Qatar MotoGP: Vinales leads practice again, Lorenzo consigned to Q1

Yamaha's Maverick Vinales topped third practice for the Qatar Grand Prix, while Jorge Lorenzo will have to navigate the first phase of qualifying in his Ducati MotoGP debut

Qatar MotoGP: Vinales leads practice again, Lorenzo consigned to Q1

In a relatively sedate session, times failed to trouble the pace set on Thursday by Vinales.

The Spaniard led the way for the bulk of the session with a 1m55.594s, and then 1m55.518s, but with 15 minutes to go that was still more than a second slower than the benchmark he set in first practice.

Approaching the final five minutes, KTM's Bradley Smith was the only man to have improved on his previous best in practice, albeit remaining at the foot of the order.

Cal Crutchlow was the first rider to make a move, displacing Vinales at the top of the order with a 1m55.334s, and then quickly displaced himself by Johann Zarco with a 1m55.230s.

While a flurry of times followed, only 10 of the 23 riders managed to improve on the times they had set in the previous two sessions.

Crutchlow regained top spot briefly, but was then overhauled by Andrea Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone, before Vinales improved after the chequered flag was shown.

Vinales's 1m54.834s was still 0.516 seconds slower than he managed 24 hours earlier, and he leads the group of 10 riders advancing automatically to the second phase of qualifying on Saturday.

Iannone regrouped from a quiet start to the weekend, 13th and 15th in the first two sessions, to finish 0.014s behind Suzuki predecessor Vinales for the session, and 0.532s adrift on combined practice times.

Reigning world champion Marc Marquez was seventh fastest, but his Thursday time ensured he remained third in the overall order, ahead of Tech3 Yamaha rookie Zarco and Ducati's Dovizioso.

Lorenzo, though, will have his work cut out to join his new team-mate Dovizioso in the second phase of qualifying, missing out on one of the automatic spots.

The three-time MotoGP champion was ninth fastest in the session, but only 12th overall.

Practice two pacesetter Scott Redding had an early scare, when the bodywork on the left-hand side of his Pramac Ducati popped open on the run to Turn 1.

Redding nursed his bike back to pitlane and rejoined the action, but crashed at Turn 2 in the closing minutes.

However, he had done enough to finish sixth in the combined order and book a Q2 place.

Honda's Dani Pedrosa wound up seventh overall, while Crutchlow and Jonas Folger crashed at opposite ends of the session - at Turn 2 late and Turn 4 early, respectively - but wound up eighth and ninth.

Valentino Rossi booked the final guaranteed place in the second phase of qualifying, despite only setting the 13th-fastest time on Friday evening.

The Yamaha rider secured the final place with 10th in the combined standings, pipping Danilo Petrucci - who crashed early - by just 0.021s.

Aleix Espargaro was the top Aprilia rider in 15th, while the KTMs of Pol Espargaro and Smith wound up 22nd and 23rd.

PRACTICE THREE TIMES:

Pos Rider Team Time Gap Laps
1 Maverick Vinales Yamaha 1m54.834s - 17
2 Andrea Iannone Suzuki 1m54.848s 0.014s 17
3 Johann Zarco Tech3 Yamaha 1m55.008s 0.174s 17
4 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati 1m55.042s 0.208s 15
5 Dani Pedrosa Honda 1m55.113s 0.279s 16
6 Cal Crutchlow LCR Honda 1m55.211s 0.377s 16
7 Marc Marquez Honda 1m55.296s 0.462s 15
8 Danilo Petrucci Pramac Ducati 1m55.435s 0.601s 16
9 Jorge Lorenzo Ducati 1m55.461s 0.627s 15
10 Aleix Espargaro Aprilia 1m55.634s 0.800s 16
11 Alvaro Bautista Aspar Ducati 1m55.676s 0.842s 17
12 Jonas Folger Tech3 Yamaha 1m55.713s 0.879s 14
13 Valentino Rossi Yamaha 1m55.790s 0.956s 15
14 Karel Abraham Aspar Ducati 1m56.095s 1.261s 16
15 Alex Rins Suzuki 1m56.249s 1.415s 17
16 Tito Rabat MVDS Honda 1m56.617s 1.783s 15
17 Scott Redding Pramac Ducati 1m56.662s 1.828s 14
18 Jack Miller MVDS Honda 1m56.692s 1.858s 17
19 Sam Lowes Aprilia 1m56.854s 2.020s 13
20 Loris Baz Avintia Ducati 1m56.935s 2.101s 15
21 Hector Barbera Avintia Ducati 1m57.005s 2.171s 12
22 Pol Espargaro KTM 1m57.630s 2.796s 17
23 Bradley Smith KTM 1m57.654s 2.820s 18

Into Q2 automatically: Vinales, Iannone, Marquez, Zarco, Dovizioso, Redding, Pedrosa, Folger, Crutchlow, Rossi

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Qatar MotoGP: Redding fastest in practice two as Vinales crashes

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