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

MotoGP returns to action for 2021 with the Qatar Grand Prix, the now traditional season opener at the Losail International Circuit. Here’s how to watch qualifying.

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

After a crash midway through first practice, Jack Miller fought back to top the second practice session for Ducati, leading a factory 1-2 for the Italian manufacturer ahead of team-mate Francesco Bagnaia.

The Italian rider went within 0.035 seconds of top spot but had to abort his final flying lap after Pol Espargaro crashed late on for Honda.

New factory Yamaha rider Fabio Quartararo grabbed third place ahead of fellow countryman Johann Zarco for Pramac Ducati, with Alex Rins leading the Suzuki charge in fifth place.

But fellow Suzuki rider and defending MotoGP world champion Joan Mir struggled in FP2, as he ended up 11th and outside of the provisional Q2 places ahead of qualifying.

With Maverick Vinales (Yamaha) in sixth, that edged FP1 timesheet-topper Franco Morbidelli (Petronas SRT) down to seventh place with Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro in eighth.

Valentino Rossi made a solid start to his first race weekend with the Petronas SRT Yamaha squad in ninth place as Honda newcomer Espargaro rounded out the top 10 despite his late crash.

Marc Marquez remains absent for Repsol Honda as he continues to recover from his arm injury, and confirmed earlier this week he will 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 Qatar MotoGP?

Qualifying for the Qatar MotoGP is set to start at 8:00pm local time (5:00pm GMT), using the regular Q1 and Q2 sessions format. Qualifying takes place directly after the 30-minute FP4 session, which is set to start at 7:20pm local time (4:20pm GMT).

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 27 March 2021
Start time: 8:00pm local time (5:00pm GMT)

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 2pm GMT to also cover qualifying for the Moto3 and Moto2 classes.

TV Channel: BT Sport 2
Start time: 2:00pm GMT

MotoGP also offers its own live online video streaming service which is available to stream in the UK.

Jack Miller, Ducati Team

Jack Miller, Ducati Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

What's the weather forecast for qualifying in Qatar?

Dry and clear conditions are forecast for qualifying at the Losail International Circuit on Saturday night, with a very low chance of rain and a high of 32 degrees Celsius.

FP2 Results

Cla Rider Laps Time Gap
1 Australia Jack Miller 17 1'53.387  
2 Italy Francesco Bagnaia 16 1'53.422 0.035
3 France Fabio Quartararo 17 1'53.575 0.188
4 France Johann Zarco 18 1'53.586 0.199
5 Spain Alex Rins 19 1'53.623 0.236
6 Spain Maverick Viñales 18 1'53.639 0.252
7 Italy Franco Morbidelli 19 1'53.676 0.289
8 Spain Aleix Espargaro 16 1'53.727 0.340
9 Italy Valentino Rossi 19 1'53.874 0.487
10 Spain Pol Espargaro 18 1'53.901 0.514

FP1 Results

Cla Rider Laps Time Gap
1 Italy Franco Morbidelli 17 1'54.921  
2 Spain Aleix Espargaro 15 1'55.046 0.125
3 Australia Jack Miller 13 1'55.112 0.191
4 France Fabio Quartararo 16 1'55.213 0.292
5 Spain Joan Mir 15 1'55.255 0.334
6 Spain Maverick Viñales 18 1'55.309 0.388
7 Spain Alex Rins 18 1'55.353 0.432
8 Italy Francesco Bagnaia 16 1'55.365 0.444
9 Italy Valentino Rossi 15 1'55.419 0.498
10 Portugal Miguel Oliveira 17 1'55.745 0.824
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