Grand Prix of Qatar 2017 - Qualifying
Posted on Mar 25, 2017 by Nick Harris
Rain wrecks Qatar qualifying
Heavy desert rain wrecked qualifying for the opening round of the MotoGP™ World Championship in Qatar this evening. Parts of the Losail International circuit and the run off areas were flooded when heavy rain accompanied by lightning in the afternoon, bringing the cancellation of all qualifying sessions. Grid positions were determined by the fastest finishers in the three previous practice sessions for tomorrow’s 22 lap MotoGP race round the 3.343 miles circuit, ten miles outside Doha.
Oxfordshire’s Bradley Smith made his KTM debut but it was tough for the Austrian team as they start their first MotoGP campaign. He finally qualified in 23rd place. Twenty-two-year-old Spaniard Maverick Vinales starts from pole on his Movistar Yamaha debut despite a fall in the second practice session and is joined on the front row by Andrea Iannone and World Champion Marc Marquez. Despite a crash in last night’s third practice session Gloucestershire’s Scott Redding starts from the second row after a superb second practice session pushed him up into sixth place. Cal Crutchlow was another heavy faller in the same session but the LCR Honda rider starts from the third row in ninth place. Lincolnshire’s Sam Lowes fell in the first Thursday night session on his Gresini Aprilia MotoGP debut and qualified in 21st place.