Qualifying for the Qatar MotoGP Grand Prix was dominated by Ducati and Yamaha, who between them occupied the first seven places on the grid.
Francesco Bagnaia was the star of the day as he beat both factory Yamaha riders, the satellite Yamaha of Valentino Rossi and his own Ducati teammate Jack Miller to pole position with a fantastic late lap. It is the first pole in the 24-year-old’s MotoGP career but on this performance, it won’t be his last.
Factory Yamaha riders Fabio Quartararo and Maverick Vinales had a great battle for the front row and will hope their race pace is just as good tomorrow. Rossi will start his first race for a non-factory team in twenty years from fourth place which is probably better than he would have expected after free practice. He is joined on the second row by the Ducatis of Jack Miller and Johann Zarco.
Franco Morbidelli heads row three with Aleix Espargaro impressing for Aprilia in eighth place and apparently having good race pace for tomorrow. Alex Rins completes the third row after a rather average qualifying overall.
Reigning champion Joan Mir fared even worse than his teammate and had to come through Q1 to get to his place on row four.
Taka Nakagami also came through Q1 and finished as top Honda rider in 11th place, just ahead of factory rider Pol Espargaro.
1 – Francesco Bagnaia – ITA – Ducati
2 – Fabio Quartararo – FRA – Yamaha
3 – Maverick Vinales – SPA – Yamaha
4 – Valentino Rossi – ITA – Yamaha
5 – Jack Miller – AUS – Ducati
6 – Johann Zarco – FRA – Ducati
7 – Franco Morbidelli – ITA – Yamaha
8 – Aleix Espargaro – SPA – Aprilia
9 – Alex Rins – SPA – Suzuki
10 – Joan Mir – SPA – Suzuki
11 – Taka Nakagami – JAP – Honda
12 – Pol Espargaro – SPA – Honda