Repsol Honda duo settles for third and sixth on the Qatar grid

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Dani Pedrosa struggled to find clear space on-track during qualifying on the Losail International Circuit

Repsol Honda Team will start the Commercial Bank Grand Prix of Qatar from third and sixth positions on the grid, with Dani Pedrosa having earned a front row place whereas Marc Márquez began adapting to MotoGP Qualifying.

Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda Team
Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda Team

Photo by: Repsol Media

Qualifying itself was new for all involved, as just 15 minutes are now on offer to decide grid positions one to 12; therefore, whereas around 15 laps were possible over an hour of qualifying last year, five or six has become the new limit.

"It was tight," Pedrosa, the 2012 championship runner-up, told motogp.com following the top three press conference. "15 minutes is not a long time when you’re on the bike and, even though there were only 12 riders on the track, it’s still not easy to find a gap. It’s important that we’re on the front row. I think the Yamahas are strong, so I just hope to improve the bike a little bit more and then be on the pace for the race."

Márquez had impressed by leading the way in Friday practice; even though he had admitted that his race pace must improve, many questioned whether the 20-year-old Spaniard would be able to make history by collecting pole on his MotoGP debut.

"It’s what I expected before because this new qualifying is only 15 minutes long and maybe for me it’s a little bit more difficult, because I don’t have the feeling with the bike that I had with Moto2," he admitted. "It’s difficult to go out and be fast right from the beginning, but I’m still quite happy to finish on Row 2 and be sixth."

As Márquez prepares for his first ever MotoGP race appearance, Pedrosa now aims to collect a win at the Losail International Circuit – one of only two tracks on the current calendar on which he is yet to claim a race victory in any category, but that the championship has raced at in previous years.

Repsol Honda

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About this article
Series MOTOGP
Article type Qualifying report
Tags honda, losail, motogp, pedrosa, qatar, repsol