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Márquez tops practice for the first time

Márquez tops practice for the first time

Marc Márquez moved ahead as MotoGP™ practice continued at Losail on Friday night. With just one qualifying-associated practice left to run, the Spaniard leads compatriot Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi.

Posting a best lap time in Free Practice 2 of 1’56.477, which is the best of the weekend so far, Repsol Honda Team’s Márquez led the Yamaha Factory Racing duo. However overall, Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow is inside the top three and ahead of Rossi. Fifth is the LCR Honda MotoGP bike of Stefan Bradl, from Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso and GO&FUN Honda Gresini’s Álvaro Bautista.

Friday’s opening session looked to be delayed following a brief desert rain shower, although it was ultimately able to begin at the planned local time of 6pm.Ignite Pramac Racing’s Ben Spies finished in ninth place, although the overall top ten is completed by Repsol’s Dani Pedrosa in eighth position – having again suffered off-track moments – plus Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaró (the leading CRT runner) and Ducati’s Nicky Hayden.

In second practice Lorenzo ran Yamaha’s 2013-spec chassis, even though the team had previously declared it would not be using it in Qatar; direct comparisons with the older version cannot yet be drawn because of the changeable conditions, although it was on this version that his fastest time came. The riders were also affected by stronger winds than yesterday, making it harder still to perform effective setup changes.

From this season onwards, the first three practice sessions of the race weekend have a direct bearing on qualifying. Once the practice timesheets are combined, the top ten riders will are placed directly into Saturday’s new Q2 qualifying period. Prior to that, Q1 will decide grid positions 13 and downwards, while the quickest pair of riders from Q1 will proceed to Q2 and create a 12-rider shootout for pole position.

Third free practice starts at 8:55pm local time (GMT +3).

After Free Practice 2: Combined timesheets so far


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