Reigning MotoGP World Champion Jorge Lorenzo put in two fast laps at the end of this evening's first MotoGP free practice session at Qatar to knock Britain's Cal Crutchlow off the top spot by less than one one-hundredth of a second.
The Factory Yamaha man put in a late run which ended with a 1'56.685 on an admittedly dirty track to push Monster Yamaha's Crutchlow into second place after the British rider had knocked hero Valentino Rossi off the top spot with his own 1'56.736 with only four minutes remaining.
The Doctor had been in control for a majority of the session, setting a 1'57.256 early on and then dropping it to a 1'56.061 before busting the 1'57s marker on his 13th lap with a 1'56.823.
Crutchlow had other ideas, however, banging in a 1'56.743 on his 14th lap to top the table and it looked like he would remain there until the chequered flag but Lorenzo's times were not to be denied. His lap, however, is still a way off his own pole lap of 1'54.634 set last year.
Marc Marquez was the first Honda home in fourth place and only six-tenths off the pace while Andrea Dovizioso lived up to his prediction of being able to do one fast lap, parking himself in fourth and eight-tenths off the pace.
To absolutely no-one's surprise, Alvaro Bautista was in sixth place, just ahead of Stefan Bradl. Dani Pedrosa had two off-track moments and ended in eighth just ahead of Aleix Espargaro, the leading CRT man in ninth with Nicky Hayden tenth.
Bradley Smith, who also had a couple of trips over the rumble, finished in 11th, ahead of the Ignite Ducati pairing of Andrea Iannone and Ben Spies.
Michael Laverty struggled down in 24th and final place.
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