 : 53,946 6. Cal Crutchlow, UK (Honda), 1: 54.095 7. Danilo Petrucci, Italy (Ducati), 1: 54,200 8. Franco Morbidelli, Italy (Yamaha), 1: 54.236 9. Takaaki Nakagami, Japan (Honda), 1: 54.239 10. Alex Rins, Spain (Suzuki), 1: 54,257 11. Joan Mir, Spain (Suzuki), 1: 54.390 12. Aleix Espargaro, Spain (Aprilia), 1: 54.917 From Qualifying Session One: 13. Francesco Bagnaia, Italy (Ducati), 1: 54.472 14. Valentino Rossi, Italy (Yamaha), 1: 54.537 15. Jorge Lorenzo, Spain (Honda), 1: 54.563 16. Pol Espargaro, Spain (KTM), 1: 54.740 17. Miguel Oliveira, Portugal (KTM), 1: 55,122 18. Tito Rabat, Spain (Ducati), 1: 55,428 19. Andrea Iannone, Italy (Aprilia), 1: 55.464 20. Karel Abraham, Czech Republic (Ducati), 1: 55,642 21. Johann Zarco, France (KTM), 1: 55,797 22. Hafizh Syahrin, Malaysia (KTM), 1: 55,937 23. Bradley Smith, UK (Aprilia), 1: 56,036 More from a press release by Red Bull KTM Tech3: Oliveira conquers sixth row for MotoGP debut, Syahrin country P12 in Q1 In KTM Tech3's Miguel Oliveira improved with every session. The premier class rookie showed a good performance in his very first qualifying as…

Race Lap Record: 1: 54.927, Jorge Lorenzo, 2016

All Time Lap Record: 1: 53.380, Marc Marquez, 2019

FIM MotoGP World Championship

Losail International Circuit, Qatar

March 9, 2019 Qualifying Results (all on Michelin tires):

From Qualifying Session Two:

1. Maverick Vinales, Spain (Yamaha), 1: 53,546

2. Andrea Dovizioso, Italy (Ducati), 1: 53,744

3. Marc Marquez, Spain (Honda), 1: 53,745

4. Jack Miller, Australia (Ducati), 1: 53,809

5. Fabio Quartararo, France (Yamaha), 1

: 53,946

6. Cal Crutchlow, UK (Honda), 1: 54.095

7. Danilo Petrucci, Italy (Ducati), 1: 54,200

8. Franco Morbidelli, Italy (Yamaha), 1: 54.236

9. Takaaki Nakagami, Japan (Honda), 1: 54.239

10. Alex Rins, Spain (Suzuki), 1: 54,257

11. Joan Mir, Spain (Suzuki), 1: 54.390

12. Aleix Espargaro, Spain (Aprilia), 1: 54.917

From Qualifying Session One:

13. Francesco Bagnaia, Italy (Ducati), 1: 54.472

14. Valentino Rossi, Italy (Yamaha), 1: 54.537

15. Jorge Lorenzo, Spain (Honda), 1: 54.563

16. Pol Espargaro, Spain (KTM), 1: 54.740

17. Miguel Oliveira, Portugal (KTM), 1: 55,122

18. Tito Rabat, Spain (Ducati), 1: 55,428

19. Andrea Iannone, Italy (Aprilia), 1: 55.464

20. Karel Abraham, Czech Republic (Ducati), 1: 55,642

21. Johann Zarco, France (KTM), 1: 55,797

22. Hafizh Syahrin, Malaysia (KTM), 1: 55,937

23. Bradley Smith, UK (Aprilia), 1: 56,036

More from a press release by Red Bull KTM Tech3:

Oliveira conquers sixth row for MotoGP debut, Syahrin country P12 in Q1

In KTM Tech3’s Miguel Oliveira improved with every session. The premier class rookie showed a good performance in his very first qualifying as well and ended up in sixth, which means he will start his first ever MotoGP race from the sixth row of the grid tomorrow.

On the other side of the Red Bull KTM Tech3 garage, Hafizh Syahrin lowered his lap time too. In keeping with the KTM RC16 and finally finished in P12, 0.815 seconds behind his teammate.

