MotoGP: Miller leads Ducati 1-2-3 in Doha

Friday practice at the Tissot Grand Prix of Doha saw Jack Miller (Ducati Lenovo Team – shown above) fastest with a time of 1:53.145. The Australian sits 0.313s clear of factory teammate Francesco Bagnaia heading into Saturday as the Ducatis dominated proceedings.

Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) was P3 with his rookie teammate Jorge Martin claiming P5, Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) split them in P4.

The final flying laps saw plenty of movement. Bagnaia, Zarco and Martin propelled themselves into the top five as the two Qatar podium finishers also avoid the yellow flags, this time for an Alex Marquez (LCR Honda Castrol) crash at the final corner. Further back on the road, it was a huge last lap for both World Champion Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) and nine-time World Champion Valentino Rossi (Petronas Yamaha SRT). Both needed to find time to break into the top 10, both failed to find enough.

Francesco Bagnaia 2nd quick

There are no such troubles for Ducati’s four GP21 riders though. A dominant Friday evening at the office for the Bologna brand, with Quartararo sneaking ahead of Martin by just 0.010s. FP1 pacesetter Aleix Espargaro didn’t bother heading out for a final time attack, and he didn’t need to either.

#5 Zarco Johan 3rd quick

His earlier time was plenty good enough to see him and Aprilia sail into Saturday inside the top 10 in P6, with Morbidelli enjoying a better evening to end up P7 – no issues for the Italian in FP2. 0.014s behind the Yamaha rider is Rins, the top eight covered by half a second, with World Championship leader Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) only just squeezing into the top 10 in P9. Stefan Bradl (Repsol Honda Team) continues to do a fine job as Marc Marquez’s replacement, the German is P10 after Friday and looks like heading straight into Q2.

With Saturday afternoon conditions more than likely not allowing the riders to go quicker than FP2, it looks like the automatic Q2 places are set. 1.092s covers the leading 18 riders, and some big names are going to be very disappointed come Saturday evening.

Doha GP Combined Free Practice Times

Pos. Rider Num Nation Team Constructor Time/Gap
1 Miller Jack 43 AUS Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati 1’53.145
2 Bagnaia Francesco 63 ITA Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati 0.313
3 Zarco Johann 5 FRA Pramac Racing Ducati 0.392
4 Quartararo Fabio 20 FRA Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 0.438
5 Martin Jorge 89 SPA Pramac Racing Ducati 0.448
6 Espargaro Aleix 41 SPA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 0.501
7 Morbidelli Franco 21 ITA Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha 0.554
8 Rins Alex 42 SPA Team Suzuki Ecstar Suzuki 0.568
9 Vinales Maverick 12 SPA Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 0.727
10 Bradl Stefan 6 GER Repsol Honda Team Honda 0.769
11 Oliveira Miguel 88 POR Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 0.799
12 Petrucci Danilo 9 ITA Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing KTM 0.824
13 Mir Joan 36 SPA Team Suzuki Ecstar Suzuki 0.867
14 Rossi Valentino 46 ITA Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha 0.967
15 Nakagami Takaaki 30 JPN LCR Honda Honda 0.982
16 Marquez Alex 73 SPA LCR Honda Honda 1.003
17 Espargaro Pol 44 SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 1.060
18 Binder Brad 33 RSA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 1.092
19 Bastianini Enea 23 ITA Avintia Esponsorama Ducati 1.371
20 Marini Luca 10 ITA SKY VR46 Avintia Ducati 1.535
21 Savadori Lorenzo 32 ITA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 1.826
22 Lecuona Iker 27 SPA Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing KTM 2.224