The opening night in Qatar saw Marc Marquez time his flying laps perfectly to end in tenth despite yellow flags, Joan Mir finding good data to improve on Saturday.
Floodlights were all switched back on as the MotoGP World Championship returned to Lusail, starting the penultimate weekend of the year. As is often the case at the Qatar GP, the first part of the ‘day’ saw riders go steadily faster as the condition of the track improved with more running. Yellow flags at the end of the night would see last-minute changes to the overall top ten.
Starting the day right down the order, Marc Marquez was sure of his strategy on Friday as he saved himself and his tyres in Free Practice 1. Improving instantly in the second session, Marquez would have his fastest lap of the day cancelled due to yellow flags, fortunately his previous lap time of 1’53.323 was good enough to remain in the top ten. With this, it was mission accomplished from Friday as the #93 has now guaranteed a spot on the front four rows of the grid – avoiding a repeat of last weekend’s qualifying result. Keeping this position will be Saturday’s mission.
Joan Mir spent the ‘morning’ session working to understand the new surface around the 5.38-kilometre long Lusail International Circuit. With the track surface still dirty from overnight storms, times were not completely representative of each riders’ potential. Able to improve in line with the rest of the field in the evening, Mir was left searching for more feeling from the tyres of his first run. Yellow flags during his last stint on track saw him set a best time of 1’53.921 and ended 17th.
Action resumes tomorrow at 15:00 Local Time with Free Practice 2, a final day set of laps under daylight.
Friday Practice - Qatar Grand Prix
|1||Fernandez Raul||25||SPA||RNF MotoGP Team||Aprilia||1'52.843|
|2||Di Giannantonio Fabio||49||ITA||Team Gresini Racing MotoGP||Ducati||0.049|
|3||Vinales Maverick||12||SPA||Aprilia Racing||Aprilia||0.093|
|4||Binder Brad||33||RSA||Red Bull KTM Factory Racing||KTM||0.112|
|5||Espargaro Aleix||41||SPA||Aprilia Racing||Aprilia||0.190|
|6||Marini Luca||10||ITA||Mooney VR46 Racing Team||Ducati||0.251|
|7||Martin Jorge||89||SPA||Pramac Racing||Ducati||0.352|
|8||Bagnaia Francesco||1||ITA||Ducati Lenovo Team||Ducati||0.359|
|9||Fernandez Augusto||37||SPA||Tech3 GASGAS Factory Racing||KTM||0.446|
|10||Marquez Marc||93||SPA||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||0.480|
|11||Miller Jack||43||AUS||Red Bull KTM Factory Racing||KTM||0.494|
|12||Marquez Alex||73||SPA||Team Gresini Racing MotoGP||Ducati||0.718|
|13||Morbidelli Franco||21||ITA||Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP||Yamaha||0.721|
|14||Espargaro Pol||44||SPA||Tech3 GASGAS Factory Racing||KTM||0.853|
|15||Bezzecchi Marco||72||ITA||Mooney VR46 Racing Team||Ducati||0.861|
|16||Zarco Johann||5||FRA||Pramac Racing||Ducati||0.935|
|17||Mir Joan||36||SPA||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||1.078|
|18||Bastianini Enea||23||ITA||Ducati Lenovo Team||Ducati||1.094|
|19||Oliveira Miguel||88||POR||RNF MotoGP Team||Aprilia||1.162|
|20||Lecuona Iker||27||SPA||LCR Honda||Honda||1.411|
|21||Quartararo Fabio||20||FRA||Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP||Yamaha||1.417|
|22||Nakagami Takaaki||30||JPN||LCR Honda||Honda||1.598|
The fabulous Lusail International Circuit lies on the outskirts of Doha, the capital city of Qatar. Built in little over a year, the track cost $58 million USD and required round-the-clock dedication from almost 1,000 workers in order to get it ready for the inaugural event – the Marlboro Grand… read more.
|Length||5.380 kilometres / 3.343 miles|
|Longest straight||1.068 kilometres / 0.664 miles|
Losail International Circuit, Al Daayen, Qatar - View in Google Maps
|Pole Position||1m 51.762s (173.2km/h) Luca Marini (Ducati, 2023)|
|Race Lap||1m 52.978s (171.4 km/h) Enea Bastianini (Ducati, 2023)|
|2023 Sprint Winner||Jorge Martin (Ducati)|
|2023 Race Winner||Fabio Di Giannantonio (Ducati)|