Bridgestone: Marquez produces magic last lap to top Qatar practice

Marc Marquez edged out Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo to emerge quickest from the three ranked practice sessions

Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez produced a strong last lap effort to top Friday practice by just one-thousandth of a second and head the field into tomorrow’s qualifying sessions.

Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team

Photo by: Hazrin Yeob Men Shah

Marquez edged out Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo to emerge quickest from the three ranked practice sessions, with Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow placing third overall and a further two-tenths of a second behind Lorenzo. Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaro was the pick of the CRT riders, his time of 1’57.420 was 1.336 seconds off P1 and placed him thirteenth overall.

Construction work in the vicinity of the circuit caused the track surface to be even dirtier than usual, with riders reporting very poor grip levels off the racing line. Despite the presence of the abrasive sand, wear rates were normal for the Losail Circuit and track conditions improved towards the end of Friday, with all riders setting their best times in Free Practice 3. All of the riders in the top ten set their times on the softer rear and harder front slick, this setup providing the best combination of rear drive and front-end stability in the less than ideal track conditions.

The next MotoGP session is Free Practice 4 which commences at 1955 local time (GMT+3) before the first of the two Qualifying Practice sessions starts at 2035. The top two riders at the end of Qualifying Practice 1 will participate in the Qualifying Practice 2 session which will determine the first four rows of the starting grid.

Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft & Hard; Rear: Medium & Hard (Asymmetric)
Weather:
FP2 - Dry. Ambient 26-28°C; Track 32-29°C (Bridgestone measurement)
FP3 - Dry. Ambient 29-30°C; Track 30-29°C (Bridgestone measurement)

Shinji Aoki - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department “Track conditions yesterday and today were poor with a greater than usual amount of wind-blow sand, but it improved towards the end of Friday. With the grip level of the tarmac not being the best, most riders preferred the softer rear slick, though for the front tyre, the harder slick was more popular due to its stability in corners and under braking. I expect most of the riders to select the combination of the harder front and softer rear slick for qualifying tomorrow, and perhaps some teams will try evaluating the performance of the harder rear slick for the race”.

Bridgestone Motorsport

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About this article
Series MOTOGP
Article type Practice report
Tags aoki, bridgestone, losail international circuit, marquez, qatar, repsol honda

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