Johann Zarco went into Qatar MotoGP qualifying having fallen in final practice, but delivered a sensational pole position by smashing Jorge Lorenzo's ten-year-old lap record.

But the Monster Yamaha Tech3 star, who set a 1m 53.680s, won't be the only satellite rider on the front row of Sunday's season-opening grid.

Pramac Ducati's Danilo Petrucci claimed third place (+0.207) - just behind Repsol Honda's reigning world champion Marc Marquez (+0.202s) - to back-up a strong race pace in final practice.

The second row will be formed by LCR Honda's Cal Crutchlow, factory Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso and Suzuki's Alex Rins, meaning four manufacturers in the top six.

Dovizioso had been fastest in three of the four free practice sessions and was only 0.394s from pole.

Movistar Yamaha's Valentino Rossi was a competitive third, behind only Dovizioso and Petrucci, in final practice but could only manage eighth in Qualifying (+0.709s).

Rossi's team-mate and 2017 winner Maverick Vinales also lacked one-lap punch and will start from the outside of row four, having been left twelfth and last in Q2.

Vinales and Jack Miller had been forced to take part in Qualifying 1, with the Pramac rider going on to claim tenth on the grid for his first Ducati race - directly alongside behind factory GP18 rider Jorge Lorenzo.

Aleix Espargaro was the top Aprilia rider in 13th, one place ahead of fastest rookie Franco Morbidelli (Marc VDS Honda), with Bradley Smith leading the KTM challenge in 20th during a night to forget for the Austrian factory.

CLICK HERE for the full Qualifying results and grid order...


Loading Comments...