Márquez third and Espargaró sixth in first qualifying session of the year

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The Repsol Honda Team riders will start the opening race of the season from the front and second rows.

Márquez third and Espargaró sixth in first qualifying session of the year

Marc Márquez once again had a positive day in Doha, Qatar, this Saturday. The eight-time World Champion will start the first race of the season from third position -thanks to a best time of 1:53.283. He was just 0.0272s off pole position.

The Repsol Honda Team rider will occupy a spot on the third row for the first round of the MotoGP World Championship, held at the Lusail International Circuit.

His teammate, Pol Espargaró, will begin the Qatar Grand Prix from sixth. The Repsol Honda Team rider enjoyed a solid Saturday, and for most of the day was amongst the Top 5 fastest competitors.

On his last flying lap, Espargaró set a 1:53.346, earning him a place on Row 2 of the grid.

Rider Statements


“It’s important to start in the front in the front two rows of the grid and this was the goal for today. Qatar is not one of the best circuits for my style but thanks to a step we made in Free Practice 4 I have been feeling better. I’m happy but tomorrow is the most important day and we are not the fastest guy out there at the moment. Of course there’s still time to work and we will try to manage everything well. Our FP4 pace is close and the track can change a lot here with the wind, the sand and humidity. Let’s see what happens on Sunday, I am excited!”


“Speaking honestly, it’s a shame to be so close to the front row and just miss out. But we have to look at the bigger picture, I made a mistake and still we are this close to the front row still. It shows the progress we are making but starting on the front two rows is good. These top six positions are where you need to be at the start of the race. Apart from this it was a very good day, I was calm and didn’t get too excited with how we were feeling on the bike. We’ve made the first step of the year and tomorrow we will see what will unfold in the race, anything can still happen.”

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