Rossi leads Lorenzo as MotoGP returns

Valentino Rossi tops the opening practice session of 2019 edging out Repsol Honda duo Jorge Lorenzo and Marc Marquez
Rossi leads Lorenzo as MotoGP returns

MotoGP FP1 results from Qatar 

Valentino Rossi has topped the opening practice session of the 2019 MotoGP season edging out Repsol Honda duo Jorge Lorenzo and Marc Marquez.

The Monster Yamaha rider bolted in a late quick lap of 1m 55.048s to secure top spot from Lorenzo and long-time session leader Marquez in an enthralling FP1 following pre-season winter testing.

Rossi, who had gone even quicker in sector one and sector two before easing off on his final lap, gapped Lorenzo by just 0.079s while less than one second split the nine-time world champion to Cal Crutchlow down in 17th place.

Lorenzo, who is completing just his fourth day on the Repsol Honda this year after injury ruled him out of the Sepang test, impressed as he got up to speed in FP1 narrowly ahead of new team-mate Marquez in third place.

Andrea Dovizioso led the Ducati charge in fourth place ahead of team-mate Danilo Petrucci, replacing Lorenzo at the factory Ducati squad, with Qatar test timesheet-topper Maverick Vinales slotting into sixth place for Yamaha.

Franco Morbidelli caught the eye in seventh place on his Petronas Yamaha debut, leading the independent teams’ battle ahead of Pramac Ducati’s Jack Miller in eighth place.

Alex Rins holds ninth place for Suzuki to provisionally book an early Q2 spot, which will be decided at the end of FP3, with Takaaki Nakagami taking the final top 10 slot on the LCR Honda.



Fabio Quartararo just missed out in 11th place on his MotoGP practice session debut, just 0.013s slower than Nakagami, but ahead of Red Bull KTM’s Pol Espargaro who edged out brother Aleix on the Aprilia in 13th place.

Rookie Joan Mir ended FP1 in 14th place for Suzuki with Andrea Iannone rounding out the top 15 ahead of his Aprilia debut.

Fellow rookie and reigning Moto2 world champion Francesco Bagnaia claimed 16th on the times for Pramac Ducati in front of Crutchlow who makes his official return from a badly broken ankle sustained during practice at last year’s Australian MotoGP.

Red Bull KTM Tech3’s Hafizh Syahrin was the only faller in FP1, coming off his RC16 just seven minutes into the session but was able to return to action without any lasting problems.