The first MotoGP pole of 2018 went to Johann Zarco, as the Frenchman set a time of 1:53.680 at the Losail International Circuit that... Alvaro Bautista set for Qatar fightback from 21st on the grid

The first MotoGP pole of 2018 went to Johann Zarco, as the Frenchman set a time of 1:53.680 at the Losail International Circuit that took almost 3 tenths off the track record.

Alongside him, Marc Márquez will start the season from second position on the grid, with Danilo Petrucci completing the front row. Andrea Dovizioso, last year’s runner-up in the MotoGP World Championship, will start from fifth position in a race that will be held at 7pm (local time, GMT +3).

The Angel Nieto Team will kick off the first race of the season with a single goal in mind: To climb up the order and to place inside the points. Karel Abraham and Álvaro Bautista have both had a good feeling this weekend, although the former will start from the seventh row and his teammate 21st.

Bautista continues to fight against a lack of rear grip and is looking for solutions to improve his cornering in Qatar.

21st Álvaro Bautista 1:55.638:
“We have continued working to see if we can improve the contact with the tyre on the asphalt. The circumstances in the morning were extreme, as a lot of dust was lifted up by the wind. In the first practice it was difficult to lower our times from yesterday. We have also been testing things but we are not able to get it quite right. In the second session we saw that maybe we have to improve in other aspects; looking for the rear grip makes us lose something with the front. We have to try to corner faster. We’ll see if we can improve in that aspect tomorrow, to see if what we lose on the one hand we gain on the other.”