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Jorge Lorenzo fifth and Andrea Dovizioso eleventh in FP1 on first day of practice for the Qatar GP at Losail

The opening free practice session for the Qatar Grand Prix was held this evening at the Losail International Circuit near the capital Doha.

The MotoGP field took to the track at 19.55 local time for 45 minutes of free practice, which for this opening round of the MotoGP World Championship, is traditionally held on the Thursday.

At the end of the session, Jorge Lorenzo was classified in fifth place, with a time of 1’55.607, while his Ducati Team team-mate Andrea Dovizioso, who celebrated his 31st birthday today, was two-tenths of a second behind with a time of 1’55.873, but in eleventh place.

Tomorrow evening will see the riders tackle the next two free practice sessions FP1 and FP2, at 18.00 and 20.55 local time respectively.

Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team #99) – 1’55.607 (5th)
“Today’s result is quite good, but we are still some way off the fastest times. Our aim for tomorrow will be to try and find the same sensations with the hard tyre, with which we are still struggling to set some competitive times, and have the confidence required to achieve a good race pace.”

Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 1’55.873 (11th)
“Today, as expected, the track conditions were not at their best, with wind and dirt during the only weekend session that will probably be dry before the race. At the start of the session I set a good time, and so I didn’t want to fit a soft tyre at the end because I thought I could stay in amongst the top ten: instead I missed out by a fraction. It was my mistake, and a pity because when I was using the same tyre as the others I was third, and so I know I am amongst the quickest riders.”