09 Mar Marquez opens 2019 with front row for Qatar GP, bruised Lorenzo fights to 15th
Marc Marquez overcame cold conditions in Qatar to secure a spot on the front row as Jorge Lorenzo battles through the pain barrier for 15th.
Free Practice 3 did not get off to an ideal start for the Repsol Honda Team as Jorge Lorenzo crashed heavily at Turn 6, shortly followed by Marc Marquez who lost the front at Turn 14. Both fortunately avoided any serious injuries, Marquez returning to the wind-hit track to lead the session with a 1’54.677.
After a medical check, Jorge Lorenzo was deemed fit and returned to ride in Free Practice 4. Gusty winds remained for Free Practice 4 and Qualifying, the track reaching just 18ºC. Marc Marquez would suffer his second fall of the day, coming off at Turn 6 early in session and quickly remounting.
Jorge Lorenzo pushed from the off in Q1 to set a 1’54.563, unfortunately unable to improve his time after joining a number of riders in falling at Turn 2. Lorenzo’s time will see him start the Qatar Grand Prix from 15th on the grid. Two heavy falls left Lorenzo with pain in his back, arms and legs, the five-time world champion hoping to be as pain free as possible for tomorrow’s race.
Q2 started with the track temperature a mere 16ºC, Marquez taking a cautious approach for his opening run. The reigning MotoGP™ World Champion left his charge in Q2 late, setting a 1’53.745 to secure a front row birth for the opening race of the 2019 MotoGP™ World Championship.
Action begins at the Losail International Circuit with Warm Up at 15:40 local time with the lights going out at 20:00 local time and the 2019 MotoGP World Championship officially back underway.