The opening day of the Grand Prix of Doha proved to be a challenging one for PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team’s Franco Morbidelli, who posted the seventh fastest time of the Free Practice sessions at Losail. Meanwhile, team-mate Valentino Rossi ended the day 14th.
Morbidelli experienced an eventful FP1 session, with his runs hampered by technical issues. Despite this the Italian still managed to top the times for a period and ended the session fifth with a 1min 55.125secs lap time. Franco was the first rider to take to the Losail track for FP2, immediately posting the third fastest time. With riders separated by only the finest of margins, Morbidelli’s 1min 53.699secs lap placed him seventh in the session and in the overall standings.
Team-mate Rossi had a steadier start to the Grand Prix of Doha, posting times within the top-ten for the opening half of FP1. At the end of the 45 minutes, his best time of 1min 55.925secs placed him 17th. The Italian’s first runs in the second session of the day saw him briefly hold station inside the top-five. Unfortunately his final lap of FP2 – 1min 42.112secs – saw him round out the opening day in 14th, just 0.240secs shy of being within the top-ten.
Morbidelli and Rossi will take to the track tomorrow for FP3 at 3.15pm local time (8.15pm MYT), before the MotoGP qualifying sessions get underway at 8pm local time (1am MYT).