2018 Qatar MotoGP FP1 Result: Dovizioso Prepares The Battleground

After a long winter of resting and testing, the sound of MotoGP engines got us all out of hibernation with the first practice session of the 2018 season in the premier class. New season but a familiar picture in Qatar, with the championship runner-up Andrea Dovizioso the first to dip into the 1:55s and then consolidate in his position as race favourite by topping the session.

Despite struggles throughout testing, the Yamaha found some speed in Valentino Rossi’s hands, the newly re-signed veteran getting close to top honours, only six hundredths of a second separating him from his compatriot. Three tenths behind, Marc Marquez wiggled his Honda to the top three to aid his quest for a podium at one of his less favoured tracks.

To make it four factories in the top four positions, Andrea Iannone got his Suzuki within a tenth of a second of the world champion. Jorge Lorenzo ditched the aero fairing, fussed over the foam on his seat and got annoyed at his practice start but the Spaniard still found some speed to finish fifth and keep Johann Zarco at bay. The Frenchman was consistently at the business end of the timesheets, as was Cal Crutchlow, who finished six tenths down on the leader in seventh position.

Alex Rins followed up on a good winter test with a decent placement in eight position, followed by Danilo Petrucci in ninth and Tito Rabat greatly enjoying his new Ducati to complete the top ten.

Over half a second down on their respective teammates were Maverick Viñales in eleventh position and Dani Pedrosa in twelfth, with the first Aprilia in thirteenth spot through Aleix Espargaro.

The honour of top rookie went to Hafizh Syahrin, Tech 3’s Malaysian rider one second down on the leader, in fifteenth position.

Results:

Pos. Num. Rider Bike Time Gap 1st Prev.
1 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati 1'55.366    
2 46 Valentino ROSSI Yamaha 1'55.427 0.061 0.061
3 93 Marc MARQUEZ Honda 1'55.743 0.377 0.316
4 29 Andrea IANNONE Suzuki 1'55.816 0.450 0.073
5 99 Jorge LORENZO Ducati 1'55.888 0.522 0.072
6 5 Johann ZARCO Yamaha 1'55.943 0.577 0.055
7 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW Honda 1'55.989 0.623 0.046
8 42 Alex RINS Suzuki 1'55.997 0.631 0.008
9 9 Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati 1'56.076 0.710 0.079
10 53 Tito RABAT Ducati 1'56.111 0.745 0.035
11 25 Maverick VIÑALES Yamaha 1'56.130 0.764 0.019
12 26 Dani PEDROSA Honda 1'56.265 0.899 0.135
13 41 Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia 1'56.313 0.947 0.048
14 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA Ducati 1'56.528 1.162 0.215
15 55 Hafizh SYAHRIN Yamaha 1'56.544 1.178 0.016
16 43 Jack MILLER Ducati 1'56.680 1.314 0.136
17 44 Pol ESPARGARO KTM 1'56.999 1.633 0.319
18 45 Scott REDDING Aprilia 1'57.115 1.749 0.116
19 30 Takaaki NAKAGAMI Honda 1'57.183 1.817 0.068
20 12 Thomas LUTHI Honda 1'57.211 1.845 0.028
21 21 Franco MORBIDELLI Honda 1'57.273 1.907 0.062
22 38 Bradley SMITH KTM 1'57.389 2.023 0.116
23 10 Xavier SIMEON Ducati 1'59.151 3.785 1.762
24 17 Karel ABRAHAM Ducati 1'59.462 4.096 0.311
Round Number: 
1
2018
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Comments

FP2 was awesome. Rins & Crazy Jo both quicker than Marquez, I didn't see that coming.

Marquez, Pedrosa, Cructhlow, almost the same time. Must be close to the perfect lap on the factory Honda.

Maverick outside the top ten? Jack Miller improves by one secind from FP1, seems to like the Duc.

It is good.