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

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

2018 Qatar MotoGP Friday Practice Results

The 2018 MotoGP season opener is finally here, and Friday’s first day of practice at Qatar’s Losail International Circuit belonged to Ducati.

Andrea Dovizioso wasted zero time at the controls of the Ducati Team GP18, the Italian leading the opening free practice just ahead of fellow Italian Valentino Rossi, the nine-time World Champion who recently penned a two-year extension with the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP team.

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

Rossi dropped off the pace a bit in the second free practice, ending the day in ninth. As for Dovizioso, he only got stronger, setting a new fastest lap in FP2 with a 1:54.361.

Dovizioso was followed a mere 0.006 of a second back by Alama Pramac Racing Ducati’s Danilo Petrucci, and a further 0.097 back by Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Alex Rins.

The top three riders were nearly 0.4 of a second ahead of fourth-place finisher Jorge Lorenzo on the other factory Ducati GP18, making for three Ducatis in the top four.

Ducati's Danilo Petrucci at Qatar MotoGP Friday
Ducati’s Danilo Petrucci

Finishing fifth was the other factory Suzuki GSX-RR piloted by Andrea Iannone. Lorenzo was 0.470 of a second off the pace, and Iannone 0.480 of a second behind.

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.

Suzuki Alex Rins at Qatar MotoGP Friday Practice
Suzuki’s Alex Rins

Rounding out the top 10 were LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow (-0.490); Rossi (0.492); and Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Johann Zarco (-0.551).

Rossi’s teammate on the other factory YZR-M1, Maverick Vinales, finished 11th. 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).

The riders return to the Qatar circuit Saturday for two additional free practices ahead of qualifying for Sunday’s 22-lap race, round 1 of 18 in 2018 MotoGP.

2018 Qatar MotoGP Friday Free Practice 2 Results:

1. Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati Team 1’54.361

2. Danilo PETRUCCI Alma Pramac Racing 1’54.367 0.006 / 0.006

3. Alex RINS Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 1’54.458 0.097 / 0.091

4. Jorge LORENZO Ducati Team 1’54.831 0.470 / 0.373

5. Andrea IANNONE Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 1’54.841 0.480 / 0.010

6. Marc MARQUEZ Repsol Honda Team 1’54.850 0.489 / 0.009

7. Dani PEDROSA Repsol Honda Team 1’54.851 0.490 / 0.001

8. Cal CRUTCHLOW LCR Honda CASTROL 1’54.852 0.491 / 0.001

9. Valentino ROSSI Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 1’54.853 0.492 / 0.001

10. Johann ZARCO Monster Yamaha Tech 3 1’54.912 0.551 / 0.059

11. Maverick VIÑALES Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 1’55.195 0.834 / 0.283

12. Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 1’55.236 0.875 / 0.041

13. Tito RABAT Reale Avintia Racing 1’55.308 0.947 / 0.072

14. Jack MILLER Alma Pramac Racing 1’55.360 0.999 / 0.052

15. Takaaki NAKAGAMI LCR Honda IDEMITSU 1’55.694 1.333 / 0.334

16. Scott REDDING Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 1’55.718 1.357 / 0.024

17. Pol ESPARGARO Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 1’55.919 1.558 / 0.201

18. Franco MORBIDELLI EG 0,0 Marc VDS 1’55.965 1.604 / 0.046

19. Thomas LUTHI EG 0,0 Marc VDS 1’56.242 1.881 / 0.277

20. Bradley SMITH Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 1’56.260 1.899 / 0.018

21. Karel ABRAHAM Angel Nieto Team 1’56.394 2.033 / 0.134

22. Hafizh SYAHRIN Monster Yamaha Tech 3 1’56.454 2.093 / 0.060

23. Alvaro BAUTISTA Angel Nieto Team 1’56.528 2.167 / 0.074

24. Xavier SIMEON Reale Avintia Racing 1’57.765 3.404 / 1.237

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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