Position: 7th ]

Time: 1: 55.122

Laps: 7

“I thought I could do a little bit better, than I did, I don’t know about the position, but at the last exit there was quite a bit of confusion with the riders in front and I could not really push to make a clean lap. A bit disappointed for that, but at the other hand happy for the sixth row. I think it’s a good place to start our first race and to get near our target, which is to finish in the points. We will see. ”

Hafizh Syahrin

Position: 12th

Time: 1: 55.937

Laps: 7

was able to improve my time, but not my position. We have a small step, but we need to find a good rhythm for the race pace. At the moment we are not sure which tire to use for the race, but it was not easy and I will keep working hard with the team and speak for the Warm Up and the race tomorrow. Let’s see what we can do and how we can further improve on the bike and myself. I want to enjoy the race and try to learn as much as possible. ”

More, from a press release by Aprilia Gresini Racing:




With the valiant performance of yesterday that earned him a nice spot in the top ten (ninth best time), Aleix Espargaró went straight through to the Q2 session. And so, in FP3, which actually had no bearing on the grid order due to high winds, and in FP4, Aleix worked on distance, managing to find a good pace for the race.

Once in the qualifiers, he was unable to take advantage of the flying lap with rather cold and windy track conditions compromising the grip of his RS-GP just when he had put on the second bull for the decisive session. He therefore finished 12th with a time of 1’54.917 and tomorrow will start from the fourth row. The weather conditions in FP3 complicated Iannone’s already task of moving up on the grid. In fact, none of the riders managed to improve on their times from yesterday and Andrea was forced to go through Q1. He finished with a time of 1’56.464 which places him on the seventh row of the starting grid tomorrow.

Bradley Smith, with the third Aprilia, continued his development program of the Italian V4 and the race tomorrow will also be an important 2019 RS010 GP


“The track conditions during the qualifiers were truly treacherous due to the wind combined with the asphalt temperature. a situation we really need to think hard about because it is truly dangerous.On my flying lap, with the second tire, I lost the front than twice.It was my mistake, but with the medium on the front, which is the tire that It was really difficult, so it was really difficult to improve on my time and now we need to think about the race. to battle for a spot in the top, but if the conditions are like they were today, it will It is a difficult race for everyone. “


” The conditions were rather difficult today at the time when the race will be a lot of wind and low temperatures. If it is like this tomorrow, it won’t be simple for anyone. The qualifiers did not go remarkably well, but I’m definitely in better shape with used tires. From the tenth lap on, Ill start to feel better, while on new tires, I am unable to take full advantage of the RS-GP. It is a behavior that we are analyzing to try to understand how to solve it. I’m not worried. I am focused and focused on the job we need to do. I want to understand the bike’s weak points, solve them and grow race after race. “

More, from a press release issued by Alma Pramac Racing:

#QatarGP Quali – Great job Jack! P4 and First Independent rider Pecco (13th) one step away from the Q2

After an exciting qualifying, Jack Miller and Francesco Bagnaia will start respectively from the second and fifth row tomorrow on the grid of the Qatar Grand Prix, first round of the 2019 MotoGp season.

Here are some of the high lights of Saturday’s qualifying at the Losail International Circuit in Doha.


P2 Bagnaia (1’54.740) – Pecco pushes hard and gets the second lap time, just 63 thousandths of a second from Marquez, but his chrono is not enough to hit the Q2.

P11 Miller (1’55.766) – With the third place on Friday, Jack is virtually in Q2 and also due to the strong wind, prefers to work exclusively on the race pace.


P4 Miller (1’55,092) – Jack is incisive with the soft-rear and medium-front and completes a very convincing session, two-tenth of a second from Petrucci.

P16 Bagnaia (1’56,077) – Same rubber choice for Pecco that, unlike most of the rides, goes on track with a set of used tires and records on a good race pace.


P3 Bagnaia (1’54,472) – After the first run, Pecco is third, 1 tenth of a second from the qualification . The last run of the second run is virtually in Q2 up to the third sector, but then it makes a small mistake and finishes just 40 thousandths of a second from the goal.


P4 Jack (1 ‘ 53.809) – After a first “tactical” run, Jack puts the second fastest time in the first lap of the second time attack but then it crashes to turn 2 and has no chance to improve. In the last seconds, Marquez takes his third place for 64 thousandths of a second. The Australian still celebrates the fourth position as First Independent rider.

P13 – Pecco Bagnaia

“I made a mistake to turn 12 and missed Q2 by a very short while. It’s the First qualifying session of the year, the first qualifying session in MotoGP and it is possible to make a mistake. My pace in the FP4 with used tires was good. I think staying in the Top 10 is possible “.

P4 – Jack Miller

“Unfortunately the crash that didn’t allow me to complete the second patch. I’m sure I could have ended up with the front row. However, I am very satisfied with what we did today, especially in the FP4 with a long run where the race pace was very positive. “

More from a Suzuki ECSTAR team release:


Alex Rins: 10th – 1: 54.257 (+ 0.711)

Joan Mir: 11th – 1: 54.390 (+ 0.844)

• Alex Rins st Turns after two crashes at Turn 2.

