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Lorenzo leads opening night in Qatar

Hector Barbera (Avintia), Randy de Puniet (Aspar) and Karel Abraham were the remaining riders to break the two-minute barrier. New PBM signing Yonny Hernandez was the only faller out of the 24 riders, although numerous others ran off-track as they tested the grip levels.

Lorenzo's lap time was 1.5s from the official Losail race record and almost three seconds from Lorenzo's own 2012 pole time. Significant improvements are expected as the weekends progresses.

The unique four-night Qatar format will see the second and third MotoGP practice sessions held on Friday night.

The top ten riders after FP3 will then progress to the second and final part of Saturday's new knockout qualifying system. The others will fight over the final two places in Q1.

2013 is the second year of the 1000cc MotoGP rules and privateer CRT category. Official pre-season testing was held at Sepang and Jerez, with Honda and Yamaha also visiting Austin.

Thursday practice:
1. Jorge Lorenzo
2. Cal Crutchlow
3. Valentino Rossi
4. Marc Marquez
5. Andrea Dovizioso
6. Alvaro Bautista
7. Stefan Bradl
8. Dani Pedrosa
9. Aleix Espargaro
10. Nicky Hayden
11. Bradley Smith
12. Andrea Iannone
13. Ben Spies
14. Hector Barbera
15. Randy De Puniet
16. Karel Abraham
17. Colin Edwards
18. Yonny Hernandez
19. Hiroshi Aoyama
20. Claudio Corti
21. Danilo Petrucci
22. Bryan Staring
23. Lukas Pesek
24. Michael Laverty




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