Beating a lap record which has stood for a decade, Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) stunned the MotoGP field to take pole position at the Grand Prix of Qatar, 0.202s ahead of his rivals with a lap time of 1m53.680s.
Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) will line up at the Losail International Circuit in second position on the grid, as the reigning world champion was also able to lap under the record pace on his final flying stint. Danilo Petrucci (Alma Pramac Racing) completes the front row, continuing his strong pace throughout the weekend with the Desmosedici – as he was the final rider to break the 2008 lap record.
Heading the second row will be Brit Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda CastrolL) in an impressive fourth position, beating Friday’s fastest Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) to the line as the Italian prepares for battle from fifth. Spaniard Alex Rins (Team Suzuka ECSTAR) took sixth as he ends the session 0.659 off pole position.
The third row will be led by Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team), matching his grid position in 2017 under the floodlights. Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) ended qualifying in eighth position as he was unable to secure a fast lap time, narrowly ahead of Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team).
Q1’s fastest man Jack Miller (Alma Pramac Racing) took 10th position this evening, beating Andrea Iannone (Team Suzuki ECSTAR) in 11th, whilst 2017 race winner Maverick Vinales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) will start 2018 from 12th position.
Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) prepares to line up from 13th on the grid after a competitive Q1 session, ahead of rookies Franco Morbidelli (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) and Hafizh Syahrin (Monster Yamaha Tech 3), who will make their debuts from 14th and 15th position.