• Joan Mir will make his MotoGP debut from 11th on the grid.

• Team SUZUKI ECSTAR ready to start new season despite hoping for more.

A challenging second day at Losail International Circuit saw struggles for Alex Rins and Joan Mir. But, after the solid work put in on Friday, both riders secured a direct passage to the Q2 session. This was especially crucial given how close the lap times have been amongst the field, and the deterioration of track conditions in the evening. After the Q2 session, the pair will start from 10th and 11th respectively on the grid tomorrow.

Throughout FP3 and FP4, focused on his efforts on trying to improve his feeling with the bike following grip issues yesterday. His progress was hampered after two small crashes at Turn 2 – a corner which saw many riders lose the front – but the Spaniard still managed to secure 10th spot on the grid when it came to Q2.

We had a more straight forward day, and continued finding his feet. The rookie gets into some strong lap times throughout Saturday and he confirmed 11th place during a tricky Q2 session. He will make his debut from the 4th row.

Davide Brivio – Team Manager

“We expected a bit more from this qualifying session, but the conditions were very difficult. Alex will start in 10th, and it will make the race a bit more difficult at the beginning, but I think he can have good race pace and feel comfortable. Joan did well to get straight to Q2 with Alex, and he has qualified 11th – which is great for a first race. We’ve seen him progress. We’re looking forward to tomorrow. ”

Alex Rins

“ Today was a bit hard for me, I had two crashes – one in FP3 and one in FP4 – so it was hard to start Q2 with a clear mind, and the track conditions didn’t help me. Anyway, I was able to improve my lap time when riding alone. We’ll focus on tomorrow’s race, I have incredible race pace and strong rhythm with a used bull, so we’re ready to enjoy the race. ”

Joan Mir

Qualifying was difficult because I couldn’t find the right feeling to push hard, and I expected a bit more after my pace in FP4. But it was the first MotoGP qualifying session of my career, and it’s not a bad position to start in for tomorrow. I have consistent pace and we’ll see if we can learn from the top riders tomorrow and have a good race. ”

More, from a press release issued by Mission Winnow Ducati:

Qatar GP: first -row start for Dovizioso, 2nd in qualifying at Losail. Petrucci in third row (7th)

After showing its competitiveness in Friday’s free practice sessions, the Mission Winnow Ducati team summed up action today at the Losail circuit in Qatar, home of the opening round of the 2019 MotoGP World Championship. After completing FP3, which granted them direct access to Q2, the riders took advantage of FP4 to prepare the race then focused on a flying lap in the decisive qualyfing session.

Andrea Dovizioso once again proved his prowess on the Qatari track, where he took the win last year, to post 1: 53.744 that granted him second position on the grid. Danilo Petrucci, who has shown a promising pace during FP4, seized seventh position with a 1: 54.200.

Andrea Dovizioso (# 04 Mission Winnow Ducati) – 1: 53.744 (2nd)

“I’m very happy because we managed to improve significantly over the weekend. a few doubts, but we stayed calm and focused, which in the end is always the best approach.We have great chemistry within my team and we knew how to react. I’m even more confident about our possibilities. That said, the lap times don’t necessarily show how the race will unfold, since the wind and the low temperatures can change the picture. start from first row. “

Danilo Petrucci (# 9 Mission Winnow Ducati) – 1: 54.200 (7º)

” Looking at the positives, we’ve been really fast in FP4 and that gives me confidence The feeling with the bike was really good, so much so that I posted my best time towards the very end. in the first two rows and unfortunately we missed it, even if by a really small margin. I couldn’t ride as fast as I would like, and that gives us a bit more work to do but it also represents an extra motivation ahead of the race. It’ll be crucial to get a good start but I’m quite confident given our pace. There are plenty of competitive rivals, and tire management will make the difference, so we have to be prepared as possible also under this aspect. “

The Mission Winnow Ducati team will resume action tomorrow at 15:40 local time (CET +2) for a warm-up session ahead of the race, which is scheduled to start at 20:00.

More, from a press release issued by Repsol Honda:

Marquez opens 2019 with front row for Qatar GP, used Lorenzo fights to 15th

Marc Marquez overcame cold conditions in Qatar to secure a spot on the front row as Jorge Lorenzo battles through the pain barrier for 15th.

