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Qatar MotoGP, Lusail FP2 | Rainy day fun spoiled as Q1/2-decider rescheduled, Marquez tops FP2

Gold & Goose

The arrival of unexpected rainy weather in the desert put the brakes on what was shaping up to be a closely-fought first Q1/2-determining Practice session of the year with organisers swapping out Friday’s final Qatar MotoGP track running for an FP2 session instead.

Marc Marquez was the rider to top the timesheets come the flag, but his efforts will have no bearing on whether he makes it into Q2 directly after stewards re-arranged the schedule to accommodate persistent showers in Qatar.

Indeed, after rain - rarely seen during a MotoGP weekend in the Middle East - caused havoc in the final moments of Moto3, only four riders proceeded to venture on track for the Moto2 P1 session, with most staying in the pit-lane assuming tomorrow’s follow-on P2 session will be dry enough to set faster times.


By contrast, however, with MotoGP usually deciding its Q1/Q2 participants by virtue of the results at the end of Friday’s second session - dubbed simply ‘Practice’ - it was assumed the riders would need to employ a significant amount of strategy to mitigate the bizarre combination of ongoing showers amid warm temperatures to secure a place in the top ten.

However, stewards rather curiously scuppered that notion, deciding instead to bring forward Saturday’s usual FP2 session in its place, meaning the results have no bearing on qualifying. Instead a shorter than usual Practice session will take place in daylight hours on Saturday morning.

The decision was ultimately disappointing since all riders made hay while the rain fell and used the strange conditions to rack up wet weather laps, the happy coincidence of having gotten away with entirely dry running at Sepang during February’s traditionally showery pre-season test.

As such, the mileage was high among the riders, while even the fastest times came at various points in the session, indicating the track remained consistent throughout.

Even so, Marquez was the rider to top the order at the end of the 45-minute session to give himself a small boost on his much scrutinised first weekend with Ducati, the Spaniard heading off Red Bull GasGas Tech3 duo Augusto Fernandez and Pedro Acosta.

For the former, second on the timesheets will act as a much needed fillip for him having taken a back seat to the fanfare surrounding team-mate Acosta so far this year, though his counterpart wasn’t far behind him in third all the same.

A good end to the day all-round for KTM, Jack Miller and Brad Binder followed up on their factory machines to ensure all four RC16s filled the top five, while Raul Fernandez gave newcomers Trackhouse Racing Aprilia a result worth remembering for its first day in MotoGP with sixth.

With Ducati’s strength looking less formidable in the tricky conditions - not helped by the low light and dark asphalt used making it difficult to spot where the standing water was - Enea Bastianini was seventh fastest from Fabio di Giannatonio and Alex Marquez. Johann Zarco completed a strong first day as a Honda rider in tenth.

As in FP1, all riders kept it upright throughout the session, with attention now turning to Practice, which will take place at 13.40 local time (10.40 GMT) and be the session prior to Q1/2 getting underway.

🇶🇦 ⏱️ 2024 Qatar MotoGP, Lusail | Free Practice 2 Results

Friday | Conditions - Wet

🇶🇦 ⏱️ 2024 Qatar MotoGP Results | Lusail International Circuit, Qatar | Free Practice 2 Results | Round 1 of 21
Pos.NameNat.TeamMotorcycleLap Time
1Marc Marquez🇪🇦Gresini RacingDucati GP232m 06.544
2Augusto Fernandez🇪🇦Red Bull GasGas Factory Tech3KTM RC162m 06.834
3Pedro Acosta🇪🇦Red Bull GasGas Factory Tech3KTM RC162m 06.938
4Jack Miller🇦🇺Red Bull KTM Factory RacingKTM RC162m 07.263
5Brad Binder🇿🇦Red Bull KTM Factory RacingKTM RC162m 07.345
6Raul Fernandez 🇪🇦Trackhouse RacingAprilia RS-GP2m 07.384
7Enea Bastianini🇮🇹Ducati Leonovo TeamDucati GP242m 07.436
8Fabio di Giannantonio🇮🇹Pertamina Enduro VR46 RacingDucati GP232m 07.997
9Alex Marquez🇪🇦Gresini RacingDucati GP232m 08.103
10Johann Zarco🇫🇷LCR HondaHonda RC213V2m 08.321
11Joan Mir🇪🇦Repsol Honda TeamHonda RC213V2m 08.327
12Pecco Bagnaia🇮🇹Ducati Leonovo TeamDucati GP242m 08.494
13Marco Bezzecchi🇮🇹Pertamina Enduro VR46 RacingDucati GP232m 08.648
14Fabio Quartararo🇫🇷Monster Energy YamahaYamaha M12m 08.702
15Maverick Vinales🇪🇦Aprilia RacingAprilia RS-GP2m 08.839
16Luca Marini🇮🇹Repsol Honda TeamHonda RC213V2m 09.194
17Franco Morbidelli🇮🇹Prima Pramac RacingDucati GP242m 09.399
18Jorge Martin🇪🇦Prima Pramac RacingDucati GP242m 09.495
19Aleix Espargaro🇪🇦Aprilia RacingAprilia RS-GP2m 09.777
20Miguel Oliveira🇵🇹Trackhouse RacingAprilia RS-GP2m 09.813
21Takaaki Nakagami🇯🇵LCR HondaHonda RC213V2m 10.350
22Alex Rins🇪🇦Monster Energy YamahaYamaha M12m 10.535

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