Qualifying Canceled At Qatar Due To Rain - Viñales, Morbidelli, Martin Awarded Pole

Practice and qualifying at the Losail Circuit in Qatar has been canceled due to track conditions. Torrential overnight rain, followed by another downpour during the day left the circuit wet, with standing water in some sections of the track, as well as in the gravel traps. After waiting for conditions to improve, the organizers were finally forced to abandon any hope of running qualifying or FP4 for any of the classes.

Conditions in several areas were key to calling off all track action. Firstly, there was still standing water on one or two sections of the straight. There was also standing water at the apex of a couple of corners, as well as wide streams of water flowing across the track in a couple of places. Most importantly, there were pools of water both in the gravel traps and on the service roads. A crashed rider who lost consciousness would have run the added risk of drowning in the gravel trap pools, and access for medical services via the service roads was also blocked in places.

At the moment, the race schedule for Sunday remains almost unchanged, though warm up has been extended by an extra ten minutes for all three classes. With qualifying canceled, the grids have been set by combined times from all three sessions of free practice in all three classes. That leaves Maverick Viñales on pole in MotoGP, with Andrea Iannone and Marc Marquez alongside him.

In Moto2, Franco Morbidell has pole, his Marc VDS teammate Alex Marquez alongside him, and Tom Luthi the last rider on the front row. 

In the Moto3 class, Jorge Martin takes pole position, ahead of Philipp Oettl and Romano Fenati.

MotoGP Combined Times:

Pos No. Rider Bike Time Diff Prev
1 25 Maverick Viñales Yamaha 1'54.316    
2 29 Andrea Iannone Suzuki 1'54.848 0.532 0.532
3 93 Marc Marquez Honda 1'54.912 0.596 0.064
4 5 Johann Zarco Yamaha 1'55.008 0.692 0.096
5 4 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati 1'55.042 0.726 0.034
6 45 Scott Redding Ducati 1'55.085 0.769 0.043
7 26 Dani Pedrosa Honda 1'55.113 0.797 0.028
8 94 Jonas Folger Yamaha 1'55.208 0.892 0.095
9 35 Cal Crutchlow Honda 1'55.211 0.895 0.003
10 46 Valentino Rossi Yamaha 1'55.414 1.098 0.203
11 9 Danilo Petrucci Ducati 1'55.435 1.119 0.021
12 99 Jorge Lorenzo Ducati 1'55.461 1.145 0.026
13 19 Alvaro Bautista Ducati 1'55.581 1.265 0.120
14 76 Loris Baz Ducati 1'55.624 1.308 0.043
15 41 Aleix Espargaro Aprilia 1'55.634 1.318 0.010
16 43 Jack Miller Honda 1'55.959 1.643 0.325
17 17 Karel Abraham Ducati 1'56.003 1.687 0.044
18 42 Alex Rins Suzuki 1'56.179 1.863 0.176
19 53 Tito Rabat Honda 1'56.368 2.052 0.189
20 8 Hector Barbera Ducati 1'56.725 2.409 0.357
21 22 Sam Lowes Aprilia 1'56.854 2.538 0.129
22 44 Pol Espargaro KTM 1'57.116 2.800 0.262
23 38 Bradley Smith KTM 1'57.654 3.338 0.538

Moto2 Combined Times

Pos No. Rider Bike Time Diff Prev
1 21 Franco Morbidelli Kalex 2:00.349    
2 73 Alex Marquez Kalex 2:00.372 0.023 0.023
3 12 Thomas Luthi Kalex 2:00.422 0.073 0.050
4 30 Takaaki Nakagami Kalex 2:00.502 0.153 0.080
5 44 Miguel Oliveira KTM 2:00.555 0.206 0.053
6 52 Danny Kent Suter 2:00.568 0.219 0.013
7 77 Dominique Aegerter Suter 2:00.774 0.425 0.206
8 97 Xavi Vierge Tech 3 2:00.791 0.442 0.017
9 42 Francesco Bagnaia Kalex 2:00.793 0.444 0.002
10 40 Fabio Quartararo Kalex 2:00.806 0.457 0.013
11 54 Mattia Pasini Kalex 2:00.866 0.517 0.060
12 49 Axel Pons Kalex 2:00.907 0.558 0.041
13 10 Luca Marini Kalex 2:00.922 0.573 0.015
14 23 Marcel Schrotter Suter 2:00.972 0.623 0.050
15 7 Lorenzo Baldassarri Kalex 2:00.981 0.632 0.009
16 2 Jesko Raffin Kalex 2:00.999 0.650 0.018
17 9 Jorge Navarro Kalex 2:01.001 0.652 0.002
18 19 Xavier Simeon Kalex 2:01.017 0.668 0.016
19 55 Hafizh Syahrin Kalex 2:01.173 0.824 0.156
20 11 Sandro Cortese Suter 2:01.226 0.877 0.053
21 45 Tetsuta Nagashima Kalex 2:01.273 0.924 0.047
22 41 Brad Binder KTM 2:01.303 0.954 0.030
23 87 Remy Gardner Tech 3 2:01.429 1.080 0.126
24 24 Simone Corsi Speed Up 2:01.435 1.086 0.006
25 32 Isaac Viñales Kalex 2:01.769 1.420 0.334
26 60 Julian Simon Kalex 2:01.903 1.554 0.134
27 89 Khairul Idham Pawi Kalex 2:01.919 1.570 0.016
28 68 Yonny Hernandez Kalex 2:01.951 1.602 0.032
29 57 Edgar Pons Kalex 2:01.975 1.626 0.024
30 88 Ricard Cardus Speed Up 2:02.299 1.950 0.324
31 5 Andrea Locatelli Kalex 2:02.635 2.286 0.336
32 62 Stefano Manzi Kalex 2:03.553 3.204 0.918
33 8 Saeed Al Sulaiti Speed Up 2:03.564 3.215 0.011
34 96 Nasser Al Malki Speed Up 2:05.506 5.157 1.942