Free Practice 3 did not get off to an ideal start for the Repsol Honda Team as Jorge Lorenzo crashed heavily at Turn 6, shortly followed by Marc Marquez who lost the front at Turn 14. Both fortunately avoided any serious injuries, Marquez returned to the wind-hit track to lead the session with a

After a medical check, Jorge Lorenzo was deemed fit and returned to ride a Free Practice 4. Gusty winds remained for Free Practice 4 and Qualifying, the track reaching just 18ºC. Marc Lorenz would suffer his second fall of the day, coming off at the early sixth session and quickly remounting.

Jorge Lorenzo pushed from the off in Q1 to 1’54,563, unable to improve his time after joining a number of riders falling at turn 2. Lorenzo’s time will see him start the Qatar Grand Prix from 15th on the grid. Two heavy falls left Lorenzo with pain in his back, arms and legs, the five-time world champion hoping to be as free as possible for tomorrow’s race.

Q2 started with the track temperature a more 16ºC, Marquez taking a cautious approach for his opening run. The erection of MotoGP ™ World Champion left his charge in Q2 late setting of 53.745 to secure a front row birth for the opening race of the 2019 MotoGP ™ World Championship.

Action starts at the Losail International Circuit with Warm Up at 15:40 local time with the lights going out at 20:00 local time and the 2019 MotoGP World Championship officially back underway.

Marc Marquez

3RD 1’53.745

“It’s one of the circuits where we usually struggle so I had to work on the strategy to get a front row. This was the target and I was happy to have achieved it. Especially today it was incredibly cold and windy, if it’s like this tomorrow we need to survive. Yesterday I was really strong with the bike but today it was tougher and it was so easy to crash and we had to limit the risks. Tomorrow we will see what happens, the temperatures could change a lot. ”

Jorge Lorenzo

15TH 1’54.563

“ I have some pain in my back and I need to rest and then see how I wake up tomorrow. It has been a great day today, very unlucky with the first crash. There was a combination of factors that made me have a very nasty crash which has created a lot of pain. Then in qualifying I crashed because it was too cold, it wasn’t a good day for us. It will be a race of survival, especially for my experience with the bike and also my pain. ”



Losail (Qatar), 9th March 2019



The second day at the Losail International Circuit yielded mixed results for the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP garage. Maverick Viñales was strong all day and showed his speed flawlessly in the Q2 session, putting his YZR-M1 on poles. Valentino Rossi gave his all but unable to promote to Q2. During the Q1 session he was considered until the very end and secured 14th place on the grid.




1’53.546 / 7 LAPS



1’54.537 / 7 LAPS

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP’s Maverick Viñales will start the first race of the season in the best way possible: from pole position. Despite the windy and relatively cold conditions, the Losail International Circuit, Valentino Rossi puts in a solid performance, but it was able to secure a place in Q2. He will start the VisitQatar Grand Prix from P14.

We will be at the start of the Q2 session, to be ensured of some clear space on track for his hot laps. The strategy worked out perfectly for him. He positioned his YZR-M1 firmly in the lead after his first try, with a 0.741 advantage over his closest rival. He showed it was not a lucky shot when he posted another, slightly higher, 1’53s, though his benchmark time remained unthreatened in the first half of the session.

He timed his ultra-quick pit stop to perfection to re- enter the track on his own again with five-and-a-half minutes left on the clock. The pace was heating up, with multiple rivals flashing red sectors, but the Spaniard responded. He found another 0.298s, posting a 1 53,546s. This stunning lap earned him the first pole position of 2019, with a 0.198s gap to the rider in second place.

Rossi was able to improve on his FP1 time during the FP3 session, due to the windy and relatively colder conditions at the Losail International Circuit, which meant he had to take part in Q1. The veteran was quick to head out for the 15-minute shoot-out but had to sit up on his first hot lap due to traffic on track. Once he found a clear space, he resumed his mission and moved up from 11th to 7th place.

With more than six minutes to go, the Italian headed into a fresh set of tires for his second run. He briefly secured a fifth place before being pushed back to sixth. He had one more try, and he made it count. He improved his time at 0.290s to 1’54.537s, to take fourth place, 0.267s from the fastest time of the Q1 session. He will start tomorrow’s race from 14th position on the grid.



