Scott Redding set the seventh fastest race lap on his RC213V debut in Sunday's Qatar MotoGP night race.

That 1m 55.855s lap was 0.588s behind the best by race winner Valentino Rossi, but just 0.194s slower than reigning champion Marc Marquez and a mere 0.057s from Marquez's Repsol Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa.

An improvement in front-end feeling was credited with helping the Englishman improve his pace, but Redding could only gain one place from his 14th on the grid start position.

"It was a tough race and certainly not where I expected to be finishing," Redding said. "The target was to finish inside the top 10, so I can't be happy to be 13th. We are making steps in the right direction but not enough to bring us closer to our target.

"Turning is the biggest issue and we need to focus on that because I should be finishing much higher up on the package I am riding. We've collected a lot of data and I finished in the points, but it is clear there is plenty of room to improve."

Fellow satellite Honda rider Cal Crutchlow finished in seventh place, 20s ahead of Redding. Crutchlow's best race lap was 0.071s slower than Redding.


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