Marquez continues to lead MotoGP field in Qatar

Reigning champion leads on day two ahead of Crutchlow and Iannone

Marquez continues to lead MotoGP field in Qatar
Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing
Andrea Dovizioso, Ducati Team
Jorge Lorenzo, Yamaha Factory Racing
Aleix Espargaro, Team Suzuki MotoGP
Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda Team
Andrea Iannone, Ducati Team

Marc Marquez secured the fastest time of the day in tonight’s FP3 session at the Losail International Circuit with the factory Honda rider leading the ever-improving Cal Crutchlow for the LCR Honda team and in third position is the factory Ducati machine of Andrea Iannone.

Today has been a very good day. 

Marc Marquez

Marquez once again lowered his best time of the weekend with a 1m 54.822s lap time coming in his 15th lap under the floodlights while Crutchlow also found more pace on his RC213V machine and was only .096s behind Marquez at the end of the day while Iannone was just .170s behind the leader with the Italian having a small crash at the end of the session.

Aleix Espargaro was right at the front today and the Suzuki GSX-RR is already at a highly competitive level with the Spaniard setting the fourth best lap of 1m 54.994s while Dani Pedrosa ended the day in 5th place and .202s off his factory Honda teammate. Andrea Dovizioso was next along on the factory Ducati with the Italian rider setting a fastest lap of 1m 55.044s.

Yonny Hernandez sits 7th on the timing sheets on the Pramac Ducati and a best lap of 1m 55.102s was enough to see the Columbian stay ahead of factory Yamaha pair Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi with both riders off the pace somewhat while Pol Espargaro was also encountering set up issues and finishing with the 10th best lap of 1m 55.328s for the Tech 3 team.

Marquez predicts rivals will shorten gap even further

Speaking this evening, Marquez was very happy with his pace but with the top ten separate by just .500s he is predicting even closer times tomorrow.

"Today has been a very good day," he said while adding, "because we have improved our pace – which is the most important thing - and tried out a few things that have allowed us to progress.

"We will see tomorrow if the track conditions stay the same or improve, but today we saw times that were very close; I think that tomorrow they will be even closer. The most important thing will be to continue like this and prepare for Sunday’s race."

Crutchlow was pleased with his performance today but had some issues at the beginning of this evening’s session. He said, “Obviously I’m happy enough with the lap time tonight and how things were feeling at the end of the session, but the early part of it was a bit of a disaster.

"There was a strange feeling with the bike and I was riding around in 18th spot, with the rear not working as it had in the earlier practices.

"I think we’re on a bit of a different plan to the other guys tyre-wise, so maybe that was why the track felt a lot worse later on.”

“The whole CWM LCR Honda Team are doing a great job though, and we are all working so hard. I’m not sure today’s speed and lap-times are relative to where we will finish the race, but I hope it is!

"We’re working hard enough, and I’m surprised with how fast we are going with the package we’ve got, but we still need to improve our lap by lap pace and we will be trying to do so overnight,” he added.

Practice 2 results

 Pos  Rider   Bike   Time  Gap   Laps 
Marc Marquez Honda 1'54.828   16
Daniel Pedrosa Honda 1'55.275 0.447 16
Andrea Dovizioso Ducati 1'55.366 0.538 17
Cal Crutchlow Honda 1'55.397 0.569 16
Andrea Iannone Ducati 1'55.404 0.576 16
Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 1'55.609 0.781 17
Valentino Rossi Yamaha 1'55.618 0.790 19
Mike Di Meglio Ducati 1'55.707 0.879 12
Bradley Smith Yamaha 1'55.741 0.913 18
10  Hector Barbera Ducati 1'55.838 1.010 16
11  Aleix Espargaro Suzuki 1'55.847 1.019 15
12  Yonny Hernandez Ducati 1'55.970 1.142 16
13  Pol Espargaro Yamaha 1'56.004 1.176 15
14  Maverick Vinales Suzuki 1'56.036 1.208 15
15  Nicky Hayden Honda 1'56.086 1.258 17
16  Scott Redding Honda 1'56.133 1.305 15
17  Karel Abraham Honda 1'56.178 1.350 15
18  Stefan Bradl Yamaha Forward/Yamaha 1'56.181 1.353 17
19  Eugene Laverty Honda 1'56.333 1.505 16
20  Jack Miller Honda 1'56.578 1.750 15
21  Danilo Petrucci Ducati 1'56.657 1.829 17
22  Loris Baz Yamaha Forward/Yamaha 1'56.966 2.138 15
23  Alex de Angelis ART/Aprilia 1'57.509 2.681 18
24  Alvaro Bautista Aprilia 1'57.868 3.040 12
25  Marco Melandri Aprilia 1'58.542 3.714 12

Practice 3 results

 Pos   Rider   Bike   Time   Gap   Laps 
Marc Marquez Honda 1'54.822   16
Cal Crutchlow Honda 1'54.918 0.096 16
Andrea Iannone Ducati 1'54.992 0.170 14
Aleix Espargaro Suzuki 1'54.994 0.172 13
Daniel Pedrosa Honda 1'55.024 0.202 16
Andrea Dovizioso Ducati 1'55.044 0.222 16
Yonny Hernandez Ducati 1'55.102 0.280 14
Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 1'55.108 0.286 18
Valentino Rossi Yamaha 1'55.192 0.370 17
10  Pol Espargaro Yamaha 1'55.328 0.506 17
11  Héctor Barberá Ducati 1'55.396 0.574 12
12  Scott Redding Honda 1'55.447 0.625 17
13  Maverick Vinales Suzuki 1'55.676 0.854 12
14  Stefan Bradl Yamaha Forward/Yamaha 1'55.694 0.872 17
15  Danilo Petrucci Ducati 1'55.777 0.955 17
16  Nicky Hayden Honda 1'55.789 0.967 16
17  Mike Di Meglio Ducati 1'55.866 1.044 12
18  Bradley Smith Yamaha 1'55.905 1.083 19
19  Eugene Laverty Honda 1'55.913 1.091 17
20  Karel Abraham Honda 1'56.080 1.258 16
21  Jack Miller Honda 1'56.162 1.340 15
22  Loris Baz Yamaha Forward/Yamaha 1'57.072 2.250 7
23  Alvaro Bautista Aprilia 1'57.107 2.285 14
24  Alex de Angelis ART/Aprilia 1'57.509 2.687 15
25  Marco Melandri Aprilia 1'59.339 4.517 13
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