Motorcycle Racing News MotoGP 2017 Qatar MotoGP Qualifying Canceled: Yamaha's Vinales Claims Pole

2017 Qatar MotoGP Qualifying Canceled: Yamaha’s Vinales Claims Pole

2017 Qatar MotoGP Qualifying Results

2017 Qatar MotoGP Qualifying Canceled: Yamaha's Vinales Claims Pole
Yamaha’s Maverick Vinales during FP3

Due to heavy rains overnight in Qatar, race direction canceled Saturday’s fourth free practice and both qualifying sessions for the opening round of 2017 MotoGP at Losail International Circuit.

Race direction said due to standing water and the possibility of more rain and lightning, conditions were unsafe for the 23-rider MotoGP grid. Dorna Race Direction’s Loris Capirossi attributed the standing water to poor drainage on the track in Qatar, which doesn’t see rain much.

If it was a daytime race, things would be different. But Capirossi says conditions are too unsafe to ride at night under rain conditions, mostly due to reflections off the floodlights and the standing water.

As per Dorna rules, the starting grid is now decided by combined results from the opening three free practices ahead of 2017 Qatar MotoGP.

Due to this, the man that led the combined practices, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Maverick Vinales, will start from pole—his first-ever in MotoGP. This is also the 22-year-old Spaniard’s first pole for the factory Yamaha team, which he singed with following two years with Team Ecstar Suzuki.

Joining Vinales on the front row is Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Andrea Iannone and the reigning three-time MotoGP Champion, Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez.

Heading up row two is rookie Johann Zarco on the Monster Yamaha Tech 3. The reigning Moto2 Champion is joined on row two by Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso and Octo Pramac Ducati’s Scott Redding.

Row three will consist of Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa, Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Jonas Folger and LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow. Vinales’ teammate, nine-time World Champion Valentino Rossi, qualified on top of row 4. He’ll be joined by Octo Pramac Racing Ducati’s Danilo Petrucci and three-time MotoGP Champion Jorge Lorenzo, the newly-signed Ducati Team rider.

Rain is expected ahead of Sunday’s season-opening MotoGP at Losail International Circuit, but Capirossi says Dorna will do whatever possible to get riders on track.

For more, visit 2017 Qatar MotoGP Free Practice Results.

Photo by Luciano Bianchetto

Ron Lieback
Ron Lieback
One of the few moto journalists based on the East Coast, Ron Lieback joined the motorcycle industry as a freelancer in 2007, and is currently Online Editor at Ultimate Motorcycling. He is also the author of "365 to Vision: Modern Writer's Guide (How to Produce More Quality Writing in Less Time).

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