“First of all, I want to congratulate Maverick. Taking pole in today’s qualifying, which was quite This is a great result, and it has been done every weekend since its hard work, and it’s not just his P1 that gives us confidence – his pace is very strong, so we look forward to him being a front-runner tomorrow We don’t understand what is working perfectly for Valentino and not giving him the opportunity and the right feeling for him to go faster. the fullest, even if the conditions will be quite different than they will be during the race. We are still confident that we will sort it out before the lights turn off. “

MAVERICK VIÑALES [19659009] “I was surprised. I didn’t expect that everyone was going to be so fast. We’ve made good steps forward with the bike, but we need to keep working, because we still need to improve the exit of the last corner. If we do, we are ready to fight for this race. I will push me hardest tomorrow, now fear, I will go for it. I’m able to hit good lap times and I’m fast straight away. I will give me all. The team prepared a really good bike for me, so now it’s in my hands to push and be at the front. I think it will be a group of five to six riders that will battle at the front in the first laps. Let’s see at the end of the race. I will plan tonight what I can do but my first plan is just to do my best. “


” It’s difficult, because we’re in trouble. I do not have a good feeling with the front, and so we have a lot of tire degradation. For the race this will be hard, so we need to get stronger. “


] LCR Honda IDEMITSU rider Takaaki Nakagami will start the season-opening Qatar Grand Prix from the third row of the grid after an excellent display in Saturday’s qualifying. The 27-year-old again underlined his potential ahead of the first race of the 2019 calendar as he progressed through to Q2 before claiming ninth place on the grid for Sunday’s race.

As expected, despite finishing fifth in FP3, conditions ensured Taka, However, after going into the fastest in FP4, Nakagami and LCR Honda team mate Cal Crutchlow secured the top two spots in Q1, with the Japanese talent qualifying in ninth place for the season’s curtain raiser.

[19659003] Takaaki Nakagami – 9th [1 9459003]

(1’54.239 – lap 3 of 7)

“It was really good day today, even FP3 was good and then in FP4 we were working for the race distance and the pace was quite good. I knew that Q1 would be tough because Cal (Crutchlow), Valentino (Rossi) and (Jorge) Lorenzo were there, so trying to get really strong mentality from the beginning. We were really close to Q2 anyway, but it was a good step, although the Q2 session was another story. ”

“ It was difficult to maintain a good position (in Q2) although I was in second place on my first bull. I know that everybody tries to improve at the end, but unfortunately in the last few minutes I made a small mistake and I had no chance to improve my lap time. But P9 is still good, it’s my best qualifying position and I’m really looking forward to the race and to thank my team. ”

More, from a press release issued by PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team: [19659003] Sensational qualifying for PETRONAS Yamaha SRT riders in Qatar

Fantastic Fabio Quartaro qualifies fifth, with Franco Morbidelli to start from eighth after a night that saw PETRONAS Yamaha SRT welcome five-time F1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton.









Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli carried their positive form through into qualifying practice for the Qatar GP, securing second and third row starts respectively for tomorrow night’s opening race of the MotoGP season. It was a special Saturday night at Losail for PETRONAS Yamaha SRT, because on hand to witness the outstanding performances were none other than five-time Formula 1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton, who virtually followed every movement and technical instruction from inside the team box. 19659010] Both PETRONAS Yamaha SRT riders get into FP3 determined to protect the provisional Q2 positions they earned on Friday, and they achieved their goal in style before completing further work on their race settings during FP4.

Before MotoGP qualifying got underway, the team were visited by Lewis Hamilton, who were delighted to meet the PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team riders. The three PETRONAS motorsport stars were able to exchange their views and thoughts on racing, as well as swapping helmets. The British driver spent the rest of the evening as a no spectator within the team garage, urging on Franco Morbidelli and Fabio Quartarro on track.

The decisive Q2 session saw the PETRONAS Yamaha SRT paired standout results, with Quartararo qualifying fifth fastest for his MotoGP debut thanks to a best time of 1’53,946 – set on his sixth of seven laps. As a result Fabio now holds the best rookie result in qualifying since 2008. Morbidelli, meanwhile, will start from the third row in the first place after setting a 1’54.236 on his last lap of the session, giving him a strong chance tomorrow night.

The next appointment for the MotoGP riders will be the Warm-Up at 3.40pm local time, with the first race of the season due to start at 8.00pm, when a historic dream will finally come true for the PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team

# 21 Franco Morbidelli

“Q2 was a good session for me, it was important for tomorrow to get on the front three rows of the grid. We have to decide which bull compound is the best for the race, but luckily in terms of the setting of the bike I feel comfortable, so we’ll see tomorrow. see what happens from there.

