DOHA: Reigning champion Joan Mir (Suzuki) and Italy’s Valentino Rossi (Yamaha-SRT) missed out on the top 10 following the first free practices ahead of the MotoGP Doha Grand Prix Saturday and face an extra qualifying heat.
It was unlikely the pair would improve their times during the third round of practice because of the formidable afternoon heat at the Losail circuit.
High winds also slowed down the third session which is not at all representative of the actual night-time race conditions, as seen last week at the Qatar Grand Prix.
Mir had to content himself with clocking the 13th and 14th best times a day earlier.
Only the top 10 in the first three practice runs qualify directly for the second and final round of qualification on Saturday during which pole position is up for grabs.
Mir and Rossi will attempt to rejoin the leading pack during the first round of qualification Saturday from 1700 GMT.
The top 10 places of the second GP of the season remain unchanged from Friday to Saturday with four out of five of the top spots taken by Ducatis.
Six-time MotoGP champion Marc Marquez of Honda is still out with a fractured arm after falling last summer. – AFP
Combined standings from the first three free practices:
1. Jack Miller (AUS/Ducati) 1:53.145
2. Francesco Bagnaia (ITA/Ducati) 1:53.458
3. Johann Zarco (FRA/Ducati-Pramac) 1:53.537
4. Fabio Quartararo (FRA/Yamaha) 1:53.583
5. Jorge Martin (ESP/Ducati-Pramac) 1:53.593
6. Aleix Espargaro (ESP/Aprilia) 1:53.646
7. Franco Morbidelli (ITA/Yamaha-SRT) 1:53.699
8. Alex Rins (ESP/Suzuki) 1:53.713
9. Maverick Vinales (ESP/Yamaha) 1:53.872
10. Stefan Bradl (GER/Honda) 1:53.914