MotoGP Doha Grand Prix qualifying - Start time, how to watch & more

MotoGP completes its Qatar residency with the second leg of its double-header and the first Doha Grand Prix at the Losail International Circuit. Here’s how to watch qualifying.

MotoGP Doha Grand Prix qualifying - Start time, how to watch & more

After a disappointing showing in the Qatar GP, Jack Miller has replicated his place in the second practice times from seven days ago by going fastest on Friday, leading a Ducati 1-2-3 ahead of factory team-mate Francesco Bagnaia and Pramac’s Johann Zarco.

Fabio Quartararo was the closest contender against the Ducati domination with fourth place on his factory Yamaha, ahead of yet another Ducati in the shape of Pramac’s Jorge Martin in fifth.

After another promising showing, having topped FP1 earlier in the day, Aleix Espargaro claimed sixth place for Aprilia in the second session, while Franco Morbidelli recovered from technical woes with his Petronas SRT Yamaha to take seventh. The Italian has had to unseal a third engine from his season allocation after encountering issues during first practice.

Suzuki’s Alex Rins grabbed eighth place, while reigning MotoGP world champion and team-mate Joan Mir is provisionally set to enter Q1 of qualifying after ending the day 13th overall, as Maverick Vinales (Yamaha) and Stefan Bradl (Honda) completed the top 10.

Miguel Oliveira narrowly missed out on the provisional Q2 spots for KTM in 11th, ahead of Tech3’s Danilo Petrucci and Mir, with Valentino Rossi only 14th for Petronas SRT Yamaha.

Marc Marquez is still absent for Repsol Honda as he continues to recover from his arm injury having confirmed last month that he would miss the opening two races in Qatar. 

Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing

Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

What time does qualifying start for the Doha MotoGP?
Qualifying for the Doha MotoGP is set to start at 6:00pm BST (8:00pm local time), using the regular Q1 and Q2 sessions format. Qualifying takes place directly after the 30-minute FP4 session which is set to start at 5:20pm BST (7:20pm local time).

The fastest 10 MotoGP riders on the FP1-2-3 combined timesheet automatically head into Q2, with the rest of the riders entering Q1 of qualifying. The two riders who are fastest in the 15-minute Q1 session will progress into Q2 to compete with the top 10 from practice. Q2, which also lasts 15 minutes, decides who gets pole position and the qualifying order for the front four rows of the grid.

Date: Saturday 3rd April 2021
Start time: 6:00pm BST (8:00pm local time)

How can I watch qualifying?
In the United Kingdom every MotoGP practice, qualifying and race is broadcast live on BT Sport.
Qatar MotoGP qualifying will be broadcast on BT Sport 2, with the programme starting at 3pm BST to also cover qualifying for the Moto3 and Moto2 classes.

TV Channel: BT Sport 2
Start time: 3:00pm BST

MotoGP also offers its own live online video streaming service which is available to stream in the UK.
Why is MotoGP holding two races in Qatar?

As part of the COVID-19-hit campaign the 2021 MotoGP calendar has been tweaked due to various travel restrictions in place across the world.

Instead of MotoGP’s traditional trip to Argentina and the United States after the opener in Qatar, the paddock remains in the Middle East for a second race at Losail which will be called the Doha GP.

Joan Mir, Team Suzuki MotoGP

Joan Mir, Team Suzuki MotoGP

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Why is it called the Doha GP?

With races not allowed to be given the same race names in the same MotoGP world championship season, Qatar’s second race has adopted a new title, the Doha GP, named after the country’s capital, with the circuit located a short trip north of the city.

It takes inspiration from the multiple double-headers MotoGP put on in the 2020 season that was severely reshuffled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which included first ever Andalusia GP, Styrian GP, Emilia Romagna GP, Teruel GP rounds plus a one-off return of the European GP used for the first Valencia race.

At the time of writing, no further alterations have been made to the 2021 MotoGP calendar, with both the Argentina and US rounds still postponed and awaiting possible new dates for this season.

Johann Zarco, Pramac Racing

Johann Zarco, Pramac Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

What's the weather forecast for qualifying in Qatar?
Dry, clear and windy conditions are forecast for qualifying at the Losail International Circuit on Saturday night, with a very low chance of rain and a high of 24 degrees Celsius.

Cla Rider Bike Time Gap
1 Spain Aleix Espargaro Aprilia 1'54.779  
2 Spain Alex Rins Suzuki 1'54.839 0.060
3 Spain Maverick Viñales Yamaha 1'54.864 0.085
4 Spain Jorge Martin Ducati 1'55.019 0.240
5 Italy Franco Morbidelli Yamaha 1'55.125 0.346
6 Italy Danilo Petrucci KTM 1'55.263 0.484
7 France Fabio Quartararo Yamaha 1'55.303 0.524
8 Spain Joan Mir Suzuki 1'55.349 0.570
9 Germany Stefan Bradl Honda 1'55.393 0.614
10 Japan Takaaki Nakagami Honda 1'55.448 0.669
Cla Rider Bike Time Gap Interval
1 Australia Jack Miller Ducati 1'53.145    
2 Italy Francesco Bagnaia Ducati 1'53.458 0.313 0.313
3 France Johann Zarco Ducati 1'53.537 0.392 0.079
4 France Fabio Quartararo Yamaha 1'53.583 0.438 0.046
5 Spain Jorge Martin Ducati 1'53.593 0.448 0.010
6 Spain Aleix Espargaro Aprilia 1'53.646 0.501 0.053
7 Italy Franco Morbidelli Yamaha 1'53.699 0.554 0.053
8 Spain Alex Rins Suzuki 1'53.713 0.568 0.014
9 Spain Maverick Viñales Yamaha 1'53.872 0.727 0.159
10 Germany Stefan Bradl Honda 1'53.914 0.769 0.042
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