MotoGP: Cancelled qualifying gives pole to Viñales

Published: 25 March 2017

Maverick Viñales will start the opening race of the 2017 MotoGP season from pole position despite not taking to the track on qualifying day, after heavy rain at the Losail circuit saw the entire day of action scrapped.

Heavy rain fell all during the day at the Qatari track which, combined with heavy overnight rain, saw the track’s drainage systems completely swamped by water, and despite the best efforts of track workers to clear standing water, it was eventually decided that it remained too dangerous to take to the track

Instead, the grid for tomorrow’s race will now go on combined free practice times, with Viñales, who has dominated not only all weekend but in last week’s test as well, start the race both from pole position and as favourite.

He’s joined on the front row of the grid by Andrea Iannone and Marc Marquez, with the Suzuki rider one of the major winners after a fast lap late on yesterday launched him to second from mid-pack obscurity.

Johann Zarco, starting his first MotoGP race from the front of the second row, was also a winner, ahead of Andrea Dovizioso and Scott Redding, another major beneficiary of the change.

Dani Pedrosa heads the third row from the second Monster Yamaha rookie Jonas Folger and Cal Crutchlow, while Valentino Rossi will be forced back to row four alongside Danilo Petrucci and Jorge Lorenzo.