Moto3 Combined Times

Pos No. Rider Bike Time Diff Prev
1 88 Jorge Martin Honda 2:06.817    
2 65 Philipp Oettl KTM 2:06.981 0.164 0.164
3 5 Romano Fenati Honda 2:06.989 0.172 0.008
4 64 Bo Bendsneyder KTM 2:07.162 0.345 0.173
5 23 Niccolò Antonelli KTM 2:07.207 0.390 0.045
6 36 Joan Mir Honda 2:07.239 0.422 0.032
7 16 Andrea Migno KTM 2:07.319 0.502 0.080
8 44 Aron Canet Honda 2:07.373 0.556 0.054
9 19 Gabriel Rodrigo KTM 2:07.380 0.563 0.007
10 58 Juanfran Guevara KTM 2:07.388 0.571 0.008
11 42 Marcos Ramirez KTM 2:07.426 0.609 0.038
12 7 Adam Norrodin Honda 2:07.514 0.697 0.088
13 17 John Mcphee Honda 2:07.545 0.728 0.031
14 8 Nicolo Bulega KTM 2:07.748 0.931 0.203
15 71 Ayumu Sasaki Honda 2:07.810 0.993 0.062
16 21 Fabio Di Giannantonio Honda 2:07.976 1.159 0.166
17 14 Tony Arbolino Honda 2:07.994 1.177 0.018
18 11 Livio Loi Honda 2:08.073 1.256 0.079
19 33 Enea Bastianini Honda 2:08.139 1.322 0.066
20 24 Tatsuki Suzuki Honda 2:08.149 1.332 0.010
21 12 Marco Bezzecchi Mahindra 2:08.202 1.385 0.053
22 84 Jakub Kornfeil Peugeot 2:08.279 1.462 0.077
23 75 Albert Arenas Mahindra 2:08.373 1.556 0.094
24 95 Jules Danilo Honda 2:08.405 1.588 0.032
25 48 Lorenzo Dalla Porta Mahindra 2:08.442 1.625 0.037
26 6 Maria Herrera KTM 2:08.527 1.710 0.085
27 40 Darryn Binder KTM 2:08.740 1.923 0.213
28 27 Kaito Toba Honda 2:08.750 1.933 0.010
29 96 Manuel Pagliani Mahindra 2:09.061 2.244 0.311
30 41 Nakarin Atiratphuvapat Honda 2:09.068 2.251 0.007
31 4 Patrik Pulkkinen Peugeot 2:11.242 4.425 2.174

 

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Comments

It's not just rain that's the problem with Qatar, it's the dew, the dusty surface, the lack of spectators, the weird schedule and now because it insists on being the opening round of the championship it lacks the one thing that's almost guaranteed in the desert no rain. The Qataris must be paying Dorna a lot of dollars for the privilege, but I do wonder about their intelligence sometimes. After all who goes to Phillip island in the Australian winter, Sepang at the cusp of monsoon season and then to Valencia in November expecting good weather? Surely Qatar would be a better fit then at the end of the year and start the year at Phillip island before heading off to Argentina then COTA???

At least it keeps us British fans Happy we love moaning about the weather.

The fees paid by the Qatari's to host the opening round apparently cover the cargo costs for the entire MotoGP circus for the entire season. They are the golden goose and there is no way Dorna will be giving that up. 

The Phillip Island GP is not held during winter; October is mid-Spring in Australia. The unstable weather seen at the Island can be attributed to it being located in Bass Strait and subject to an oceanic climate (i.e. wind and rain are possible almost any time of the year). This seems to be a common misconception; initially voiced by VR46 and then often repeated.

You forgot to mention the abhorrent racism and worker/slave treatment.  IIRC, the rumor is that Qatar pays enough for the right to hold the opening round that it pays for Dorna's freight costs for the flyaway rounds.

A heck of a lot more people watch the races on MOTOGP web site and on the boob tube than sit in the grandstands. You don't see all that much in the grandstands compared to the video on the boob tube and MOTOGP site. IMHO that race at night is very 'special' compared to several Spanish race events.

... would it not make sense to move to being the finale?