Schrötter and Alcoba ready for challenging first round of the season in Qatar

Even though Marcel Schrötter's slip at the end of Q2 thwarted a time attack, both he and his new teammate at LIQUI MOLY Intact GP Team, Jeremy Alcoba, are extremely motivated for the first race of the season, which they will contest from P13 and P22.

After a good start to the Friday of the Qatar Grand Prix, Saturday offered similar temperatures around 28°C, but unlike the previous day, it was much windier and there was visibly a lot of desert dust in the air.

After Marcel Schrötter, who was already injured, crashed his Kalex through the gravel at turn two of the Losail International Circuit with just under a minute remaining in Q2 qualifying, therefore qualifying was over for the brave German, who is still struggling with post-surgery pain in his left hand. Fortunately, the 29-year-old Bavarian was uninjured and mentally the crash did not seem to have left any after-effects either, as Schrötter is confident that he can manage the 18-lap race well with a strong pace and fight for the top 10, even from P13 on row five.

In the morning FP3, Jeremy Alcoba was 0.033s behind his teammate in P17 and although he set his personal best time from the weekend so far, Friday's times remained unchallenged, meaning there were no significant shifts in the combined free practice times. The Moto2 rookie put up a valiant fight in his first Q1 qualifying session later in the afternoon but ultimately fell just under four-tenths short of one of the four highly coveted Q2 places, meaning grid position 22 on row eight for the young Spaniard.

Qualifying results
1. Celestino Vietti (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) - 1:59.082
2. Tony Arbolino (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) + 0,112
3. Sam Lowes (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) + 0,144
13. Marcel Schrötter (LIQUI MOLY INTACT GP) +0.588
22. Jeremy Alcoba (LIQUI MOLY INTACT GP)  2'00.270 (Q1)