Alvaro Bautista secured a spot on the front row for the season opening race at Qatar after a solid performance in qualifying at Losail.
The GO&FUN Honda Gresini rider posted a 1:54.564 in the closing minutes of Q2, just being pushed from pole by World Champion Marc Marquez.
The Spanish rider was last on the front row at Brno in 2013 where he also secured second spot. Bautista had spent the majority of the weekend inside the top three, taking advantage of testing at the Losail circuit just ten days prior.
“I’m really happy, for me it’s like a pole position. I just lost the pole position by a few thousandths of a second. But I usually suffer a lot at this track and now I can enjoy it and I’m feeling good on the bike,” he reflected on just missing pole.
Bautista added “It’s important to start from the front row because you can see from practice that the rhythm of the other riders is very similar. A strong start and fighting for the top positions will be very important. In FP4 I did race distance with a full tank and a race tire and I had a good pace. I’m feeling comfortable with the tires for tomorrow.”