Marquez heads the opening day at the season-opening Qatar MotoGP after setting a new lap record, while following Vinales, during Free Practice 2 at Losail.

The top ten may well have already secured direct access to Saturday's Qualifying 2, since FP3 will take place in hotter (and usualy slower) daylight conditions tomorrow afternoon.

Rossi, fastest in FP1, dropped to 17th in FP2 and was the only rider not to improve in the second session, leaving him 16th on combined times.

Dovizioso was seen turning the mysterious dashboard switch on his Ducati just before making a practice start, confirming it is some kind of 'holeshot device'.

Smith is making his Aprilia race debut as a wild-card this weekend.

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  1. Marc Marquez ESP Repsol Honda (RC213V) 1m 53.380s [Lap 16/18] 352km/h (Top Speed)
  2. Maverick Viñales ESP Monster Yamaha (YZR-M1) 1m 53.854s +0.474s [16/16] 337k
  3. Jack Miller AUS Pramac Ducati (Desmosedici GP19) 1m 53.908s +0.528s [17/19] 352k
  4. Danilo Petrucci ITA Ducati Team (Desmosedici GP19) 1m 54.053s +0.673s [15/16] 344k
  5. Fabio Quartararo FRA Petronas Yamaha SRT (YZR-M1)* 1m 54.154s +0.774s [15/17] 337k
  6. Andrea Dovizioso ITA Ducati Team (Desmosedici GP19) 1m 54.256s +0.876s [14/17] 349k
  7. Franco Morbidelli ITA Petronas Yamaha SRT (YZR-M1) 1m 54.275s +0.895s [12/16] 343k
  8. Alex Rins ESP Suzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR) 1m 54.320s +0.940s [19/19] 341k
  9. Aleix Espargaro ESP Factory Aprilia Gresini (RS-GP) 1m 54.367s +0.987s [14/15] 347k
  10. Joan Mir SPA Suzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR)* 1m 54.402s +1.022s [15/17] 346k
  11. Jorge Lorenzo ESP Repsol Honda (RC213V) 1m 54.428s +1.048s [15/17] 343k
  12. Takaaki Nakagami JPN LCR Honda (RC213V) 1m 54.444s +1.064s [16/17] 347k
  13. Cal Crutchlow GBR LCR Honda (RC213V) 1m 54.452s +1.072s [12/17] 351k
  14. Francesco Bagnaia ITA Pramac Ducati (Desmosedici GP18)* 1m 54.801s +1.421s [14/16] 343k
  15. Tito Rabat ESP Reale Avintia (Desmosedici GP18) 1m 55.032s +1.652s [16/18] 347k
  16. Pol Espargaro ESP Red Bull KTM Factory (RC16) 1m 55.053s +1.673s [17/17] 345k
  17. Valentino Rossi ITA Monster Yamaha (YZR-M1) 1m 55.137s +1.757s [15/16] 343k
  18. Johann Zarco FRA Red Bull KTM Factory (RC16) 1m 55.412s +2.032s [13/17] 341k
  19. Andrea Iannone ITA Factory Aprilia Gresini (RS-GP) 1m 55.432s +2.052s [14/16] 343k
  20. Miguel Oliveira POR Red Bull KTM Tech3 (RC16)* 1m 55.635s +2.255s [16/18] 345k
  21. Karel Abraham CZE Reale Avintia (Desmosedici GP18) 1m 55.654s +2.274s [13/16] 342k
  22. Hafizh Syahrin MAL Red Bull KTM Tech3 (RC16) 1m 56.437s +3.057s [16/17] 338k
  23. Bradley Smith GBR Factory Aprilia Gresini (RS-GP) 1m 56.834s +3.454s [3/16] 346k

Fastest FP1 time:
Valentino Rossi ITA Yamaha 1m 55.048s

Fastest time at 2019 Qatar Test:
Maverick Vinales SPA Yamaha 1m 54.208s

Official Qatar MotoGP records:
Best lap:
Johann Zarco FRA Yamaha 1m 53.680s (2018)
Fastest race lap:
Jorge Lorenzo SPA Yamaha 1m 54.927s (2016)

 

 

By Peter McLaren

 

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