MotoGP: Yamaha Tech 3’s Zarco grabs Pole in Qatar beating 10 year lap record

MotoGP: Yamaha Tech 3’s Zarco grabs Pole in Qatar beating 10 year lap record
A lot has changed in the ten years since Jorge Lorenzo set the world alight on his premier class debut, but the Qatar pole lap record hadn’t. Set by the Majorcan in 2008, the Losail laptime remained steadfast in the record books for a decade and was the oldest of its kind until Saturday of the 2018 Qatar GP and a scorcher from Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3). The Frenchman, now heading into his second season, marked his return to the venue at which he first led a premier class race in serious style – uncatchable ahead of Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) to set a 1:53.680. So the reigning Champion starts his title defence from two tenths behind in second, and top Ducati Danilo Petrucci (Alma Pramac Racing) completes the front row and the trio of those who broke the record.

With strong winds throughout the day and the track temperature cooling as night fell for qualifying, the session revealed another piece in the puzzle of the first race of the year. Behind the top three, Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) was next up heading the second row to make it 75% Independent Team riders in the top four, with Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) – the man on provisional pole after the first run – taking the middle of Row 2. But Marquez says the 2017 Championship runner up has the best race pace – something that will be revealed on Sunday.

Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar), meanwhile, kept his great pace at Losail rolling for his best ever qualifying position to lock out the second row, after Suzuki mounted the biggest challenge to Ducati on Friday.

Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) heads up an all-star Row 3 with some serious potential for fireworks, with 17 World Championships crammed into three grid places as the Spaniard heads Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Valentino Rossi and Ducati Team’s Jorge Lorenzo. Lorenzo, who suffered some technical trouble in FP4, says he is out of position – and Rossi says the battle at the front could be more than ten riders. And Lorenzo, as well as being the previous pole record holder, is also the most successful rider at Losail across all classes – but Rossi beats him in the premier class with four to Lorenzo’s three wins.

Jack Miller (Alma Pramac Racing) completed the top ten after moving through Q1, with Andrea Iannone (Team Suzuki Ecstar) two tenths back in P11 to make it more than ten riders within a second of pole. Meanwhile,  2017 polesitter and winner Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) lines up in P12 – but also showed incredible consistency on a long run in FP4…

Valentino Rossi expects to fight it out for the #QatarGP with more than ten riders and Losail always serves up a desert storm. Don’t miss the 2018 season opener, with the lights going out at 19:00 local time (GMT +3) as the battle well and truly commences.

 

Johan Zarco – “I’m really happy, it’s truly the best way to start the season. I had a crash in FP4. I came away with no harm, but it’s not funny to be down before the qualifying. Anyway, I knew that with new tyre and light bike, I feel good and since this morning, I got back my feeling, that I had during the test here. Beating the lap record makes me really proud. Tomorrow is the main day. I want to try to win, try to be on the podium. It looks like my pace over the distance is not the best one, but at least starting from pole is the best chance to catch a good result.”

Marc Marquez – I’m really happy with the result as we’ve worked a lot during the pre-season and we worked a lot here, a track that, together with Sepang, is probably the least favourable circuit to me. Today was the first real “time attack” and we were there, and now we are on the front row. Adding to the satisfaction is the fact that normally we struggle quite a lot here. But our target was the front row, we got it and it feels like a pole! Johann rode amazingly; he was one step ahead of us. Anyway, the race will be tough and long, but we’ll try to be consistent and to manage the laps in the best way possible.

Dani Pedrosa– We’re of course not 100 percent satisfied with the result but we’re not unhappy either. Conditions were not what we were expecting and this is not the perfect track for me. Even more, qualifying is generally tough here. The positive thing is that we were able to improve the bike’s setup a little during FP4. Now we have to see what the conditions will be like tomorrow because they change every day at this track, and even session by session, because of the wind and the sand. I think the tyre choice will be the key to the race, as well as the start of course. Seventh place in qualifying means that we have to start well, battle well in the lead group, and find our rhythm.

