Marquez leads Friday practice with record pace, adapting Lorenzo 11th2019-03-08 13:17
A blistering 1’53.380 lap from Marquez saw the reigning MotoGP™ World Champion quickest as new team-mate Lorenzo continued to improve his feeling with the Honda.
Friday in Qatar marked not only the beginning of the Qatar Grand Prix, but also the eagerly awaited return of the MotoGP™ World Championship after a long winter. With Free Practice 1 taking place during the day and Free Practice 2 running at night, the latter offered conditions most similar to Sunday’s race with 21ºC track and air temperature.
The opening day of practice for the 2019 MotoGP™ World Championship saw Marc Marquez fast from his first lap. Concluding Free Practice 1 in third, he and his Honda RC213V produced a stunning 1’53.380 under the lights of Free Practice 2 – three tenths faster than the previous all time lap record.
Jorge Lorenzo’s positive feeling with the Repsol Honda Team RC213V from the Qatar Test continued in Free Practice 1 as the five-time world champion ended the session in second. His 1’55.127 would improve to a 1’54.428 in Free Practice 2 as night fell on the Losail International Circuit.
The pair will join the rest of the MotoGP™ grid in Free Practice 3 at 15:15 local time tomorrow, Saturday March 9 before Qualifying begins at 20:00 local time.
“It was a really positive day! 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.”
“I am very happy today, very confident and comfortable with the bike. We have a lot of potential and working well and I believe we can arrive there. It’s a good sign, as was the ‘morning’, we were very fast but still need to understand the bike a bit more in colder conditions. I have the feeling we can be very competitive with the right setting.”
Qatar Grand Prix Combined Free Practice Classification
Pos. Rider Num Nation Team Time/Gap
Marc 93 SPA Repsol Honda Team 1'53.380
Maverick 12 SPA Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP 0.474
Jack 43 AUS Alma Pramac Racing 0.528
Danilo 9 ITA Mission Winnow Ducati 0.673
Fabio 20 FRA Petronas Yamaha SRT 0.774
Andrea 4 ITA Mission Winnow Ducati
Source: Honda Racing Corporation
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