LUSAIL, Qatar – Reigning MotoGP champion Marc Marquez kicked off the season in solid fashion by setting the early pace on the opening day of practice at the Losail Int’l Circuit.
Practice for the first race of the MotoGP season saw Marquez show speed from the start. He finished the first practice third fastest, but he picked up the pace under the lights in the second practice with a top time of 1:53.380 to earn the best lap of the day. The lap was also three tenths faster than the track record.
“It was a really positive day,” said Marquez. “I was focusing a lot to go directly to QP2 and yes, the lap was fast but the most important thing is our rhythm. We still need to work a little bit on this but we’re finding our way and happy with how today ended. Normally we struggle a lot at this circuit but we are there more or less. It’s free practice, Sunday is still the most important part of the weekend.”
Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP’s Maverick Viñales was second fastest at the conclusion of the day, registering a best lap of 1:53.854.
“It was really important to be inside the top-10 today, because the lap times were really fast,” said Viñales. “I was planning to do two time-attacks, but in the end I only had time to do one. I’m actually really happy about how the bike is working. We still have to improve, we are losing a lot on top-speed, but the bike is getting really great in the corners, so I’m very excited to work even harder tomorrow. We’re going to try to make the last corner better, especially in terms of acceleration. We need to improve in that area, let’s see if we can do it tomorrow. We now know the potential of our bike and we need to keep working hard.”
Jack Miller was third fastest for Alma Pramac Racing, followed by Danilo Petrucci for Ducati and Fabio Quartararo of Petronas Yamaha SRT.