Ducati's Dovizioso Tops 2018 Qatar MotoGP Friday Practice: Results

Elias Hubbard
March 17, 2018

Italy's Andrea Dovizioso, the world championship runner-up last season, took his Ducati to the top of the time charts in Friday practice for the season-opening Qatar MotoGP.

"I didn't ride in a ideal way and I lost some time during my lap, I made some small mistakes and I paid for them, because my position is not fantastic, I'm just ninth", said 39-year-old Rossi who penned a new two-year Yamaha deal on Thursday.

The Italian scorched to a 1'54.361 using the soft rear Michelin in the usual session end time attack and it was enough to secure top spot ahead of Pramac Ducati's Danilo Petrucci by just 0.006s while Suzuki's Alex Rins, who was fastest with ten minutes to go, put in a 1'54.458 with his last lap to claim third.

Dovizioso, who had earlier topped the daytime FP1 session, edged out Pramac Ducati rider Petrucci by 0.006 seconds in the final minutes of the second session.

There was a sizeable gap between the top three and the rest of the pack, with Dovizioso's team-mate Jorge Lorenzo, who experienced a disrupted start to the session as he was forced to pit due to his GP18 sparking, nearly half a second down in fourth.

Jorge Lorenzo claimed fourth with his penultimate lap of 1'54.831 while Andrea Iannone, on the second Suzuki, nicked fourth with seconds left, lapping at 1'54.841.

Indeed, Miller is only half a second slower than Lorenzo while the three Hondas in sixth, seventh and eighth are split by 0.003s.

Next up was the reigning MotoGP Champion Marc Marquez, who only has one premier-class win at Losail (2014); the Repsol Honda pilot was 0.489 of a second off the pace, and followed 0.001 of a second back by teammate Dani Pedrosa, who starts his 200th Grand Prix this weekend.

They were followed by three Yamaha riders, with Johann Zarco in 10th slotting in between factory riders Valentino Rossi and Maverick Vinales. The top Aprilia Racing Team Gresini RS-GP pilot was Aleix Espargaro (-0.875), and the top Red Bull KTM RC16 rider was Pol Espargaro (-1.558).

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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