The opening night in Qatar saw Marc Marquez time his flying laps perfectly to end in tenth despite yellow flags, Joan Mir finding good data to improve on Saturday.
Floodlights were all switched back on as the MotoGP World Championship returned to Lusail, starting the penultimate weekend of the year. As is often the case at the Qatar GP, the first part of the ‘day’ saw riders go steadily faster as the condition of the track improved with more running. Yellow flags at the end of the night would see last-minute changes to the overall top ten.
Starting the day right down the order, Marc Marquez was sure of his strategy on Friday as he saved himself and his tyres in Free Practice 1. Improving instantly in the second session, Marquez would have his fastest lap of the day cancelled due to yellow flags, fortunately his previous lap time of 1’53.323 was good enough to remain in the top ten. With this, it was mission accomplished from Friday as the #93 has now guaranteed a spot on the front four rows of the grid – avoiding a repeat of last weekend’s qualifying result. Keeping this position will be Saturday’s mission.
Joan Mir spent the ‘morning’ session working to understand the new surface around the 5.38-kilometre long Lusail International Circuit. With the track surface still dirty from overnight storms, times were not completely representative of each riders’ potential. Able to improve in line with the rest of the field in the evening, Mir was left searching for more feeling from the tyres of his first run. Yellow flags during his last stint on track saw him set a best time of 1’53.921 and ended 17th.
Action resumes tomorrow at 15:00 Local Time with Free Practice 2, a final day set of laps under daylight.