MotoGP Qatar: Dovizioso edges Rossi in first 2018 practice session

Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso set the pace in the opening practice session of the 2018 MotoGP season in Qatar, beating Valentino Rossi by just 0.061 seconds

MotoGP Qatar: Dovizioso edges Rossi in first 2018 practice session

Continuing his impressive form from the third and final pre-season test at the Losail circuit, Dovizioso retook top spot with three minutes remaining of a first session held in daylight hours.

He set a best time of 1m55.366s to oust Rossi from first by four tenths after the factory Yamaha rider had displaced Dovizioso moments earlier.

While Rossi improved in the dying stages, his 1m55.427s effort left him just over half a tenth shy.

A last-minute improvement for reigning champion Marc Marquez put the Honda rider third, 0.316s behind his 2017 title adversary Dovizioso, with Andrea Iannone making it four different manufacturers in the top four on the best of the Suzukis.

Jorge Lorenzo led the way in the opening stages on the second works Ducati but ended up fifth, a little more than half a second behind team-mate Dovizioso.

Best of the privateers was Johann Zarco on his 2016-spec Tech3 Yamaha, ahead of LCR Honda man Cal Crutchlow and Alex Rins on the second Suzuki.

A pair of Ducati satellite riders, Danilo Petrucci (Pramac) and Avintia's Tito Rabat completed the top 10.

Maverick Vinales was 0.764s adrift on the second of the factory Yamahas in 11th, one place ahead of Dani Pedrosa on the second works Honda.

Aleix Espargaro was 13th fastest with his Aprilia now equipped with the latest-spec of engine that had been due to come on stream in Qatar testing before being delayed.

Hafizh Syahrin, Tech3's late signing for the 2018 season, was top rookie in 15th.

KTM's charge was led by Pol Espargaro in 17th, the Spaniard joining Thomas Luthi and Alvaro Bautista in crashing during the opening session.

FP1 times

Pos Rider Bike Time Gap Laps
1 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati 1m55.366s - 14
2 Valentino Rossi Yamaha 1m55.427s 0.061s 18
3 Marc Marquez Honda 1m55.743s 0.377s 18
4 Andrea Iannone Suzuki 1m55.816s 0.450s 17
5 Jorge Lorenzo Ducati 1m55.888s 0.522s 16
6 Johann Zarco Yamaha 1m55.943s 0.577s 16
7 Cal Crutchlow Honda 1m55.989s 0.623s 16
8 Alex Rins Suzuki 1m55.997s 0.631s 17
9 Danilo Petrucci Ducati 1m56.076s 0.710s 16
10 Tito Rabat Ducati 1m56.111s 0.745s 17
11 Maverick Vinales Yamaha 1m56.130s 0.764s 19
12 Dani Pedrosa Honda 1m56.265s 0.899s 17
13 Aleix Espargaro Aprilia 1m56.313s 0.947s 14
14 Alvaro Bautista Ducati 1m56.528s 1.162s 14
15 Hafizh Syahrin Yamaha 1m56.544s 1.178s 17
16 Jack Miller Ducati 1m56.680s 1.314s 17
17 Pol Espargaro KTM 1m56.999s 1.633s 16
18 Scott Redding Aprilia 1m57.115s 1.749s 15
19 Takaaki Nakagami Honda 1m57.183s 1.817s 18
20 Thomas Luthi Honda 1m57.211s 1.845s 14
21 Franco Morbidelli Honda 1m57.273s 1.907s 15
22 Bradley Smith KTM 1m57.389s 2.023s 18
23 Xavier Simeon Ducati 1m59.151s 3.785s 16
24 Karel Abraham Ducati 1m59.462s 4.096s 9


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