Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso completed a clean sweep of the first day of MotoGP’s 2018 season in Qatar, narrowly beating Danilo Petrucci in second practice.
Dovizioso, who had earlier topped the daytime FP1, edged out Pramac Ducati rider Petrucci by 0.006s in the final minutes of the second session.
Unlike the opening session, second practice took place under the lights, in conditions more representative of what is expected for qualifying and the race itself.
LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow was the first rider to dip below Dovizioso’s FP1 benchmark, but it was Marquez who assumed the lead as the opening runs concluded, having posted a 1m55.043s.
This remained as the session’s best effort until Suzuki’s Alex Rins shot to the top with back-to-back fastest laps, a 1m54.997s followed by a 1m54.985s as FP2 entered its final 10 minutes.
A 1m54.367s from Petrucci kicked off a flurry of improvements with three minutes left on the clock, but only Dovizioso managed to go better than the Pramac man, logging a 1m54.361s.
Rins had been shuffled down the order but improved at the death to finish third, within a tenth of Dovizioso.
There was a sizable gap between the top three and the rest of the pack, with Dovizioso’s teammate Jorge Lorenzo almost half a second down in fourth – the Ducati man having endured a disrupted start to the session as he was forced to pit due to his GP18 sparking.
Andrea Iannone was fifth for Suzuki, ahead of Honda trio Marquez, Dani Pedrosa and Crutchlow.
They were followed by three Yamaha riders, with Tech 3’s Johann Zarco in 10th slotting in between works counterparts Valentino Rossi and Maverick Vinales.
This means that Vinales, who won the race from pole last year, will miss out on an automatic spot in Q2 should he fail to break into the top 10 in the daytime FP3 session.
Aleix Espargaro was the top Aprilia rider in 12th, while his brother Pol led the way for KTM in 17th.
LCR Honda’s Takaaki Nakagami was the session’s top rookie in 15th place.
Source : MotorSport