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22 minutes ago

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Can't spell massive issue without Grosjean

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1 hr ago

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Axel 🚀 Auf gehts.....

1 hr ago

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A day Danilo Petrucci will simply never forget! 🙌

Relive the joy and emotion from a sensational #ItalianGP in 2019! 🇮🇹
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One of the best races 2019, still getting goose bumps when I see that 🔥🤩

How cool is Jack Miller looking around at Marc after carving him up.

I over like this game😁💟🎠🔥🔥🔥

YES DUCATI ( INDONESIA ) DUCA DI HATI ,,,,, OH DONT CRY MOTOR BY GUNS ROOSE iii (SLM)

good circuit

Fantastyczna jazda Petruxa...

Pelle d'oca!

Dean Nick Lewis this gave me goosebumps

Ducati, forever

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💪❤#9

Alan Minos 🍽 🍽 🍽

🔝🏁🏍💨

Mattia Bertoncello Giacomo Villatora

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Casper van Wijk 😎

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Ya menarik..tapi ASSEN 2018 yg tak terlupakan+paling seru u/ di tonton oleh penikmat MOTOGP..

Grande Danilo. Umiltà e perseveranza. Ti manca solo un pò di grinta in più per essere al top.

2:28 Miller grootste baas ooit Timme Meijer Sjors Braakhuis

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What a race it was brilliant and exciting Max is so exciting to watch

Interlagos has always produced a great race since it’s current version was first used in 1990. Can only imagine how the 2017 onwards cars would’ve looked/performed on the original 5 mile layout, used between 1973-1980

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Not even in the highlights Carlos is shown

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One of the best races in 2019 ❤️

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Best race of the decade! Best of Max!

Brilliant driver Max Verstappen

Vettel once again make a stupid move..

VTEC kicked in for Max and Gasly...

Kevin Magnussen wheel to wheel with Fernando Norris

Seems like this page has been obsessed with this race for the past 48 hours....!!😜

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Oh Max !! We need more of you!

Yazz Street think this has to be up there with my favourite races ever 😃😃

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3 hrs ago

MotoGP

On the day we should've been going racing at Mugello, our minds go back to his incredible moment! 🔥

One year ago, Danilo Petrucci produced THIS move on Marc Márquez and Andrea Dovizioso to secure his first #MotoGP victory! 🏆

#ItalianGP 🇮🇹
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I was fortunately there to see that historic win by petruix. I will never forget the crowd and how wild they went 😁

Great awareness by Dovi. Had he not sat up, they would have crashed.

Overtake 2 ducatis in one shoot but his fan says honda is the big problem bike on grid

Two for the price of one. Cheeky, but a nice move.

I have the entire 2019 season recorded and am sitting here watching the Catalunya race as I type. Mugello was a great race, well done Danilo!!

20 year dream was supposed to be coming true right now! 😭😭😭

Is that it... And nobody else has ever passed two riders in one move. Happens early laps, mid pack, every other race.... Move on

One of the best wins ever!

Great race 👌🏁

what an exciting moment!

Bashed poor old dovi( who was being an old woman b t w) out and stuffed the maggot well and truly, if that happens in every race, by any rider(even his bro) my legs will ache from jumping up and down and my throat WIll be sore from shouting approval, and the neighbour's will think I've flipped

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..... and sacked....

“HUGE” balls !!!!

What!!! How!!! 😒

Espectacular trazado

Es todo lo que hizo en todo el mundial...

Christopher Murrell

Dalii garoto

93

Megan Craw 🤗

Ronald Kreeft Mark Bruinewoud Edwin Huizing ander waren we hier geweest😔

Honda MM93

Marc Gassssss

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Moto Màrquez

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Nick we were watching this race from the couch in Italy, dumb asses we should have gone!

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Snehil Singh. Remember this?

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