Britain’s James Toseland put in a fantastic performance in his first ever MotoGP qualifying session to start second in tomorrow’s historic floodlit MotoGP.
The Tech 3 Yamaha rider was at the top of the timesheets for 20 minutes after posting a 1:54.182 until fellow rookie Jorge Lorenzo posted a 1:53.927 with just two minutes to go.
The Sheffield rider has been in impressive form throughout practice finishing third in yesterday’s second session with a 1:55.812.
Toseland was the second fastest rider on track from the early stages initially posting a 1:56.485, just 0.1secs behind defending champion Casey Stoner.
And with Stoner improving to post a 1:55.615 and then a 1:54.733 it looked like a repeat of last year for the Aussie with his seemingly inevitable dominance.
But Toseland fought back with his 1:54.182 after 40 minutes, a time which he did not improve on.
Toseland's Tech 3 Yamaha team-mate Colin Edwards will line up alongside the double World Superbike champion as his 1:54.499 was good enough for the final front row spot.
Stoner will start tomorrow's race from fourth.
Qatar MotoGP qualifying results:
1 Jorge LORENZO SPA Fiat Yamaha Team YAMAHA 1'53.927
2 James TOSELAND GBR Tech 3 Yamaha YAMAHA 1'54.182
3 Colin EDWARDS USA Tech 3 Yamaha YAMAHA 1'54.499
4 Casey STONER AUS Ducati Marlboro Team DUCATI 1'54.733
5 Randy DE PUNIET FRA LCR Honda MotoGP HONDA 1'54.818
6 Nicky HAYDEN USA Repsol Honda Team HONDA 1'54.880
7 Valentino ROSSI ITA Fiat Yamaha Team YAMAHA 1'55.133
8 Dani PEDROSA SPA Repsol Honda Team HONDA 1'55.170 22 23
9 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA JiR Team Scot MotoGP HONDA 1'55.185
10 John HOPKINS USA Kawasaki Racing Team KAWASAKI 1'55.263
1 Chris VERMEULEN AUS Rizla Suzuki MotoGP SUZUKI 1'55.540
12 Alex DE ANGELIS RSM San Carlo Honda Gresini HONDA 1'55.692
13 Loris CAPIROSSI ITA Rizla Suzuki MotoGP SUZUKI 1'56.070
14 Toni ELIAS SPA Alice Team DUCATI 1'56.251
15 Shinya NAKANO JPN San Carlo Honda Gresini HONDA 1'56.434
16 Marco MELANDRI ITA Ducati Marlboro Team DUCATI 1'56.730
17 Sylvain GUINTOLI FRA Alice Team DUCATI 1'57.198
18 Anthony WEST AUS Kawasaki Racing Team KAWASAKI 1'57.445
More reaction from Qatar to follow