Five things we learned: MotoGP Qatar qualifying
Maverick Vinales rode home to take pole position for tomorrow’s Qatar GP at the Losail Circuit.
Despite many doubting the Yamaha, the Spaniard was able to put in a great performance to put his M1 machine on pole for the opening race of the season.
Behind him will be Andrea Dovizioso and Marc Marquez, with the pair putting in solid rides to join Vinales on the front row for tomorrow’s race.
Vinales’ teammate Valentino Rossi was way down the order, with the Italian down in fourteenth on the grid for the race.
Jorge Lorenzo also struggled, with the Spaniard crashing in Q1 and not making it through to Q2 on his Honda debut.
Other impressive performances came from the Petronas Yamaha pair of Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli, who will start from fifth and eighth place tomorrow.
Here are five things we learned in Qatar after an intriguing qualifying session in the Middle East.
Petronas Yamaha are legitimate challengers
If you’d have told people when he was announced as a MotoGP rider that Fabio Quartararo would start his first race from fifth place, you’d have been laughed out the room.
However, he is. The new satellite Yamaha’s have the pace, and could really do something this season.
Jack Miller impressing
Miller has been quietly doing this business so far. The Aussie crashed in qualifying but was on track for a good position for the race tomorrow. He’ll start fourth, and could be up there in the race.
Andrea Dovizioso could be "back"
Dovi has never “gone away”, but based off his comments post qualifying we could be seeing the return of the title-chasing Italian we saw back in 2017.
And honestly? We really hope he is.
All going wrong for Rossi
It’s just not happening for Valentino in Qatar. You can never doubt the G.O.A.T, but with Vinales on pole, can you still be blaming the bike?
Yamaha decided to use Rossi’s second aero update in the first race of the season, using all of their available changes for the season. This may show how desperate they are for any improvements.
Solid day for LCR Honda
Cal Crutchlow’s woes over the off-season have been made very public, but it was a good showing from the LCR Honda pair of Cal and Takaaki Nakagami in Qatar.
Making it through Q1, Crutchlow will start from sixth, whilst Nakagami will start ninth. Solid is very much the word to describe their day.