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.

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