It was an amazing experience to spend some time in t he box with such an incredible Formula 1 World Champion as Lewis Hamilton. It was wonderful to see how humble he is and what a great person he is. I would love to visit him now at a Formula 1 race. “

# 20 Fabio Quartararo

” I felt really good in Q2, I was clearly on the limit on my second run. I am really happy to have lapped inside 1’54 and I hope I can be in the fight tomorrow. Our race is very good and fast lap too, so I am very satisfied with the job we have done so far. The race is going to be fast, because the riders at the front have a very strong pace and they are really quick, but I will try to stick with them and above all the finish, which is very important.

I am really happy to have with a person who has been my idol in Formula One for years, and especially to be able to swap helmets with him. I would love to make it to an F1 Grand Prix, I am a big fan of the series and I try not to miss a single race. Lewis Hamilton is a great driver, I am sure I would love it on a motorcycle too. I wish him the best of luck for his season. “

Lewis Hamilton

” It’s been an awesome evening. I love how much I love watching MotoGP. I just have pure admiration for the riders and what they are able to achieve with these bikes. I’m really grateful to PETRONAS for having me here for their first race. “


19659009] MotoGP 2019 Round 1 of 19 Losail International Circuit (QAT)

Red Bull KTM’s Pol Espargaro and Johann Zarco will be 16th and 21st respectively on the very first MotoGP grid of the year after coming through Q1 at a windy and cold Losail International Circuit for the VisitQatar Grand Prix Espargaro was 1.2 seconds away from the Pole Position time set by Maverick Viñales

Strong winds market the second day of the VisitQatar Grand Prix for the first round of nineteen in 2019 MotoGP. KTM improved its best lap times from Friday – both found spaces inside the top of the Free Practice 3 session in the last hours of the afternoon schedule – and before entering the evening Q1 chrono at the fast and dusty (and signifi cantly cooler) Losail International Circuit

Espargaro fixed the braking issue that bothered his run in FP2 on Friday and completed seven laps in Q1; setting his fastest effort of the weekend (and at Losail with the RC16) with a 1min 54.7. Pol was less than half a second from making Q2. Johann Zarco continued to focus more on his race pace set-up and feeling with the KTM RC16 on the eve of his race debut with the motorcycle. But two of six riders have fallen to the left hander.

The Red Bull KTM Tech3 crew of Miguel Oliveira and Hafizh Syahrin were also in the Q1 mix. The Portuguese slotted into 17th position, only a second behind Espargaro, while the Malaysian was less than a second adrift and occupied 22nd place.

The 22 lap MotoGP race will get underway at 18.00 CET tomorrow night.

Pol Espargaro: “Tricky today but we got back to our normal rhythm. This morning we were third, and if we didn’t have that issue yesterday then I think we might have gone for Q2 but instead there was a super-high level. We were just 0.4 away. I know our race pace is better than one lap. I’m quite positive and looking forward to tomorrow.”

Johann Zarco: “I have to cross my fingers that we have better temperatures tomorrow or it will be quite difficult for me and I’ll have to be careful. I don’t have a solution at the moment. So I just need to clear my mind this evening, get focused for the race and make a good start and be happy on the bike tomorrow. Normally it is a situation of keeping smooth to not overheat the tyres but at the moment it is the opposite and it is a weak point.”

Miguel Oliveira: “I thought I could do a little bit better lap time than I did in Qualifying. At the last exit there was quite a bit of confusion with the riders in front and I could not really push to make a clean lap. I’m a bit disappointed but on the other hand happy for the sixth row. I think it’s a good place to start our first race and to get near our target, which is to finish in the points.”

Hafizh Syahrin: “I was able to improve my time but not my position. We made a small step but we need to find a good rhythm for race pace. Let’s see what we can do and how we can maybe further improve on the bike. I want to enjoy the race and try to learn as much as possible.”

Moto2 & Moto3

Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Brad Binder was less than half a second from the Pole Position effort made by Marcel Schrotter in the Moto2 class. The South African will sit in the middle of the third row with his 8th fastest time from the Q2 session. Teammate Jorge Martin is 11th after falling without injury on Turn 2. In Moto3 Aron Canet sealed the first pole position of the season on his KTM RC 250 GP. Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Can Öncü went through to the Q2 session in the first edition of the new qualification system and rested in 17th place for his debut as a full-time member of the Grand Prix pack.

