Bradley Smith
Mar 22

MotoGP: World Champion Marquez Captures Pole For Season Opener

Marc Marquez rides during qualifying for the Grand Prix of Qatar. (Photo: Dorna Communications)

Marc Marquez rides during qualifying for the Grand Prix of Qatar. (Photo: Dorna Communications)

World Champion Marc Marquez will start from pole position as he begins the defense of his MotoGP title at the season-opening Qatar Grand Prix.

Marquez and a squadron of factory bikes busted open the form guide in qualifying with hot favorite Aleix Espargaro slumping to ninth on the third row for the 22-lap race.

Mar 21

MotoGP: Aleix Espargaro Tops All Three Qatar Practice Sessions

Alex Espargaro has led all three MotoGP practice sessions ahead of Sunday's Grand Prix of Qatar. (Photo: Getty Images)

Alex Espargaro has led all three MotoGP practice sessions ahead of Sunday’s Grand Prix of Qatar. (Photo: Getty Images)

He has never won a grand prix in ten years of trying but Aleix Espargaro is the man of the moment in MotoGP.

World championships? Zero against the name of Espargaro, now 24.

Yet Espargaro continued to dismantle the reputations of the superstars of MotoGP – Valentino Rossi, Jorge Lorenzo and Marc Marquez amongst them – in the build-up to Sunday’s Qatar Grand Prix.

Mar 20

MotoGP: Aleix Espargaro Sets Pace As Action Commences In Qatar

Aleix Espargaro rounds the bend during first practice at Losail International Circuit. (Photo: Getty Images)

Aleix Espargaro rounds the bend during first practice at Losail International Circuit. (Photo: Getty Images)

Aleix Espargaro (NGM Forward Racing) set the pace in the opening FP1 session of the year for the premier class in Qatar, with Alvaro Baustista (GO&FUN Honda Gresini) and Bradley Smith (Monster Yamaha Tech3) second and third respectively.

In the first Grand Prix practice session of the new ‘Open’ class era it was Espargaro in P1 with his Open entry Forward Yamaha with a 1:55.201 best lap, with Bautista 0.466s behind him. Espargaro’s pace was over 0.3s slower than he went in testing here two weeks ago.

Mar 10

MotoGP: Bradley Smith Gives Positive Assessment Of Winter Test Period

Bradley Smith of Great Britain and Monster Yamaha Tech 3  lifts the front wheel during the MotoGP Tests in Losail. (Photo: Getty Images)

Bradley Smith of Great Britain and Monster Yamaha Tech 3 lifts the front wheel during the MotoGP Tests in Losail. (Photo: Getty Images)

Bradley Smith completed a successful preseason at the Losail Circuit on Sunday, having worked diligently throughout the winter in preparation for the first race of his second premier class campaign.

Smith explored different set-up options on his Yamaha YZR-M1 across the testing period, and left the Qatar track feeling confident having posted the third best overall time.

Mar 8

MotoGP: Bautista Moves Ahead On Day Two Of Qatar Testing

Alvaro Bautista is seen testing at Losail International Circuit in Qatar. (Photo: Dorna Communications)

Alvaro Bautista is seen testing at Losail International Circuit in Qatar. (Photo: Dorna Communications)

GO&FUN Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista led day two of the MotoGP Qatar test, his best time of 1:55.194 putting him 0.314s ahead of his closest rival.

The Spanish rider, who was also on the pace last week in Sepang testing, worked with his team to overcome the front end problems he experienced at the desert circuit in 2013. He completed 55 laps on his Honda RC213V on Saturday and will aim to stay ahead of the pack on Sunday.