Jorge Lorenzo has topped the final session of free practice ahead of the qualifying for the MotoGP class, the Movistar Yamaha rider putting in a blistering lap at the end of the session to take the lead from Repsol Honda's Marc Marquez. But the session was far from smooth for Lorenzo or his teammate Valentino Rossi. The two bickered in the middle of the session, Rossi sitting up to gesticulate at Lorenzo when the Spaniard was following him, and the pair continuing the argument at the end of the session as they lined up to do their practice starts.
Latest MotoGP Results
Results and summary of qualifying for the Moto2 class:
Jonas Folger has taken the second Moto2 pole of his career, setting a blistering lap at the beginning of the session and smashing the Qatar lap record by four tenths of a second.
Results and summary of Moto3 qualifying:
Romano Fenati has claimed the first pole position of the 2016 Grand Prix season, after a strategic use of a group ahead of him to gain half a second along Qatar's massive front straight. and snatch pole. The Italian deposed Belgian rider Livio Loi, who had topped the timesheets for much of the session, impressing by setting times completely on his own. Loi will start from second on the grid, the first time he has ever had a front row start, though he will likely be disappointed to miss out on his first Tissot watch for pole.
Andrea Iannone was the fastest man of the day on Friday in the MotoGP class, the factory Ducati rider putting in a scorching lap at the end of the session to take top spot. But Iannone had been quick throughout the session, stuck close behind both Jorge Lorenzo and Marc Marquez when the two Spaniards were fastest, and finding a bit extra to ensure he went into qualifying as favorite.
Sam Lowes has stamped his authority on the Moto2 class at Qatar by dominating the final session of free practice. The Gresini rider took the lead in the session early and laid down an imposing rhythm, posting a whole string of quick laps. He also managed to do it without crashing, a big improvement after crashing twice on the first day. The final few laps saw him lapping under the pole record, ending nearly two tenths quicker than his old record from last year.
Fabio Quartararo was the fastest man in the only session of free practice for the Moto3 class on Friday. The Frenchman put in a flying lap to top the timesheets right at the end of the session, deposing the previous leaders Brad Binder and Livio Loi.
The second session of free practice for the MotoGP class saw a shuffling of the order from Thursday. Where yesterday, the Yamahas had ruled the roost, on Friday it was the turn of Ducati to lay down the law.
Jonas Folger has topped the timesheets in the second session of free practice for the Moto2 class at Qatar. The Dynavolt Intact GP rider set his fast time early in the second session to get within a couple of hundredths of the outright lap record. Sam Lowes took second spot, less than a tenth off the pace of Folger, despite a second crash of the day. Lowes just edged Alex Rins into third, the HP 40 Pons rider radically improved after a much slower FP1.
Livio Loi's transformation into front runner continues apace. After just nipping ahead of Jorge Navarro in FP1, Loi blasted the rest of the field in the second session of Moto3 practice on Thursday, setting a new lap record for the Losail circuit on the way. By the time the flag fell, Loi's advantage had stretched to nearly a third of a second.
Jorge Lorenzo has taken his pace from testing into the first full event of the season. The reigning world champion topped the timesheets early, and by the halfway mark had set a pace few could follow during his first long run. In the second half of the session, he dropped his time even further, stretching out his advantage to over a quarter of a second.
The fatter rubber of the Moto2 Dunlop tires helped clean the track a little more during the first session of free practice for the intermediate class at Qatar, and times reflected that improvement. Tom Luthi ended the session as quickest, a couple of tenths under the race lap record and three tenths slower than the pole record.
The 2016 Grand Prix motorcycle racing season got underway in customary form: on a dusty Losail circuit producing relatively slow times and treacherous conditions. There were multiple crashes during the first forty minute session of free practice for the Moto3 class, with Niccolo Antonelli and Andrea Locatelli among the fallers.
Niccolo Antonelli leaves the final preseason test for the Moto3 class as the fastest rider, smashing the existing pole record at Qatar by nearly four tenths of a second. Livio Loi, who just crept under the lap record on Saturday, improved his time again on Sunday, but ended up over two tenths behind Antonelli, after a very strong showing during testing.
Sam Lowes has laid out his intentions with his final run of 2016 preseason testing for the Moto2 class, using his final run of the day at Qatar to break his existing pole record by a couple of hundredths of a second. Lowes has been consistently fast throughout testing, and ended the three-day test with an advantage of over two tenths of a second over the rest of the Moto2 field.
The second day of testing for the Moto2 and Moto3 teams at Qatar saw winglets infect the junior classes like a rash of smallpox. In the Moto3 class, the Mahindras and Peugeots (which are basically rebadged Mahindras) grew small side winglets, of the type first tested at Jerez two weeks ago. In Moto2, Dominique Aegerter's CarXpert Kalex sprouted a couple of massive drop winglets coming off the back of the tail unit.