Qatar MotoGP: Lorenzo leads Rossi in opening practice

Jorge Lorenzo set the pace under the floodlights at Qatar in the first free practice session of the 2016 MotoGP season, beating Yamaha teammate Valentino Rossi by a quarter of a second.

Qatar MotoGP: Lorenzo leads Rossi in opening practice
Listen to this article

Reigning champion Lorenzo went to the top of the times with a 1m55.693s relatively early in the session, his factory Yamaha M1 sporting the winglets have become commonplace in the premier class over the winter.

Lorenzo's early benchmark stood until the Spaniard returned to the track in the closing minutes and improved to a 1m55.515s, and found a further tenth on his very final lap to end up on a 1m55.440s.

That put him 0.267s clear of Rossi, running without winglets, who jumped to third in the final 10 minutes before overhauling Ducati's Andrea Iannone by a scant 0.029s in the dying stages.

On the 2014 Ducati, Hector Barbera was an impressive fourth for the Avintia squad, 0.370s off the pace, with Maverick Vinales making a late surge to fifth place on the best of the Suzukis.

Pol Espargaro (Tech 3 Yamaha) was sixth, ahead of the two Repsol Hondas of Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez, who had a low-key start to the season - Marquez trialling two different type of winglets during the session.

The second works Ducati of Andrea Dovizioso and the satellite Pramac machine of Scott Redding completed the top 10.

Bradley Smith ended the session 11th after picking up the dubious distinction of becoming the first rider to crash this season, as he lost control of his Tech 3 Yamaha at Turn 13 with two minutes left on the clock.

Practice results:

Pos.RiderBikeTimeGap
 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 1'55.440  
 Valentino Rossi Yamaha 1'55.707 0.267
 Andrea Iannone Ducati 1'55.736 0.296
 Hector Barbera Ducati 1'55.810 0.370
 Maverick Vinales Suzuki 1'55.847 0.407
 Pol Espargaro Yamaha 1'56.051 0.611
 Dani Pedrosa Honda 1'56.098 0.658
 Marc Marquez Honda 1'56.258 0.818
 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati 1'56.387 0.947
10   Scott Redding Ducati 1'56.412 0.972
11   Bradley Smith Yamaha 1'56.524 1.084
12   Cal Crutchlow Honda 1'56.596 1.156
13   Loris Baz Ducati 1'56.783 1.343
14   Jack Miller Honda 1'56.939 1.499
15   Danilo Petrucci Ducati 1'56.981 1.541
16   Aleix Espargaro Suzuki 1'57.096 1.656
17   Alvaro Bautista Aprilia 1'57.129 1.689
18   Yonny Hernandez Ducati 1'57.192 1.752
19   Eugene Laverty Ducati 1'57.421 1.981
20   Tito Rabat Honda 1'57.916 2.476
21   Stefan Bradl Aprilia 1'57.989 2.549

 

shares
comments
First race of the season for Aprilia
Previous article

First race of the season for Aprilia

Next article

Ducati riders say Qatar victory within reach

Ducati riders say Qatar victory within reach
Load comments
The salary hit MotoGP riders face in 2022 Prime

The salary hit MotoGP riders face in 2022

Rider salaries in MotoGP have dropped significantly in the last four years, mainly due to the effects of the pandemic. But it has also changed due to a change in contractual models followed by manufacturers. German Garcia Casanova investigates.

Why a difficult 2021 hasn't broken Pol Espargaro's resolve Prime

Why a difficult 2021 hasn't broken Pol Espargaro's resolve

Pol Espargaro’s switch to Honda for 2021 was one of MotoGP’s biggest rider market shocks. But a difficult bike coupled with various external factors led to a difficult first campaign. As a critical 2022 campaign for both Espargaro and Honda looms, his 2021 experience hasn’t dented his long-held resolve

MotoGP
Jan 17, 2022
Why KTM's latest young outcast is a cautionary tale for MotoGP Prime

Why KTM's latest young outcast is a cautionary tale for MotoGP

Iker Lecuona’s absence from the 2022 MotoGP grid after losing his KTM ride will likely pass most onlookers by. But after just 30 race starts in a MotoGP move he was sucked into by circumstance, the World Superbike-bound 21-year-old's story should act as a warning to KTM - and MotoGP as a whole - in regards to its future stars

MotoGP
Jan 4, 2022
How Ducati's expanded roster will threaten MotoGP's balance in 2022 Prime

How Ducati's expanded roster will threaten MotoGP's balance in 2022

That Ducati will compete with eight prototypes in MotoGP this year is nothing new, having already done so between 2016 and 2018. But the involvement and coverage of the Borgo Panigale company in its alliances is now much greater than in past years, which could have the effect of unbalancing the premier class

MotoGP
Jan 3, 2022
Ranking the top 10 MotoGP riders of 2021 Prime

Ranking the top 10 MotoGP riders of 2021

Although Fabio Quartararo wrapped up the 2021 MotoGP title with two rounds to go, the Yamaha rider had strong competition from the revitalised Ducati factory team and a revitalised Marc Marquez. Read on to see who makes our top 10 list.

MotoGP
Dec 23, 2021
How Quartararo cast aside prior doubts to become MotoGP's new king Prime

How Quartararo cast aside prior doubts to become MotoGP's new king

Doubts were cast over Yamaha’s French recruit after his disastrous end to the 2020 MotoGP season with Petronas SRT, but Fabio Quartararo answered them convincingly in 2021 to claim a MotoGP title that exhibited both his devastating speed and mental strength

MotoGP
Dec 7, 2021
The Rossi-less future MotoGP must now navigate Prime

The Rossi-less future MotoGP must now navigate

Motorcycle racing's greatest showman has left the stage, as Valentino Rossi calls time on his remarkable career on two wheels. But in his successors, all of whom were inspired by 'the Doctor', grand prix racing has vibrant new acts to keep us hooked

MotoGP
Dec 4, 2021
Valentino Rossi’s 10 greatest MotoGP races Prime

Valentino Rossi’s 10 greatest MotoGP races

As the Italian legend finally bows out and retires from MotoGP, it marks the end of one of the most incredible careers in motorsport history. Here is Motorsport.com's pick of his best rides and the stories behind them

MotoGP
Dec 3, 2021