Rins beats Marquez to day-one honours in Qatar after thrilling FP2 battle

Alex Rins gets the better of Marc Marquez following a thrilling battle for top spot in FP2 at the Qatar MotoGP.
Alex Rins, Qatar MotoGP, 4 March 2022
Alex Rins, Qatar MotoGP, 4 March 2022
© Gold and Goose

After finishing third during FP1, Alex Rins went two places better to end the opening day of the Qatar MotoGP quickest from Repsol Honda rider Marc Marquez. 

As was the case in FP1, Aleix Espargaro and Marquez were the early pacesetters. 

Marquez, who was already using Suzuki’s Rins as a reference ahead of him, managed to go two tenths quicker than Brad Binder’s top time from FP1 on just his third flying lap. 

However, the eight-time world champion was quickly relegated down to second as Espargaro set a time of 1:54.490s which was -0.158s faster. 

After finishing this morning’s FP1 outside the top ten, MotoGP world champion Fabio Quartararo looked much better at the start of practice two as he went P3 behind Marquez and Espargaro. 

But with that said, Quartararo was soon back down to seventh after having his lap time deleted due to exceeding track limits. The Frenchman eventually went on to claim P8. 

After momentarily going quicker again, A. Espargaro was replaced at the top of the leaderboard by his brother Pol. 

The Repsol Honda man went three tenths clear before setting an even better time of 1:54.041s which was enough to be four tenths clear of the second-placed Aprilia rider.

While both Espargaro’s were demonstrating impressive pace under the Qatar lights, Luca Marini was first to crash at turn one, before Alex Marquez suffered a double fall. 

The first came at turn 6 for Marquez before another crash at turn ten just a minute later. 

While A. Marquez was having a nightmare FP2, his brother Marc was showing stunning pace once again as he went two tenths quicker than Joan Mir, who had previously bettered P. Espargaro’s time. 

With ten minutes still left to run, a lot of movement in the top ten was yet to take place, as proven by Rins as the two-time MotoGP race winner went another two tenths quicker than Marquez’ latest effort. 

There was visible frustration for Lenovo Ducati rider Jack Miller as the Australian, currently in P13, had to slow before the final corner of what was a flying lap due to fellow Australian Remy Gardner impeding last season’s Jerez and Le Mans winner. 

Then it was the turn of A. Espargaro to be frustrated by another rider as he got caught up behind a slowing Maverick Vinales. 

At the front, Rins and Marquez resumed their battle for top spot as the latter managed to set a 1:53.467s. 

However, for the third time in this session Marquez was quickly moved off top spot by Rins, who eventually ended the opening day of 2022 MotoGP action first.

Behind Rins and Marquez was Joan Mir in third, while Jorge Martin was the fastest Ducati rider in fourth. Franco Morbidelli secured an impressive top five finish with P5 aboard his Monster Energy Yamaha M1. 

Miller, A. Espargaro, Quartararo, P. Espargaro and Francesco Bagnaia all secured provisional Q2 spots by rounding out the rest of the top ten.

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