MotoGP: Vinales handed Qatar pole after qualifying is washed out

Going fastest in free practice earned Maverick Vinales pole position for the Qatar MotoGP after qualifying had to be scratched.

Maverick Vinales will start his first MotoGP race with Yamaha at the front of the grid thanks to his strong showing in practice after heavy rain in Qatar on Saturday forced the cancellation of qualifying for the season's curtain-raiser.

Lightning and torrential rain overnight had left large amounts of standing water, and more downpours initially prompted delays to the schedule at the Losail International Circuit.

But such was the impact of the persistent adverse conditions, the track was eventually deemed unsafe for the riders, prompting Race Direction to cancel qualifying entirely.

That worked in favour of pre-season pacesetter Vinales, who had led the combined time charts from the first three free practice sessions. 

Suzuki's Andrea Iannone and reigning champion Marc Marquez of Repsol Honda will take up second and third respectively behind Vinales, the valiant attempts of track staff to get the circuit in shape having failed.

Marquez's team-mate Dani Pedrosa is down in seventh, with Vinales' colleague Valentino Rossi 10th and Jorge Lorenzo 12th for his Ducati debut. 

 

Classification: 

1.    Maverick Vinales (Movistar Yamaha)
2.    Andrea Iannone (Suzuki Ecstar)
3.    Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda)
4.    Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3)
5.    Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati)
6.    Scott Redding (Octo Pramac Racing)
7.    Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda)
8.    Jonas Folger (Monster Yamaha Tech 3)
9.    Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda)
10.  Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha) 

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