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MotoGP Qatar: Morbidelli tops Moto2; Kent third

Estrella Galicia’s Franco Morbidelli set the quickest time in today’s sole Moto2 free practice session at the Qatar MotoGP round but he was chased hard by team-mate Alex Marquez while Britain’s Danny Kent put in a late charge to bag third place on his Kiefer Racing Suter.

Morbidelli set a 2’00.349 for top spot but is only 0.023s ahead of Marquez while Kent is a further two-tenths back but ahead of yesterday’s fastest man Tom Luthi (CarXpert Interwetten). Luthi’s compatriot and Kent’s team-mate Dominique Aegerter completed the top five.

“It was a good session for me because I was immediately fast and continued to build on my pace to be ready for the race. The team made a couple of good set-up changes, which improved the bike so this added to my confidence. Now I am curious to see how qualifying goes, I want to be fast because this was my weak point last season but I have thought a lot about how to improve this over the winter,” said Morbidelli.


An impressive performance from Xavi Vierge (Tech 3 Racing) on the Tech 3 machine put the Spaniard in P6, ahead of Fabio Quartararo (Pons HP40) – who was the fastest rookie in FP3. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) put in a late dash on the new KTM Moto2™ machine to end the session in P8.

Marcel Schrötter (Dynavolt Intact GP) and Jesko Raffin (SAG Team) completed the top ten.

Jorge Navarro (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) was P11, with 2016 Misano winner Lorenzo Baldassarri (Forward Racing Team), Axel Pons (RW Racing GP) and Hafizh Syahrin (Petronas Raceline Malaysia) filling the timesheets down to fourteenth. Fastest in the recent Moto2™ test at the track, Takaaki Nakagami (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) locked out the top 15.

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