As explained by Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta at Ducati’s Wrooom in early January this year, a new qualifying format will be brought in for the premier-class MotoGP category to increase the spectacle for the fans, and to put greater importance on competitive times throughout the preceding practice sessions.
As in previous years, there will be three 45-minute Free Practice sessions, which on a regular race weekend will be held Friday morning and afternoon, as well as Saturday morning. The difference this year will be that the times set in those sessions will count towards Qualifying, with the combined results determining whether a rider will participate in Q1 or Q2.
Q1 will consist of the riders whose times are 11th place and below, and will be a 15-minute session. During this time riders will have the incentive to qualify for Q2, which the two fastest of the session will be able to contest. This will result in 12 riders contesting the final 15-minute Q2 session, to determine the starting order at the front. The riders not in the fastest two places in QP1 will take grid positions 13 and above according to their placement in QP1.
To accommodate for any unforeseen changes or necessary adjustments, there will be a 30 minute Free Practice 4, which will be held before the two Qualifying sessions. This will not be timed, nor count towards which Qualifying a rider will take part in.
Moto2™ and Moto3™ free practices and qualifying will remain the same as in previous years.
1. The three existing sessions of free practice will be unchanged, however, the combined times from those sessions will determine participation in the final qualifying practice.
2. The ten fastest riders will be seeded through to Qualifying Practice 2 (QP2).
3. All other riders will take part in Qualifying Practice 1 (QP1).
4. The fastest two riders in QP1 will progress to QP2, making a total of 12 riders competing for the first 12 grid positions.
5. The riders not in the fastest two places in QP1 will take grid positions 13 and above according to their times in QP1.
New Practice Timings
Free Practice 1 – 45 Minutes, Timed for Qualifying Practice Participation
Free Practice 2 – 45 Minutes, Timed for Qualifying Practice Participation
Day Two: Morning
Free Practice 3 – 45 Minutes, Timed for Qualifying Practice Participation
Day Two: Afternoon
Free Practice 4 – 30 Minutes, NOT Timed for Qualifying Practice Participation
Break – 10 Minutes
Qualifying Practice 1 – 15 minutes
Break – 10 Minutes
Qualifying Practice 2 – 15 minutes