until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

MotoGP

Marquez tops practice as rain forces Qatar GP schedule revamp

by Valentin Khorounzhiy
1 min read

until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

Marc Marquez led the way in the second Friday practice session of the 2024 MotoGP season opener in Qatar, as rain forced organisers to revise the weekend schedule.

Rainfall arrived to the Lusail International Circuit at the end of second Moto3 practice, and the following Moto2 session featured just four riders setting laptimes.

In MotoGP, though, it could've been a truly chaotic affair - given the second Friday session was due to determine the 10 riders going directly to the second segment of qualifying on Saturday.

Yet race control decided to make an impromptu change in the end, by shifting the 'pre-qualifying' aspect of practice to Saturday's initial session instead.

To facilitate this, that session has been upgraded from a 30-minute runtime to 45 minutes - and Friday's second session was in turn reduced from an hour to 45 minutes.

Despite the wet track, however, there was fairly consistent running during said 45 minutes - seemingly aided by MotoGP reportedly requesting that all riders do a minimum of eight laps - and virtually no incidents aside from rookie Pedro Acosta and Enea Bastianini rolling their bikes into the gravel at Turn 1.

Acosta and his fellow KTM RC16 riders were a consistent presence at the top of the timesheets, and ended up all fitting into the top five.

But Marquez ultimately jumped ahead of all of them, topping the session by three tenths over Acosta's Gas Gas team-mate Augusto Fernandez.

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