2017 Qatar MotoGP Practice Results
Yamaha newbie Maverick Vinales remained quickest when the third free practice session finished under the floodlights of Losail International Circuit in Qatar, which will host Sunday the opening round of 2017 MotoGP.
The Movistar Yamaha MotoGP YZR-M1 pilot Vinales set the fastest time Thursday during the opening free practice (FP), and again during Friday’s third free practice. When you combine all three free practices, the 22-year-old Spaniard’s Friday time of 1:54.316 was fastest.
To put this time into perspective, the Circuit Record Lap (under race conditions) is a 1:54.927, and the Best Lap (across all sessions) is a 1:53.927, both set by Jorge Lorenzo aboard Yamaha YZR-M1 machinery.
Vinales, who also experienced his first crash aboard the Yamaha during FP3, has led all preseason tests heading into 2017 MotoGP. Overall, he was followed by Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Andrea Iannone, who was 0.532 of a second behind (FP3) and the reigning three-time MotoGP Champion, Marc Marquez, who was -0.596 of a second behind (FP1).
The reining Moto2 Champion, Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Johann Zarco, impressed with a fourth overall, the Frenchman trailing Vinales by 0.692 of a second. He was followed by two Ducati prototypes: the Ducati Team GP17 piloted by Andrea Dovizioso (-0.726 of a second, FP3) and the man who topped FP2, Octo Pramac Racing Ducati’s Scott Redding (-0.769, FP2).
Like Vinales, Redding also crashed in FP3, but walked away unharmed.
Rounding out the top 10 of riders that will automatically enter Qualifying 2 are Marquez’s teammate Dani Pedrosa (-0.797, FP3); Zarco’s teammate Jonas Folger (-0.892, FP2); LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow (-0.895, FP3); and nine-time World Champion Valentino Rossi (1.098, FP2).
Five-time World Champion Lorenzo finished 12th overall as the Spaniard continues to adapt to the new Ducati GP17. Lorenzo f was 1.145 seconds off the pace.
The 23-rider grid returns to Losail at 7:55 p.m. local time for another free practice ahead of Qualifying for Sunday’s Qatar Grand Prix.
Photography by Luciano Bianchetto