Rain had fallen at Qatar overnight, changing the surface dramatically with the lack of grip opening up the support classes for some interesting results.
Moto3 kicked off proceedings at Losail, and as mentioned in the preview, Fenati arrived dominant.
It was however the Estrella Galicia team, now running Honda engines, who were to duke it out to top the timseheets.
|Rapid Rabat on his way to pole Photo:Marc VDS
Alex Rins held on to the top spot, eniding the KTM take-over of 2013. Alex Marquez settled for second best to last seasons runner-up, Austrailan Jack Miller on his KTM debut took third to score his first ever front row start.
The Team Calvo riders; Jakub Kornfeil and Issac Vinales also impressed and start from fourth and fifth.
The final spot on the second row went to Briton Danny Kent, taking the Husqvarna Red Bull Ajo bike to sixth on it’s first championship outing since 1973.
Fellow Brit John McPhee seemed calm and confident on his way to seventh, a career best qualifying for the young Scot.
Romano Fenati had been fastest in all the practice sessions but missed out when it counted and could only manage eighth in a tough session for the Sky Racing VR46 rider.
The bikes of fellow Italians Niccolo Antonelli (Go & Fun) and Francesco Bagnaia (Sky Racing Team VR46) completed the top ten.
Moto2 was a fierce fought and crash filled affair, with Tito Rabat eager to make a mark on his Marc VDS debut. Once the Spaniard hit the top he hacked down his lap time as he circulated to land his first pole of the season and third of his career – setting a new lap record in the process.
The new rider at the team revealed :“I’m happy to be on pole position for the first race and on my first weekend with a new team,We were missing rear grip in the first free practice sessions, but we worked together on the problem and we improved the situation”
As Rabat powered on drama unfolded in the closing seconds when Sandro Cortese crashed and his pilotless bike crossed back onto the track and into Mika Kallio.
Both riders escaped serious injury, and despite the accident Cortese posted the second best time of the session and Kallio still managed sixth.
Before the incident unfolded Taka Nakagami had just pushed early pace-setter Tom Luthi off the front row taking third for Idemitsu Honda Team Asia, with Luthi settling for fourth as top Suter on the grid.
An incredible performace saw Supersport champion Sam Lowes shoot into fifth, his talent affording him best rookie honours as well as being the top Speed Up rider. Fellow Brit Gino Rea had less fortune with his session and a spirited effort placed him 24th.
Back in the top ten the remaining places went to Xavier Simeon (Federal Oil Gresini) in seventh, Alex De Angelis (Tasca Racing)in eighth, Johann Zarco(Caterham) in ninth with the final spot going to Simone Corsi – tenth for Forward despite also being a crasher.
Dominique Aegerter will be hoping to edge nearer to the record for the most consecutive finishes from 11thon the grid for the Technomag carXpert team.
Moto3 Qatar Qualifying Top Ten:
1. Alex Rins SPA Estrella Galicia 0,0 (Honda) 2m 5.973
2. Alex Marquez SPA Estrella Galicia 0,0 (Honda) 2m 6.125
3. Jack Miller AUS Red Bull KTM Ajo (KTM) 2m 6.365
4. Jakub Kornfeil CZE Calvo Team (KTM) 2m 6.515
5. Isaac Viñales SPA Calvo Team (KTM) 2m 6.843
6. Danny Kent GBR Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo (Husqvarna) 2m 6.864
7. John McPhee GBR SaxoPrint-RTG (Honda) 2m 7.113
8. Romano Fenati ITA SKY Racing Team VR46 (KTM) 2m 7.126
9. Niccolò Antonelli ITA Junior Team GO&FUN Moto3 (KTM) 2m 7.205
10. Francesco Bagnaia ITA SKY Racing Team VR46 (KTM) 2m 7.258
Moto2 Qatar Qualifying Top Ten:
1. Esteve Rabat SPA Marc VDS Racing Team (Kalex) 2m 0.081
2. Sandro Cortese GER Dynavolt Intact GP (Kalex) 2m 0.101
3. Takaaki Nakagami JPN IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia (Kalex) 2m 0.451
4. Thomas Luthi SWI Interwetten Paddock Moto2 (Suter) 2m 0.459
5. Sam Lowes GBR Speed Up (Speed Up) 2m 0.547
6. Mika Kallio FIN Marc VDS Racing Team (Kalex) 2m 0.621
7. Xavier Simeon BEL Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 (Suter) 2m 0.696
8. Alex De Angelis RSM Tasca Racing Moto2 (Suter) 2m 0.764
9. Johann Zarco FRA AirAsia Caterham (Caterham Suter) 2m 0.806
10. Simone Corsi ITA NGM Forward Racing (Forward KLX) 2m 0.831