MotoGP title rivals Bagnaia and Martin cruise through qualifying

Francesco Bagnaia Β© Gallo Images

The two riders duelling for the MotoGP title, leader Francesco Bagnaia and his closest pursuer Jorge Martin, both on Friday made the cut for Qatar Grand Prix second qualifying round.

Reigning champion Bagnaia, of Ducati, leads Martin, of the Italian manufacturer’s satellite team Pramac, by 14 points with 37 at stake on the Lusail circuit for this weekend’s penultimate race.

Spaniard Martin – who is chasing his first world crown – has gradually reeled in his Italian rival over the second half of the 20-event season.

Both riders qualified late in the evening session and will be able to sit out Saturday’s first qualifying round before the second session in the afternoon.

Raul Fernandez of Aprilia, Fabio Di Giannantonio of Ducati-Gresini and Maverick Vinales of Aprilia took the first three spots.

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