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Qatar MotoGP, Lusail FP1 | Jorge Martin upstages impressive Pedro Acosta as 2024 MotoGP kicks off

Gold & Goose

Jorge Martin had the honour of opening the 2024 MotoGP World Championship season with the quickest time in Free Practice 1 for the Qatar MotoGP, though most eyes were on rookie Pedro Acosta in third.

Runner-up in 2023, Martin begins the new season as one of the favourites for the title on the Prima Pramac Racing Ducati and certainly gave a good early account of himself by turning it on when it mattered in the final minutes to hit a 1m 52.624secs.

Though a second shy of the top lap set by Pecco Bagnaia during pre-season testing at the Lusail International Circuit last month, times are expected to come down significantly as the sun sets ahead of the all-important Q1/2 deciding Practice session later this evening.


While Martin represented a familiar name at the top of the first timed session of the year, for a time it looked as though there would be a brand new one at the head of the order when Acosta shot to the top of the timesheets late on.

Occurring during a flurry of late final laps, the reigning Moto2 World Champion made good on pre-season predictions that he could be a top contender out of the box as he confidently swaggered to a 1m 52.695secs effort.

Though he’d be usurped in the end by both Martin and Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro, the +0.071s margin to the top spoke volumes as the GasGas-branded KTM headed up the Austrian firm’s charge early on.

Acosta’s efforts went a long way to overshadowing another headline performance by the rider many are comparing the young Spaniard to in Marc Marquez. In his first official session as a Ducati rider, the Gresini Racing rider spent a time at the head of the timesheets before being shuffled back, only to leap back to fourth in the last minutes.

Brad Binder too proved competitive on the best of the factory KTMs as he and team-mate Jack Miller in ninth held down top ten results after P1.

Flying under the radar but wildly overshadowing his stablemates at Honda was Johann Zarco, the Frenchman getting to grips with his RC213V in sixth, well ahead of team-mates - Joan Mir, Luca Marini and Takaaki Nakagami - in 16th, 17th and 21st.

Of the title-winning Ducati Lenovo Team, Enea Bastianini contended for the fastest time for much of the session before slipping to seventh at the flag, while Pecco Bagnaia was rooted towards the bottom of the timesheets for long periods as he focused on set-up, the defending champion popping up to tenth late on.

Between them was 2023 Qatar MotoGP winner Fabio di Giannantonio who, ahead of his debut as a Pertamina Enduro VR46 Racing rider, was eighth quickest.

He fared markedly better than team-mate Marco Bezzecchi, whose issues gelling with the Ducati GP23 package appeared to continue down in 18th as by far the slowest of the Desmosedici octet.


Elsewhere, Trackhouse Racing’s MotoGP debut officially began with Miguel Oliveira delivering the 12th fastest time, while Yamaha will be alarmed to see Alex Rins and Fabio Quartararo making up the numbers in 15th and 19th.

Meanwhile, in a tale of two sessions for the Pramac Ducati team, while Martin was quickest of all, his team-mate Franco Morbidelli - having been forced to miss the entirety of pre-season testing - was left in 22nd and last as he works to get up to speed following his injury.

🇶🇦 ⏱️ 2024 Qatar MotoGP, Lusail | Free Practice Results

Friday | Conditions - Dry

🇶🇦 ⏱️ 2024 Qatar MotoGP Results | Lusail International Circuit, Qatar | Free Practice 1 Results | Round 1 of 21
Pos.NameNat.TeamMotorcycleLap Time
1Jorge Martin🇪🇦Prima Pramac RacingDucati GP241m 52.624
2Aleix Espargaro🇪🇦Aprilia RacingAprilia RS-GP1m 52.671
3Pedro Acosta🇪🇦Red Bull GasGas Factory Tech3KTM RC161m 52.695
4Marc Marquez🇪🇦Gresini RacingDucati GP231m 52.801
5Brad Binder🇿🇦Red Bull KTM Factory RacingKTM RC161m 52.889
6Johann Zarco🇫🇷LCR HondaHonda RC213V1m 52.927
7Enea Bastianini🇮🇹Ducati Leonovo TeamDucati GP241m 52.950
8Fabio di Giannantonio🇮🇹Pertamina Enduro VR46 RacingDucati GP231m 52.987
9Jack Miller🇦🇺Red Bull KTM Factory RacingKTM RC161m 53.031
10Pecco Bagnaia🇮🇹Ducati Leonovo TeamDucati GP241m 53.221
11Alex Marquez🇪🇦Gresini RacingDucati GP231m 53.250
12Miguel Oliveira🇵🇹Trackhouse RacingAprilia RS-GP1m 53.338
13Maverick Vinales🇪🇦Aprilia RacingAprilia RS-GP1m 53.351
14Raul Fernandez 🇪🇦Trackhouse RacingAprilia RS-GP1m 53.380
15Alex Rins🇪🇦Monster Energy YamahaYamaha M11m 53.507
16Joan Mir🇪🇦Repsol Honda TeamHonda RC213V1m 53.435
17Luca Marini🇮🇹Repsol Honda TeamHonda RC213V1m 53.608
18Marco Bezzecchi🇮🇹Pertamina Enduro VR46 RacingDucati GP231m 53.626
19Fabio Quartararo🇫🇷Monster Energy YamahaYamaha M11m 53.837
20Augusto Fernandez🇪🇦Red Bull GasGas Factory Tech3KTM RC161m 53.847
21Takaaki Nakagami🇯🇵LCR HondaHonda RC213V1m 53.863
22Franco Morbidelli🇮🇹Prima Pramac RacingDucati GP241m 54.749

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