Monster Yamaha Tech3’s Johann Zarco obliterated the 2-wheel track record of Losail in Qatar with his scorching final lap of 1:53.680second during Qualifying 2 for the opening race of 2018 MotoGP season!
The old qualifying lap record of 1:53.927second at Losail track was held by Spaniard Jorge Lorenzo back in 2008 during his debut season with the Factory Yamaha squad.
Lorenzo himself came close to squashing his old record midway during Q2 but a mistake at the last corner put paid to his effort. Still, his lap was good enough to put him 9th on the grid.
Repsol Honda’s reigning MotoGP world champion Marc Marquez was among the riders aiming for an opportunity to go under Lorenzo’s old record, and achieved it with 1:53.882s but his lap time fell short of Zarco’s effort.
Zarco and Marquez weren’t the only riders to go under the old qualifying mark as Italian Danilo Petrucci of Alma Pramac Ducati became the 3rd rider on the same night to achieve that milestone with his lap time of 1:53.887s!
With the exception of Marquez, the front row for Sunday’s season opening race is occupied by 2 satellite riders ahead of their respective factory teams.
The MoviStar Factory Yamaha squad of Rossi and Maverick Vinales could only qualified 8th and 12th respectively while Team Ducati Corse comprising Andrea Dovizioso was 5th ahead of Team Suzuki Ecstar rider Alex Rins in 6th.
Dovizioso’s lap time of 1:54.074 momentarily earned him provisional pole during his first run of qualifying but it remained that way to put him 5th overall.
LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow qualified 4th with his lap time of 1:54.072. It’s the Briton’s best qualifying time ever at Losail for an actual race weekend. Dani Pedrosa of Repsol Honda qualified 7th ahead of Rossi.
The Top 12 for Q2 was rounded up by Australian Jack Miller (10th) and Suzuki’s Andrea Iannone (11th).