Even in the desert it rains – Repsol Honda Team contend with the weather in Lusail

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Surprises were immediate as MotoGP made its long-awaited return, evening rain causing changes to the structure of Friday and Saturday. Positive first impressions remained for the Repsol Honda Team as Joan Mir took 16th and Luca Marini earned 17th overall.

As the sun was still sitting high in the sky, Joan Mir headed out for his first laps of the 2024 season just after 15:45 Local Time. Setting a best time of 1’53.435, the #36 ended the first session 0.811s off the fastest time and with more planned.

Entering the weekend with realistic expectations, Luca Marini was left pleasantly surprised by his start to the Grand Prix. Ending only 0.173s behind his teammate, the #10 continuing to find areas to work on and improve as he adapts to his new bike.

Having completed a successful and fruitful first session, there were last minute changes as a rare bout of rain arrived at the Lusail International Circuit, soaking the 5.38 kilometre long track. Due to the unique circumstances of wet running at night, the decision was made to move Free Practice 2 to Friday evening – meaning the second session did not count towards participation in Q1 and Q2.

In turn, this allowed the riders to learn the circuit freely in the wet. Mir ended 11th thanks to a best time of 2’08.327 with Marini eight tenths behind in 16th.

Practice will be held at 13:40 Local Time on Saturday morning to decide the Q1 and Q2 divide. Saturday will continue to be a day brimming with action throughout 2024 as the field fights for pole before heading into the always exciting Sprint Race. The Qatar GP edition will run over 11 laps after starting at 19:00 Local Time.

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