Motorcycle Racing News MotoGP 2019 Qatar MotoGP Friday Practice: Marquez Sets New Lap Record

2019 Qatar MotoGP Friday Practice: Marquez Sets New Lap Record

2019 Qatar MotoGP Friday Practice Results

Though he couldn’t match the pace of Monster Energy Yamaha’s Maverick Vinales during last week’s testing sessions at Losail International Circuit, the reigning MotoGP Champion Marc Marquez was untouchable Friday for the opening practice of round 1 in Qatar.

The Repsol Honda RC213V pilot posted a quickest time of 1:53.380, which became the new lap record by three tenths over the previous one set by Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Pol Espargaro (2018).

2019 Qatar MotoGP Friday Practice: Honda Marc Marquez
Honda’s Marc Marquez

Marquez, who only claimed one premier-class victory in Qatar in 2014, finished Friday 0.474 of a second ahead of Vinales. The only other rider to post under the 1:54 mark was Alama Pramac Racing Ducati’s Jack Miller, who finished third, 0.528 behind.

After a delayed start due to crews cleaning up debris from Tom Luthi’s crash at turn 7 during the Moto2 practice, the 45-minute FP2 session got underway with Marquez getting immediately up to speed, posting under the 1:55 mark on lap three.

This was quicker than the best time set by Monster Energy Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi in free practice one, and from there Marquez only got faster.

He was surpassed once by Joan Mir on the Team Suzuki Ecstar, but Mir only held onto the top time for a few laps. Marquez returned to the top, and couldn’t be touched.

Vinales beat Miller to second by 0.054, and Mission Winnow Ducati’s Danilo Petrucci followed in fourth, 0.673 behind Marquez.

2019 Qatar MotoGP Friday Practice: Valentino Rossi
Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi

The top rookie was Fabio Quartararo, the Petronas Yamaha SRT rider finishing fifth, 0.774 off the pace. He was followed by the other factory Ducati GP19 pilot Andrea Dovizioso – the Italian who won last year at Qatar.

Rounding out the top 10 were Petronas Yamaha SRT’s Franco Morbidelli; Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Alex Rins; Aprilia Racing Team’s Aleix Espagaro; and Mir.

As for Jorge Lorenzo, he ended his first official day of MotoGP free practice aboard the Repsol Honda RC213V in 11th, 1.048 seconds behind teammate Marquez. Lorenzo continues to recover from wrist surgery that he underwent over the winter break.

Rossi finished back in 16th, 1.757 seconds back.

The 23-rider grid returns to Losail Saturday for two additional free practice sessions ahead of qualifying.

2019 Qatar MotoGP Friday Results

Pos. Rider Time
1 Marc Marquez 01’53.380
2 Maverick Viñales 01’53.854
3 Jack Miller 01’53.908
4 Danilo Petrucci 01’54.053
5 Fabio Quartararo 01’54.154
6 Andrea Dovizioso 01’54.256
7 Franco Morbidelli 01’54.275
8 Alex Rins 01’54.320
9 Aleix Espargaro 01’54.367
10 Joan Mir 01’54.402
11 Jorge Lorenzo 01’54.428
12 Takaaki Nakagami 01’54.444
13 Cal Crutchlow 01’54.452
14 Francesco Bagnaia 01’54.801
15 Tito Rabat 01’55.032
16 Valentino Rossi 01’55.048

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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