Qatar MotoGP: Marc Marquez denies Jorge Lorenzo in practice battle

Marc Marquez deposed Jorge Lorenzo for the top spot by just one thousandth of a second in the dying moments of MotoGP practice three in Qatar

Qatar MotoGP: Marc Marquez denies Jorge Lorenzo in practice battle

Having also been quickest in second practice earlier on Friday, Honda's new signing Marquez will go into Saturday's final practice and qualifying as a sure-fire contender for pole.

Until Marquez's eleventh-hour surge to the front, most of the interest had been in the battle to secure the final top-10 places on the first weekend of MotoGP's qualifying shake-up.

MotoGP's new qualifying system explained

Under the new system, pole is decided in a 12-bike shootout known as QP2. The fastest 10 riders on combined practice times proceed straight into this session, but the rest must battle it out in QP1 for the two final places in the last segment.

Pramac Ducati duo Andrea Iannone and Ben Spies ended up being the two prototype riders left among the CRT pack in the QP1 runners.

Both had nosed into the top 10 in the closing stages only to be edged back as the likes of Nicky Hayden, Stefan Bradl and Alvaro Bautista improved just in time.

CRT star Aleix Espargaro did his best to pull off some giantkilling, but was a tenth shy of Spies.

At the front, Cal Crutchlow spent a brief period in front before fellow Yamaha rider Lorenzo turned in his 1m56.085s halfway through.

Marquez drifted as low as eighth at one stage before surging to a safe fourth.

But the Honda rider was not finished yet. As the chequered flag flew, Marquez crossed the line with a last-gasp 1m56.084s, just 0.001s ahead of Lorenzo.

He then went off the road in traffic on his slowing down lap, slithering through the gravel and continuing.

Behind Crutchlow, Valentino Rossi took fourth on the second works Yamaha, followed by Andrea Dovisioso's Ducati and the muted Dani Pedrosa's Honda.

The only notable problem was Claudio Corti pulling off with early engine problems on Forward's FTR-Kawasaki.

Pos Rider Team/Bike Time Gap 1. Marc Marquez Honda 1m56.084s 2. Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 1m56.085s + 0.001s 3. Cal Crutchlow Tech 3 Yamaha 1m56.326s + 0.242s 4. Valentino Rossi Yamaha 1m56.416s + 0.332s 5. Andrea Dovizioso Ducati 1m56.417s + 0.333s 6. Dani Pedrosa Honda 1m56.502s + 0.418s 7. Alvaro Bautista Gresini Honda 1m56.572s + 0.488s 8. Nicky Hayden Ducati 1m56.670s + 0.586s 9. Bradley Smith Tech 3 Yamaha 1m56.901s + 0.817s 10. Stefan Bradl LCR Honda 1m56.984s + 0.900s 11. Andrea Iannone Pramac Ducati 1m57.169s + 1.085s 12. Ben Spies Pramac Ducati 1m57.308s + 1.224s 13. Aleix Espargaro Aspar Aprilia 1m57.420s + 1.336s 14. Hector Barbera Avintia FTR-Kawasaki 1m57.956s + 1.872s 15. Yonny Hernandez PBM Aprilia 1m58.211s + 2.127s 16. Randy de Puniet Aspar Aprilia 1m58.396s + 2.312s 17. Colin Edwards Forward FTR-Kawasaki 1m58.863s + 2.779s 18. Karel Abraham Cardion Aprilia 1m59.180s + 3.096s 19. Hiroshi Aoyama Avintia FTR-Kawasaki 1m59.212s + 3.128s 20. Danilo Petrucci Ioda-Suter-BMW 1m59.755s + 3.671s 21. Bryan Staring Gresini FTR-Honda 1m59.758s + 3.674s 22. Lukas Pesek Ioda-Suter-BMW 1m59.837s + 3.753s 23. Michael Laverty PBM-Aprilia 2m00.080s + 3.996s 24. Claudio Corti Forward FTR-Kawasaki 2m00.439s + 4.355s 
shares
comments
Qatar MotoGP: Marc Marquez leaps to the top in practice two

