2016 Qatar MotoGP Qualifying Result: New Tires Means A Few Surprises

Results and summary of qualifying for the MotoGP class:

Jorge Lorenzo has taken the first pole of the brand new MotoGP era, pushing hard with his very first lap to set a time which nobody could end up beating, at least, not inside of the allotted 15 minute slot allowed for Q2. Jorge Lorenzo's pole brings his total to 62, passing his teammate Valentino Rossi in the record books and becoming the rider with the most pole positions since Grand Prix racing started tracking the position in 1974.

Try as Marc Marquez might, he could not beat Lorenzo's time, at least not during qualifying. Marquez crossed the line just a second too late to start a new timed lap, but thought he was just in time. He pushed, claiming afterwards that he had set a time of 1'54.2 on that lap, but as it was started too late, it was not counted.

Maverick Viñales completes the first row, the Suzuki rider leading a late charge of a large group of riders, and coming out on top. This is Viñales second front row start, after the impressive performance at Barcelona last year. Andrea Iannone is the first Ducati on the grid, the Italian unlucky not to go faster after coming across Scott Redding on his final flying lap. Valentino Rossi got a respectable starting position, traditionally his weakness since the introduction of the new qualifying system, setting the fifth fastest time as part of the group which contained Viñales and Iannone. Rossi needed that fast lap, as at the time, he had been languishing down in tenth. Andrea Dovizioso rounded out the second row, half a second behind the time of Lorenzo.

The effect of the Michelin tires is hard to see from qualifying, but it did seem like the tires were better after longer runs. A lot of riders improved their times on the last lap of their runs, while it was harder to set a time on the first run. Several riders did well using just a single set of tires: Dovizioso took 6th with just a single run, while Bradley Smith had made it through to Q2 using just a single run.

Results of both qualifying sessions:

Pos No. Rider Bike Time Diff Diff Previous
1 99 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 1'54.543    
2 93 Marc Marquez Honda 1'54.634 0.091 0.091
3 25 Maverick Viñales Suzuki 1'54.638 0.095 0.004
4 29 Andrea Iannone Ducati 1'54.693 0.150 0.055
5 46 Valentino Rossi Yamaha 1'54.815 0.272 0.122
6 4 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati 1'54.963 0.420 0.148
7 26 Dani Pedrosa Honda 1'55.078 0.535 0.115
8 8 Hector Barbera Ducati 1'55.165 0.622 0.087
9 44 Pol Espargaro Yamaha 1'55.302 0.759 0.137
10 35 Cal Crutchlow Honda 1'55.352 0.809 0.050
11 38 Bradley Smith Yamaha 1'55.414 0.871 0.062
12 45 Scott Redding Ducati 1'55.508 0.965 0.094
Q1 result
Q2 35 Cal Crutchlow Honda 1'55.291    
Q2 38 Bradley Smith Yamaha 1'55.490 0.199 0.199
13 68 Yonny Hernandez Ducati 1'56.157 0.866 0.667
14 50 Eugene Laverty Ducati 1'56.186 0.895 0.029
15 41 Aleix Espargaro Suzuki 1'56.238 0.947 0.052
16 76 Loris Baz Ducati 1'56.375 1.084 0.137
17 19 Alvaro Bautista Aprilia 1'56.595 1.304 0.220
18 43 Jack Miller Honda 1'56.620 1.329 0.025
19 53 Tito Rabat Honda 1'57.108 1.817 0.488
20 6 Stefan Bradl Aprilia 1'57.216 1.925 0.108
  9 Danilo Petrucci Ducati      


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Great work by Vinales. He is making that Suzuki a desirable seat. People are focusing on Ducatis and Yamaha (lorenzo's seat anyway, Vale has his locked down) but I think Vinales is showing how good that Suzuki is with a smooth, capable rider. If he leaves, there will be no shortage of riders wanting to replace him.

Can't wait for the race tomorrow. On a day that Formula 1 showed the world why design-by-committee qualifying is not the best idea, we got some authentic, fast paced and close qualis. Anybody from Lorenzo to Dovi can nick it.

I feel bad for Iannone. I hope Redding picks up a couple of penalty points for that.

Otherwise, great qualifying. Lorenzo is looking ominous but he will have to fight for it. Still not sure about the Suzuki's long run pace but we will have to see. Pumped for tomorrow!

No need for penalty points. Redding wasn't loitering on the racing line. Iannone was just unlucky to be caught behind a rider not running the same blistering pace.

No, he was. He was dawdling right before the last corner, waiting for a tow. It was clearly shown on the broadcast. Redding inserted himself between Rossi and Iannone to get a tow off Rossi, thereby hindering Iannone. Ducati should have a talk with him.

I think Marc will be fast tomorrow. I am hoping for a good race! Maybe one like Phillip Island last year? That would be great for the first race of the season.

the 2008 Pole record still stands - to Lorenzo.

And the lap record - set by Casey Stoner - still stands from 2008.

Anyone know what the race record is at Losail?

Lap Record = Race Record

The 2008 pole record may stand for a while since it was done with qualifiers.

Reading was doing his own qualifying lap, he did nothing to be penalised or criticised for. It was just bad luck for Iannone. That's racing.

A little bit sad that the order of things remained largely unchanged, at least as far as qualifying is concerned.

Maverick is the exception to the rule, but the rest is pretty much as it always was.

I realized at the beginning that MotoGP is a sport where it's quite difficult to even do a race like an alien, but I was honestly wishing for things to get a little bit more out of shape.

The race will tell us I reckon, but I am disappointed already by Redding's lack of pace in QP.

Moto3 and Moto2 however look quite a lot different.

Can anybody tell me why there are still four bikes in Parc Firma?

I was majorly confused about that as well. There are no CRT teams, no championship within a championship, so why was there a 4rth bike?