Espargaro and Aprilia lead opening practice for the Doha MotoGP in baking hot afternoon conditions at Losail.

Rins and Vinales complete the top three with rookie Martin jumping to fourth after a late tow behind Quartararo.

Morbidelli, who battled a mystery rear suspension issue last Sunday, was black-flagged due to clouds of smoke coming out of his exhaust in the early part of the session, then returned to go fastest with 12mins to go. 

But the Italian was then black-flagged again for exactly the same issue and exactly the same place; smoke on full lean at turn 1 and eventually dropped to fifth on the timesheets.

Last Sunday's runner-up Zarco fell at Turn 15.

FP2 will take place in cooler conditions under the floodlights and, if last week is repeated, will decide the top 10 places for Qualifying 2.

The Doha Grand Prix is the second of two back-to-back opening rounds held at Losail in Qatar.

Bradl is again replacing the injured Marc Marquez, who is missing both Qatar rounds.

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Doha MotoGP, Qatar  - Free Practice (1) Results
PosRiderNatTeamTime/DiffLapMax
1Aleix EspargaroSPAAprilia Gresini (RS-GP)1'54.779s11/12347k
2Alex RinsSPASuzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR)+0.060s15/15347k
3Maverick ViñalesSPAMonster Yamaha (YZR-M1)+0.085s13/15343k
4Jorge MartinSPAPramac Ducati (GP21)*+0.240s15/15352k
5Franco MorbidelliITAPetronas Yamaha (YZR-M1)+0.346s10/11342k
6Danilo PetrucciITAKTM Tech3 (RC16)+0.484s10/15345k
7Fabio QuartararoFRAMonster Yamaha (YZR-M1)+0.524s16/16342k
8Joan MirSPASuzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR)+0.570s14/16344k
9Stefan BradlGERRepsol Honda (RC213V)+0.614s17/18350k
10Takaaki NakagamiJPNLCR Honda (RC213V)+0.669s18/19347k
11Luca MariniITASky VR46 Avintia Ducati (GP19)*+0.675s16/16347k
12Pol EspargaroSPARepsol Honda (RC213V)+0.728s18/19352k
13Alex MarquezSPALCR Honda (RC213V)+0.818s17/18346k
14Enea BastianiniITAAvintia Ducati (GP19)*+0.898s15/15348k
15Miguel OliveiraPORRed Bull KTM (RC16)+0.991s5/16342k
16Brad BinderRSARed Bull KTM (RC16)+1.067s16/16350k
17Valentino RossiITAPetronas Yamaha (YZR-M1)+1.146s6/17347k
18Jack MillerAUSDucati Team (GP21)+1.205s12/14351k
19Iker LecuonaSPAKTM Tech3 (RC16)+1.244s5/17348k
20Francesco BagnaiaITADucati Team (GP21)+1.340s7/15348k
21Lorenzo SavadoriITAAprilia Gresini (RS-GP)*+1.782s16/16341k
22Johann ZarcoFRAPramac Ducati (GP21)+1.964s9/9353k

* Rookie.
Official Qatar MotoGP records:
Best lap:
Francesco Bagnaia ITA Ducati 1m 52.772s(2021)
Fastest race lap:
Jorge Lorenzo SPA Yamaha 1m 54.927s (2016)

By Peter McLaren
 

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