Scott Redding will line up 16th on the grid for his MotoGP race debut in Qatar on Sunday after a troubled qualifying session that saw him suffer an unfortunate mechanical gremlin on his first run.

The Gresini rider left the pits at the start of the session and immediately felt that something was amiss, with the power intermittently cutting out on his Open Honda.

Closer inspection after the session showed that a stone had knocked the traction control sensor and that the bike's ECU was then cutting the power available to Redding.

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As a result the Englishman lost time early in the session by abandoning his first run and returning to the pits. Speaking after the session to Crash.net Redding explained:

"I'm pretty satisfied with the improvements we've made today but, unfortunately, I had a problem with the bike during qualifying. As soon as I came out of pitlane I felt there was something wrong with the bike and it kept cutting the power so I came back into the pits and we changed the map but I felt the problem again but I stayed out and did my fast lap.

"I came in again and went on my number two bike and I made one lap but I made a mistake, not on my part but a problem with the gearbox into turn ten when I was shifting for fourth three or four times and I lost three tenths from the problem. I'm happy with my side because we improved but we were a little unlucky with those other things. The engine was cutting because a stone moved the traction control sensor."

Redding commented that he will use the number two bike in warm-up when he will evaluate the harder [medium compound] Open tyre.

With the rest of the Honda runners confident of making the race distance on the soft tyre it was surprising that Redding would contemplate the harder option. However the jump in performance during the weekend means he wants to re-check the re-examine the difference between the rubber options.

"I'm happy because I felt better on the number two bike rather than the number one bike, so I'll try it in warm up tomorrow with the hard tyre to see which tyre to use for the race. I know that the soft tyre can go the race distance but we're one second faster than when we did the race simulation so now we're stressing the tyre more.

"If we're not far off with the hard tyre I'll use it because it would be better at the end of the race, but if it's half a second I'll use the soft tyre. I would be happy if I could finish in the points tomorrow."