Qatar GP: Miller on top as first day comes to a close

Jack Miller ends the first day of the Qatar GP on top ahead of teammate Pecco Bagnaia, in what was a strong Free Practice 2 for the Ducati squad.

As darkness fell upon the Losail International Circuit, the times fell alongside, with lap-times faster than Franco Morbidelli’s FP1 time being set almost as soon as the session began.

There was a brief pause to the session, with the first red-flag of the year coming out due to debris scattered across the pit straight.

The Aprilia of Espargaro set the early pace and continued to look strong, with a 1m53.789s lap-time.

That wasn’t enough to end the session on top, as the times continued to topple throughout the session, Miller setting the pace with a 1m53.387s.

The Australian’s teammate Bagnaia finished in second place, showing Ducati will be hard to beat come the race on Sunday.

Fabio Quartararo put his Yamaha in third, but it is clear the Japanese bike is struggling on the straights compared to Ducati’s Desmosedici GP bike.

Pramac rider Johann Zarco finished in fourth, ahead of Alex Rins’ Suzuki.

The second Yamaha of Maverick Vinales set a 1m53.639s lap to end FP2 in sixth, ahead of Franco Morbidelli and Espargaro’s Aprilia.

Valentino Rossi was next on the leaderboard, Honda rider Pol Espargaro rounded off the top ten.

There will be quite a concern for 2020 champion Joan Mir, who was 11th and looked to be struggling on his Suzuki, the 23-year-old finished ahead of Alex Marquez and rookie Jorge Martin.

LCR Honda rider Takaaki Nakagami finished the day in 14th, ahead of Esponsorama rider Enea Bastianini.

KTM continue to struggle at Losail, Brad Binder was their top rider in 16th, followed by Luca Marini in 17th.

Stefan Bradl ended FP2 in 18th, one tenth ahead of Miguel Oliveira’s KTM and Tech3 rider Danilo Petrucci.

Iker Lecuona and Lorenzo Savadori ended FP2 of the Qatar GP 21st and 22nd respectively.

The Qatar GP looks set to be a thriller once again, with qualifying tomorrow, Ducati will be keen to take pole position ahead of Sunday’s race.