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Ahead of the opening round of the 2019 MotoGP™ season at the VisitQatar Grand Prix, here are 10 things to know after Saturday’s premier class qualifying action:
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1. Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) has qualified on pole position for the seventh time in the premier class (equaling Andrea Dovizioso, Tadayuki Okada and Teuvo Lansivuori) – the 18th time of his career
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2. This is the first back-to-back pole position for Yamaha since Johann Zarco in France and Valentino Rossi in Italy last year.
Watch Maverick Viñales' pole-winning lap for FREE!
3. Andrea Dovizioso (Mission Winnow Ducati) has been either first or second for the last four years in Losail, with a win in 2018.
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4. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team), who won his only MotoGP™ race in Losail back in 2014 from pole position, completes the front row on the grid.
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5. Making his debut in the premier class, Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) is the highest-placed rookie in fifth and the second Yamaha rider on the grid.
6. Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) has qualified in eighth on the grid, which is his best qualifying result since he stepped up to the MotoGP™ class last year.
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7. The highest-placed Suzuki rider is Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) in tenth. Rins crashed out of the MotoGP™ race last season in Losail.
8. Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar), who is also making his debut in the premier class, has qualified in 11th on the grid. Mir has won the Moto3™ race in Qatar two years ago – his second GP win.
9. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) has qualified in 12th on the grid, which is the best result on the grid of an Aprilia rider in the premier class in Qatar since Jeremy McWilliams was also 12th back in 2004 (after Valentino Rossi and Max Biaggi were given a penalty).
10. Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP), who joins Q1 for the second successive time after Valencia last year, has qualified in 14th, which is his worst qualifying result since he was 16th also in Valencia. This Rossi’s worst starting position in Losail since 2004, when he started from the back of the grid after being given a penalty.
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