Vinales takes pole for 'scary' crash-hit Qatar MotoGP

2019-03-09 20:49
Maverick Vinales (Getty Images)

Doha - Spain's Maverick Vinales on Saturday snatched pole position at a crash-marred Qatar MotoGP, pushing Andrea Dovizioso and world champion Marc Marquez into second and third place.

Vinales powered his Yamaha home in a time of 1:53.546, to finish just ahead Dovizioso, who was second in a time of 1:53.744, with Marquez edged into third with a time of 1:53.745.

But the day's main talking point was the number of crashes on a windy and relatively cold evening in Doha.

Among those to fall during practice and qualification was Marquez, and his Honda teammate Jorge Lorenzo, whose crash was bad enough for him not be able to continue after a heavy fall.

In visible pain, Lorenzo was taken for medical treatment and did not get back on his Honda after crashing on his first fast lap.

Considered to be one of the main challengers to Marquez, Lorenzo will start Sunday's race in 15th position.

Spaniard Alex Rins, Frenchman Johann Zarco and Jack Miller were among the other fallers, though the Australian recovered to post a time of 1:53.809, and will start fourth on Sunday's grid.

Asked afterwards if it was "scary" conditions to race on the 5.3km track, Marquez agreed and added: "It's really cold and windy."

Ducati rider Dovizioso, who won a dramatic race in Doha last year, said he was "really happy" with his time.

The number of crashes is likely to bring fresh focus on Sunday's start time of 20:00.

The riders had urged race officials to bring it forward by an hour, concerned by the conditions, but that request was refused.

Valentino Rossi, who finished on the podium last year in Doha, and a teammate of Vinales, will start in fourteenth position this year.

Among those watching qualification on Saturday was Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton.

Grids for the Qatar motorcycling Grand Prix after qualifying on Saturday:


1st row

1. Maverick Vinales (ESP/Yamaha) 1min 53.546sec, 2. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA/Ducati) at 0.198, 3. Marc Marquez (ESP/Honda) 0.199

2nd row

4. Jack Miller (AUS/Ducati-Pramac) 0.263, 5.Fabio Quartararo (FRA/Yamaha SRT) 0.400, 6. Cal Crutchlow (GBR/Honda-LCR) 0.549

3rd row

7. Danilo Petrucci (ITA/Ducati) 0.654, 8. Franco Morbidelli (ITA/Yamaha SRT) 0.690, 9. Takaaki Nakami (JPN/Honda-LCR) 0.693


5th row

14. Valentino Rossi (ITA/Yamaha), 15. Jorge Lorenzo (ESP/Honda) 

Moto 2

1st row

1. Marcel Schrotter (GER/Kalex) 1:58.585, 2. Xavi Verge (ESP/Kalex) 0.146, 3. Luca Baldassarri (ITA/Kalex) 0.199

2nd row

4. Luca Marini (ITA/Kalex) 0.219, 5. Remy Gardner (AUS/Kalex) 0.234, 6. Sam Lowes (GBR/Kalex) 0.260

3rd row

7. Thomas Luthi (SUI/Kalex) 0.419, 8. Brad Binder (AFS/KTM) 0.453, 9. Alex Marquez (ESP/Kalex) 0.477

4th row

10. Augusto Fernandez (ESP/Kalex) 0.628 11. Jorge Martin (ESP/KTM) 0.693, 12. Jorge Navarro (ESP/Speed Up) 0.740 


1st row

1. Aron Canet (ESP/Honda) 2:05.883, 2. Lorenzo Dalla Porta (ITA/Honda) 0.197, 3. Kaito Toba (JPN/Honda) 0.226

2nd row

4. John McPhee (GBR/Honda) 0.425, 5. Niccolo Antonelli (ITA/Honda) 0.490, 6. Albert Arenas (ESP/KTM) 0.643

3rd row

7. Tony Arbolino (ITA/Honda) 0.738, 8.Celestino Vietti (ITA/KTM) 0.780, 9. Vicente Perez (ESP/KTM) 0.787

4th row

10. Raul Fernandes (ESP/KTM) 0.790, 11. Romano Fenati (ITA/Honda) 0.798, 12. Gabriel Rodrigo (ARG/Honda) 0.922

Read more on:    maverick vinales  |  motogp


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live scoring

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2018/19 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs

Hypothetically, given the same cars to drive, who is the most talented current Formula One driver in your opinion?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.