Previous article

Qatar MotoGP: Marc Marquez leaps to the top in practice two

Next article

Qatar MotoGP: Valentino Rossi hails Marc Marquez's performance

Qatar MotoGP: Valentino Rossi hails Marc Marquez's performance
Load comments

About this article

Series MotoGP
Drivers Jorge Lorenzo , Marc Marquez
Teams AB Motoracing
The impossible problem Honda faces with its 2021 MotoGP bike Plus

The impossible problem Honda faces with its 2021 MotoGP bike

Honda hasn’t enjoyed an easy start to the 2021 MotoGP campaign, despite gains last season which looked to have carried over into the pre-season. Now admitting it does have issues in serious need of resolving, it faces an almost impossible task in doing so

MotoGP
May 11, 2021
How Jerez underlined MotoGP's speed problem Plus

How Jerez underlined MotoGP's speed problem

The brutal nature of a series of crashes at Jerez has reopened the debate about whether current MotoGP speeds are beyond the safety limits of the tracks. But even if riders are supportive of the move, getting the manufacturers to find a consensus on how speed reductions should be achieved may be altogether harder

MotoGP
May 4, 2021
How a Crutchlow helped Miller to Jerez MotoGP redemption Plus

How a Crutchlow helped Miller to Jerez MotoGP redemption

Jack Miller’s tough start to life as a factory Ducati MotoGP rider left him mentally battered and bruised, but a pep talk and positive reinforcement from a surprising source aided the Australian to show his full potential with victory at the Spanish Grand Prix

MotoGP
May 3, 2021
What does Marc Marquez have to do to get back to his best? Plus

What does Marc Marquez have to do to get back to his best?

Following his resounding MotoGP return with a seventh place finish in Portugal, Marc Marquez now must work to rediscover his best form before turning his attention towards results-based targets

MotoGP
Apr 20, 2021
How Yamaha’s rookie-spec MotoGP star is taking charge Plus

How Yamaha’s rookie-spec MotoGP star is taking charge

Fabio Quartararo is on a roll in 2021, having stormed to victory at a venue where he last year served up one of his worst races. Contrasting Portuguese GPs for Yamaha’s factory duo make it hard to understand just how good its 2021 MotoGP bike is, but the Portimao weekend has revealed one key improvement compared to 2020

MotoGP
Apr 19, 2021
The hurdles Marquez faces next in his Portugal MotoGP return Plus

The hurdles Marquez faces next in his Portugal MotoGP return

Even by Marc Marquez’s own high standards, his MotoGP comeback on Friday at the Portuguese Grand Prix will be considered a success even if he didn’t top the times. But having shown competitive pace on his first day back, both Marquez and his rivals know plenty more challenges are to come

MotoGP
Apr 16, 2021
Where does Honda's new MotoGP signing sit ahead of its king's return? Plus

Where does Honda's new MotoGP signing sit ahead of its king's return?

Pol Espargaro’s first results as a Honda MotoGP rider may not appear special. But dig a little deeper and a clearer picture of his performance emerges. And, as Lewis Duncan writes, it’s cause for celebration at Honda with the return of Marc Marquez set to provide Espargaro with the reference he has been missing so far this year

MotoGP
Apr 12, 2021
The "pit bull" MotoGP rookie already drawing legendary comparisons Plus

The "pit bull" MotoGP rookie already drawing legendary comparisons

MotoGP’s 2021 rookie crop is one of the strongest in recent years, but one is already standing out. Jorge Martin’s Doha GP heroics have courted many to compare him to numerous MotoGP legends. Autosport spoke to Pramac boss Francesco Guidotti to find out why MotoGP’s latest Spanish star is already making such an impact

MotoGP
Apr 9, 2021