The Grand Prix of Qatar kicked off today in hot conditions, although the sky was cloudy during the first Free Practice session of the year in the afternoon. Yet, once the sun set over the Losail International Circuit, lap times got quicker on a cooler asphalt illuminated by the famous floodlights all around the 5.4-kilometer circuit outside of Qatar’s capital Doha. Throughout the day, both WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team riders got back in the rhythm of a race weekend and improved their lap times with nearly each exit.
Andrea Dovizioso is returning to a track this weekend, where he already celebrated two wins and three second places, but missed out on the two rounds at the Losail International Circuit one year ago. Therefore, he started to re-adapt step by step aboard his Yamaha YZR-M1. He lowered his lap time from session one to session two by 1.742 seconds and concluded the opening day of the season just 0.182 seconds behind the top 10.
On the other side of the WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team garage, premier class rookie Darryn Binder stepped forward gradually throughout Friday. The South African found out more and more about the bike and the circuit and found himself eventually 1.762 seconds behind his teammate, but was optimistic to further close the gap to the front tomorrow.
Following the opening day of the season, the Qatar GP is set to continue tomorrow with Free Practice three at 13:15 local time (11:15 CET), followed by FP4 at 17:20 (15:20 CET) and the all-important two Qualifying sessions at 18:00 (16:00 CET) and 18:25 (16:25 CET) to determine the first starting grid of the 2022 MotoGP World Championship season.