Races: March 10, 2019 – Moto3 15.00 | Moto2 16.20 | MotoGP 18.00 CET

Results Qualifying MotoGP Losail 2019

1. Maverick Viñales (ESP), Yamaha 1:53.546

2. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA), Ducati +0.198

3. Marc Marquez (ESP), Honda +0.199

4. Jack Miller (AUS), Ducati +0.263

5. Fabio Quartararo (FRA), Yamaha +0.400

16. Pol Espargaro (ESP), Red Bull KTM +0.562

17. Miguel Oliveira (POR), Red Bull KTM Tech3 +1.565

21. Johann Zarco (FRA), Red Bull KTM +1.508

22. Hafizh Syarin (MYS), Red Bull KTM Tech3 +2.163

Results Qualifying Moto2 Losail 2019

1. Marcel Schrotter (GER) Kalex 1:58.585

2. Xavi Vierge (ESP) Kalex +0.146

3. Lorenzo Baldassarri (ITA) +0.199

8. Brad Binder (RSA) Red Bull KTM Ajo +0.453

11. Jorge Martin (ESP) Red Bull KTM Ajo +0.693

Results Qualifying Moto3 Losail 2019

1. Aron Canet (ESP) KTM 2:05.883

2. Lorenzo Dalla Porta (ITA) Honda +0.197

3. Kaito Toba (JPN) Honda +0.226

18. Can Öncü (TUR) Red Bull KTM Ajo +1.755

More, from a press release issued by LCR Honda Castrol:


Cal Crutchlow underlined his class in qualifying for the season-opening Qatar Grand Prix as he came through to secure a spot on the second row of the grid. Having fought back from serious injury at the end of last year, the LCR Honda CASTROL rider was off the pace on Friday as practice got underway in Doha. However, he responded superbly on Saturday as he claimed sixth position for tomorrow’s race at the Losail International Circuit.

As expected, having failed to finish in the top 10 on Friday, Crutchlow was forced to compete in Q1 alongside the likes of Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi as FP3 failed to offer riders the chance to improve their times. But the Briton proved head and shoulders above his rivals as he took top spot to move through to Q2 and, after going sixth fastest, is now well-positioned to challenge in Sunday’s showpiece.

Cal Crutchlow – 6th

(1’54.095 – lap 7 of 7)

“Today was a good day, we’re pleased to qualify in the front two rows for Sunday’s race. The whole LCR CASTROL Honda team has done a good job all weekend to work on the bike. I didn’t feel great yesterday in FP1, but in FP3 and FP4 we think we’ve improved the setting of the bike which is good. Now we just need to improve some small details for tomorrow”.

“I’m looking forward to a good race tomorrow. I think the pace will be fast but, as they were in qualifying, I think the track conditions could be tricky. We’re pleased to have been able to make a good job and now hopefully, as riders and fans, we can all look forward to great MotoGP race for the opener of the 2019 season tomorrow.”

More, from a press release issued by Dorna:

Battle ready: Viñales lights up Losail for pole

Spaniard leads Dovizioso and Marquez as Yamaha, Ducati and Honda get ready for a showdown

Saturday, 09 March 2019

Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) has taken the first MotoGP™ pole position of the 2019 season at the VisitQatar Grand Prix, a 1:53.546 enough to give him a little breathing space ahead of Andrea Dovizioso (Mission Winnow Ducati) and Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team), who join him on the front row of the grid. Viñales was two tenths clear, but the gap between Dovizioso and Marquez was an infinitesimal and mouth-watering 0.001. Three previous winners and three different manufacturers on the front row, the first qualifying session of the season sets a stunning scene for Sunday.

Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) impressed early as the rookie initially shot to the top of the times, only to be beaten almost immediately by Q1 graduate Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu). That’s when Viñales struck, storming to the summit with a lap that was 0.741 quicker than anyone else. Quartararo and Nakagami exchanged second fastest laps to leave the Japanese rider 0.395 off as the field headed in for a change of tyres, but it was soon about to change.

Viñales led the troops back out for their second runs and the goalposts were moved once more. Three more tenths were shaved off his best time, with Miller then slotting into P2 and just 0.2 off. The Australian crashed at Turn 2 soon after though, ending his hopes of pole and leaving his time under threat. Dovizioso needed no second invitation, making a move into second place soon after. The Italian looked set to challenge Viñales again as he went over a tenth under after the first split, but the lap was gone by the second sector; his qualifying effort over.

Attention then turned to Marquez, who was on the tail of Danilo Petrucci (Mission Winnow Ducati Team) as neither sat on the provisional front row with little time left. Tactics on point, the reigning World Champion was able to snatch P3 from Miller. Encouraged by the front row at a difficult track, the number 93 is ready to fight it out on Sunday.

Miller therefore heads up the second row as top Independent, but it was a pretty close challenge from Quartararo by the end of the session. The French rookie retained his stunning pace so far and lines up fifth, just a tenth and a half off the Aussie. Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) completes an all-Independent second row, with plenty of honour – and points – up for grabs for each.

