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Zarco nips Marquez for pole in Qatar

Breaks decade old lap record
Saturday, March 17, 2018


Marquez congratulates Johann Zarco
Marquez congratulates Johann Zarco

Beating a lap record which has stood for a decade, Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) stunned the MotoGP field to take pole position at the Grand Prix of Qatar, 0.202s ahead of his rivals with a lap time of 1.53.680.

Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) will line up at the Losail International Circuit in second position on the grid, as the reigning world champion was also able to lap under the record pace on his final flying stint. Danilo Petrucci (Alma Pramac Racing) completes the front row, continuing his strong pace throughout the weekend with the Desmosedici – as he was the final rider to break the 2008 lap record.

The third row will be led by Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team), matching his grid position in 2017 under the floodlights. Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) ended qualifying in eighth position as he was unable to secure a fast lap time, narrowly ahead of Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team).

Q1’s fastest man Jack Miller (Alma Pramac Racing) took 10th position this evening, beating Andrea Iannone (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR) in 11th, whilst 2017 race winner Maverick Vinales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) will start 2018 from 12th position.

Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) prepares to line up from 13th on the grid after a competitive Q1 session, ahead of rookies Franco Morbidelli (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) and Hafizh Syahrin (Monster Yamaha Tech 3), who will make their debuts from 14th and 15th position.

Marc Marquez 93
“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 favorable 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.”


Pos. Rider Num Nation Team Constructor Time
1 ZARCO Johann 5 FRA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 1'53.680
2 MARQUEZ Marc 93 SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 1'53.882
3 PETRUCCI Danilo 9 ITA Alma Pramac Racing Ducati 1'53.887
4 CRUTCHLOW Cal 35 GBR LCR Honda Honda 1'54.072
5 DOVIZIOSO Andrea 4 ITA Ducati Team Ducati 1'54.074
6 RINS Alex 42 SPA Team Suzuki Ecstar Suzuki 1'54.339
7 PEDROSA Dani 26 SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 1'54.368
8 ROSSI Valentino 46 ITA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 1'54.389
9 LORENZO Jorge 99 SPA Ducati Team Ducati 1'54.431
10 MILLER Jack 43 AUS Alma Pramac Racing Ducati 1'54.449
11 IANNONE Andrea 29 ITA Team Suzuki Ecstar Suzuki 1'54.619
12 VINALES Maverick 25 SPA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 1'54.707
13 ESPARGARO Aleix 41 SPA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 1'55.140
14 MORBIDELLI Franco 21 ITA EG 0,0 Marc VDS Honda 1'55.169
15 SYAHRIN Hafizh 55 MAL Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 1'55.258
16 RABAT Tito 53 SPA Reale Avintia Racing Ducati 1'55.273
17 REDDING Scott 45 GBR Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 1'55.380
18 LUTHI Tom 12 SWI EG 0,0 Marc VDS Honda 1'55.381
19 ABRAHAM Karel 17 CZE Angel Nieto Team Ducati 1'55.392
20 SMITH Bradley 38 GBR Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 1'55.553
21 BAUTISTA Alvaro 19 SPA Angel Nieto Team Ducati 1'55.638
22 ESPARGARO Pol 44 SPA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 1'55.706
23 NAKAGAMI Takaaki 30 JPN LCR Honda Honda 1'56.401
24 SIMEON Xavier 10 BEL Reale Avintia Racing Ducati 1'56.545

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