Yamaha's Maverick Vinales will be kick-starting the first race of the 2019 MotoGP season on pole. The Qatar GP qualifying saw the rider off to a brilliant start setting the fastest time on Saturday, as teammate Valentino Rossi dropped out in Q1. The rider set a lap time of 1m53.546s at the Losail circuit, 0.198s ahead of Andrea Dovuzioso if Ducati who starts second followed by reigning world champion Marc Marquez of Honda in third place, who was just a thousandth of a second slower than the Ducati rider.
Vinales set the pace for qualifying with a time of 1m53.844s, followed by LCR Honda's Takaaki Nakagami and Petronas Yamaha's Fabio Quartararo. Ducati's Jack Miller moved up to second with a time of 1m53.809s but crashed only moments later. Miller was later beaten by teammate Dovuzioso by 0.065s to take P2. Marquez meanwhile moved up to third in the final minutes of qualifying, demoting Miller to fourth. Rookie Quartararo made for a fantastic start to the season taking a distant fifth on the grid, ahead of LCR Honda's Cal Crutchlow and Petrucci.
Yamaha's Franco Morbidelli starts eighth with Nakagami starting ninth, and will be followed by Suzuki riders Alex Rins and Joan Mir. Aleix Espargaro of Aprilia takes the final spot in Q2 and starts 12th on the grid. From Q1, Franseco Bagnaia of Pranav Ducati starts 13th ahead of Valentino Rossi, with the latter not really threatening the top order with his performance. The race could see the rider perform better on the revamped M1.
Jorge Lorenzo will start 15th in his Honda debut after crashing on Turn 2 during Q 1 and had no time to set a new lap time with just three minutes left on the clock. Riders Pol Espargaro set the fastest time for KTM and starts 16th, followed by Tech3 KTM's Miguel Oliviera and Avintia Ducati's Tito Rabat. Johann Zarco finished 21st on the factory KTM after crashing out, and starts ahead of Tech3's Hafizh Syahrin. The final spot has been taken by Andrea Iannone onboard the Aprilia this season moving from Suzuki.