Aleix Espargaro set the fastest time of the first MotoGP free practice of the Grand Prix of Qatar. The Open class rider led the timesheets during the most part of the session.
Espargaro was first in a practice dominated by non-official bikes, taking advantage of the absence of the official teams in the last preseason testing . The Catalan rider set a time of 1:55.201 in his last stint that was four tenths faster that Alvaro Bautista’s time. The Honda rider was ahead of Yamaha’s Bradley Smith, who set a time six tenths slower than Espargaro’s.
Andre Iannone finished in fourth place, right ahead rookie Pol Espargaro, who seem to be recovered from his collarbone injury. The first official bike was Dani Pedrosa’s Honda, in sixth place, more than a second behind Espargaro’s Open. Valentino Rossi was seventh, followed by Colin Edwards in eighth. Jorge Lorenzo suffered of tyre issues again and finished in ninth place. Marc Marquez, still recovering from his injury, was 11th, just behind Nicky Hayden.
Yonny Hernandez had a crash and was taken to the clinica mobile. The practice had to be stopped due to a red flag caused by the dust that was deposited on track after the crash.