Martin breaks lap record to end Day 1 on top in Qatar

The Del Conca Gresini Moto3 rider obliterated the field in the second Free Practice session to end up on top in Losail

Jorge Martin (Del Conca Gresini Moto3) started his season in much the same way as he finished in 2017: on top. The Spaniard’s Friday at Losail International Circuit saw him breaking the Moto3™ lap record in the second Free Practice session after setting a 2:05.590, over six-tenths in front of a promising first day for 2016 Qatar winner Niccolo Antonelli (SIC58 Squadra Corse). It was a closer battle for second, however, as Antonelli ended the day just over a tenth clear of countryman Enea Bastianini (Leopard Racing).

The weather was bright and sunny for the opening Free Practice session before the sun set towards the end of FP2, with the lower track temperatures aiding lap times as we saw vast improvements from most riders.

Argentina’s Gabriel Rodrigo (RBA BOE Skull Rider) got off to a good start, finishing fourth on the combined standings on his KTM. Fabio Di Giannantonio (Del Conca Gresini Moto3) and Andrea Migno (Angel Nieto Team) completed the top six, with Tony Arbolino (Marinelli Rivacold Snipers) on top form with his new team as he took P7. Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Leopard Racing), Aron Canet (Estrella Galicia 0,0) and Philipp Oettl (Suedmetall Schedl GP Racing) locked out the fastest ten men on Day 1.

Unfortunately, it was a short weekend in Doha for Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse) with the Japanese rider crashing in FP1 and fracturing his right forearm. He has been declared unfit for the remainder of the weekend.

The fastest rookie was Spaniard Alonso Lopez (Estrella Galicia 0,0) as he concluded the day in P21 despite riding at the track for the first time.

Now tomorrow it's qualifying day, and the session to decide the grid begins at 16:45 local time (GMT +3). For full results from the first day of action in Qatar, click here.