MotoGP, Pole, Zarco the record breaker, 10 years after Lorenzo

Cornelia Mascio
Marzo 18, 2018

The opening gambits were a frantic affair, with reigning champion Marquez firing in a 1:54.411s to take over top spot, before bettering it to a 1:54.368s.

Suzuki Ecstar's Italian driver Andrea Iannone (left), Movistar Yamaha's Italian driver Valentino Rossi (center), and Ducati's Italian driver Andrea Dovizioso, attend a presser at the Losail Circuit on Friday, ahead of the Qatar Grand Prix.

"I felt really good today". In FP4 we changed quite a lot the bike, similar to what I was riding a year ago, and I felt much, much better, already from the first lap.

Behind these three were Jorge Lorenzo of Spain on the second factory Ducati at 0.470 sec off the pace and defending world champion and compatriot Marc Marquez on a Honda.

As for FP3, Zarco was the only rider to break the 1m55s barrier, posting a time of 1m54.966s to pip Pramac Ducati rider Jack Miller by 0.497 seconds.

Marquez has won four of the past five titles but Dovizioso pushed him hard and sees no reason why he can not do better this time around. "We need to make a step to be able to win tomorrow, but at least when I have the light bike with the new tire, I feel so good". "First of all we do the first few races and then we will know".

That remained the time to beat until Suzuki's Alex Rins shot to the top with back-to-back fastest laps, a 1m54.997s followed by a 1m54.985s as FP2 entered its final 10 minutes.

"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.

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