In a tight, see-saw Moto2 third practice that saw the top 20 riders within one second of the best time, Jonas Folger emerged on top with a 1'43.594, enough to put him one-tenth clear at the Termas de Rio Honda circuit Saturday. Alex Rins climbed into second, just in front of Sandro Cortese (3rd). Johan Zarco, who led much of the session, slipped to fourth.
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Marc Marquez continued to top the practice timesheet but the gap closed considerably Saturday at the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit in Argentina. Jorge Lorenzo, languishing in 14th in Friday's final practice, found his pace as the racing line improved and the threat of rain remained only a threat.
Romano Fenati set the fast Moto3 lap of the weekend in the final moments of FP3 Saturday at the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit in Argentina. Fenati is the only Moto3 rider this year to dip into the 1'49s. Brad Binder, who led the session for a time, took second on the timesheet, two-tenths back. And Nicolo Bulega set his best time of the weekend for third fastest.
Taking advantage of a clean racing line, Johann Zarco stayed at the top of the time sheet in FP2 with a 1'44.533 at the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit in Argentina Friday. Zarco finished the 45-minute session in blistering heat one-tenth of a second clear of a resurgent Takaaki Nakagami (2nd).
Sam Lowes climbed into third, a position he held consistently for the latter third of the session. Jonas Folger and Alex Marquez rounded out the top five. Qatar race-winner Thomas Luthi lingered in ninth place, more than half of a second back.
With worries of Saturday rain making the second free practice mimic the upcoming third, Marc Marquez grabbed the top spot early in the tense session and held on Friday at the Termas de Rio Honda circuit in Argentina.
Enea Bastianini kept his place at the top of the timesheet Friday during FP2 as the racing line cleaned up and lap times dropped to the prior year's levels. Bastianini's 1'51.137 put him one-tenth clear of Romano Fenati (2nd). Andrea Migno (3rd) found himself in rare company with a third-fastest showing just in front of Brad Binder (4th) and Jorge Navarro (5th).
Qatar race-winner Niccolo Antonelli could climb no higher than 11th at the session's end. Weather could play a role in Saturday's practice and qualifying with both rain and high tempertures predicted.
Johann Zarco climbed to the top of the time sheet with a 1'45.037 at the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit in Argentina Friday as track conditions continued to thwart fast times. Zarco, who finished the 45-minute session three-tenths of a second in front of Danny Kent, strugged along with other riders to find sufficient grip on the dirty track.
Andrea Dovizioso continued his strong form in 2016 with the top FP1 time Friday at the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit in Argentina. Dovizioso, the second-place finisher at the season opener in Qatar, made his fast final lap with time expiring and relegated Marc Marquez to second.
Yonny Hernandez, also set a fast lap late with the help of a tow, and climbed into third while dropping Maverick Vinales into fourth, nearly half a seond off the pace at the top. Aleix Espargaro, fastest in the first free practice in 2015, rounded out the top five.
Enea Bastianini led the first practice at the Rio Hondo circuit in Argentina Friday in dirty track conditions that were less than ideal for the riders. While Bastianini's time of 1.52'467 was three-tenths of a second clear of second-fastest Livio Loi, the time was nearly a full second off the top FP1 time from last year's contest.
MotoGP is back, with 22 laps under the floodlights in Qatar.
From pole position, Jorge Lorenzo hit the turns first, with the Ducatis of Andrea Iannone and Andrea Dovizioso and his Yamaha teammate Valentino Rossi behind him. The Hondas of Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa were fifth and sixth.
20 laps in Qatar with unusual circumstances that would have a drastic effect on the podium.
As the lights went out, possibly more than once, several riders visibly twitched on the grid, bringing the new jump start rules to the fore. Jonas Folger got to the first turn first and set about breaking away from Taka Nakagami, Sam Lowes and Thomas Luthi. Lowes and Luthi got past Nakagami and at the end of the first lap, Folger had over a second of a lead from the fight behind him and the jump start notices started coming in.
Results and summary of the Moto3 race at Qatar:
Niccolo Antonelli has won the first race of the 2016 season, just pulling out of the slipstream of Brad Binder to steal victory by just seven thousandths of a second.
Results and summary of qualifying for the MotoGP class:
Jorge Lorenzo has taken the first pole of the brand new MotoGP era, pushing hard with his very first lap to set a time which nobody could end up beating, at least, not inside of the allotted 15 minute slot allowed for Q2. Jorge Lorenzo's pole brings his total to 62, passing his teammate Valentino Rossi in the record books and becoming the rider with the most pole positions since Grand Prix racing started tracking the position in 1974.