Yamaha, Ducati, Honda look set for epic desert duel

One rider who didn’t sacrifice his opening lap though was Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) as the rookie shot to the top of the times, only to be beaten almost immediately by Q1 graduate Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu). However, Viñales then stormed to the summit with a lap that was 0.741 quicker than anyone else, with Quartararo and Nakagami exchanging second fastest laps to leave the Japanese rider 0.395 off as the field headed in for a change of tyres. Quartararo, Dovizioso, Marquez and Jack Miller (Alma Pramac Racing) were all 0.4 off the Spaniard at this point.

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