Petrucci starts seventh and, after outpacing teammate Dovizioso for much of testing, will be gunning to move forward on race day and battle for his first victory. Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) is P8, with Nakagami eventually knocked down to ninth. Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) completes the top ten and was a crasher on Saturday – another who’ll be looking for much more once the lights go out. Rookie teammate Joan Mir is right behind him.

Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) is P12, ahead of rookie Francesco Bagnaia (Alma Pramac Racing). Then come two big surprises: Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) in P14 after a tough day and Jorge Lorenzo (Repsol Honda Team) in P15. Lorenzo suffered two crashes, but is fit to race.

Can Rossi and Lorenzo fight through the pack? Will the front row starters become the battle for the win? Can the likes of Petrucci and Rins push forward? And which of the rookies will win the battle for top honours once we’re racing?

Find out from 20:00 (GMT +3) on Sunday for the first Grand Prix of the season.

The top three in the premier class L-R: Dovizioso, Viñales, Marquez

Schrötter strikes for first career pole in Qatar

German over a tenth clear of Vierge to take the opening pole position of 2019

Marcel Schrötter (Dynavolt Intact GP) is set to start the VisitQatar Grand Prix from his first ever pole position, setting a best time of 1:58.585 to beat Xavi Vierge (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) by 0.146, with Free Practice’s fastest man Lorenzo Baldassarri (Flexbox HP 40) completing the front row.

It was the first time the intermediate class had taken part in a Q1, Q2 format qualifying and it was Schrötter who set the early pace before creating his own first. Pole set on his sixth flier, he ended the session 0.146 ahead of Vierge, with Baldassarri jumping up the timesheets in the latter stages to grab a front row start – just 0.199 from pole.

After progressing from Q1, Luca Marini (Sky Racing Team VR46) put in a good shift in Q2 to head the second row in fourth, although it could have been better if not for the Italian crashing at Turn 2 with just over two minutes to go. Gardner starts fifth, ahead of Sam Lowes (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) in sixth, 0.260 from pole.

Tom Lüthi (Dynavolt Intact GP) will line up seventh on his first start since returning to the Moto2™ class, the Swiss rider 0.419 off his teammate’s pole lap, with Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) joining him on the third row in P8. Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) will lineup ninth for the opening race of the year, with fellow Spaniard Augusto Fernandez (Flexbox HP 40) completing the top ten.

Reigning Moto3™ World Champion Jorge Martin (Red Bull KTM Ajo) crashed during FP2, rider ok, and he starts P11 as the leading rookie.

A cracking qualifying in Qatar sets us up nicely for the first Moto2™ race of the new Triumph era. Who will take victory? Find out when the intermediate class go racing at 18:20 local time (GMT+3) on Sunday.

Canet storms to opening Moto3™ pole

Two tenths clear of the rest in a manic debut Q2, the Spaniard stayed in his Friday form

Sterilgarda Max Racing’s Aron Canet clinched the first Moto3™ pole position of the season in impressive fashion at the VisitQatar Grand Prix, the only man the go beneath the 2:06 barrier and eventually finishing just under two tenths clear of the chasing pack with a 2:05.883. The front row is completed by two men starting from there for the first time: Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Leopard Racing) in second, although he was on the podium at Losail last season, and Kaito Toba (Honda Team Asia) in third.

John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing) starts from fourth and could be one to watch as a former podium finisher at the venue too, impressing in the first ever Moto3™ Q2 despite coming through Q1. SIC58 Squadra Corse’s Nicollo Antonelli, who starts fifth, is another with a top record as the Italian won in 2016. He recovered from a crash at Turn 10 with seven minutes left on the clock in Q2.

Albert Arenas (Sama Qatar Angel Nieto Team) will sit on the outside of the second row of the grid, ahead of Italy’s Tony Arbolino (Snipers Team) and Sky Racing Team VR46’s Celestino Vietti after he became the first man to top a Moto3™ Q1 session. Reale Avintia Arizona 77’s Vicente Perez ended the session ninth quickest, just three thousandths of a second ahead of reigning Junior Moto3™ World Champion Raul Fernandez (Sama Qatar Angel Nieto Team).

A hugely frustrated Romano Fenati (Snipers Racing) had to settle for eleventh on the grid after not leaving pitlane for his last attempt at taking pole position until there was exactly two minutes remaining, meaning the chequered flag came out before he could start a final flying lap. Can he fight back through in the race? Find out from 17:00 (GMT +3) on Sunday.

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