Qatar MotoGP: Lorenzo leads Rossi in opening practice

Jorge Lorenzo set the pace under the floodlights at Qatar in the first free practice session of the 2016 MotoGP season, beating Yamaha teammate Valentino Rossi by a quarter of a second.

Reigning champion Lorenzo went to the top of the times with a 1m55.693s relatively early in the session, his factory Yamaha M1 sporting the winglets have become commonplace in the premier class over the winter.

Lorenzo's early benchmark stood until the Spaniard returned to the track in the closing minutes and improved to a 1m55.515s, and found a further tenth on his very final lap to end up on a 1m55.440s.

That put him 0.267s clear of Rossi, running without winglets, who jumped to third in the final 10 minutes before overhauling Ducati's Andrea Iannone by a scant 0.029s in the dying stages.

On the 2014 Ducati, Hector Barbera was an impressive fourth for the Avintia squad, 0.370s off the pace, with Maverick Vinales making a late surge to fifth place on the best of the Suzukis.

Pol Espargaro (Tech 3 Yamaha) was sixth, ahead of the two Repsol Hondas of Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez, who had a low-key start to the season - Marquez trialling two different type of winglets during the session.

The second works Ducati of Andrea Dovizioso and the satellite Pramac machine of Scott Redding completed the top 10.

Bradley Smith ended the session 11th after picking up the dubious distinction of becoming the first rider to crash this season, as he lost control of his Tech 3 Yamaha at Turn 13 with two minutes left on the clock.

Practice results:

Pos.RiderBikeTimeGap
 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 1'55.440  
 Valentino Rossi Yamaha 1'55.707 0.267
 Andrea Iannone Ducati 1'55.736 0.296
 Hector Barbera Ducati 1'55.810 0.370
 Maverick Vinales Suzuki 1'55.847 0.407
 Pol Espargaro Yamaha 1'56.051 0.611
 Dani Pedrosa Honda 1'56.098 0.658
 Marc Marquez Honda 1'56.258 0.818
 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati 1'56.387 0.947
10   Scott Redding Ducati 1'56.412 0.972
11   Bradley Smith Yamaha 1'56.524 1.084
12   Cal Crutchlow Honda 1'56.596 1.156
13   Loris Baz Ducati 1'56.783 1.343
14   Jack Miller Honda 1'56.939 1.499
15   Danilo Petrucci Ducati 1'56.981 1.541
16   Aleix Espargaro Suzuki 1'57.096 1.656
17   Alvaro Bautista Aprilia 1'57.129 1.689
18   Yonny Hernandez Ducati 1'57.192 1.752
19   Eugene Laverty Ducati 1'57.421 1.981
20   Tito Rabat Honda 1'57.916 2.476
21   Stefan Bradl Aprilia 1'57.989 2.549

 

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Event Qatar GP
Track Losail International Circuit
Drivers Valentino Rossi , Jorge Lorenzo , Marc Marquez
Teams Repsol Honda Team , Yamaha Factory Racing
Article type Practice report