Mirco Lazzari gp/Getty Images
MotoGP's first race of the season takes place this weekend, with the 2018 Grand Prix of Qatar set for Sunday. Preparations, including practice and qualifying runs, begin Friday on the Losail International Circuit.
Last year's winner, Maverick Vinales, is among the riders to watch, as are 2017 runner-up Andrea Dovizioso and world champion Marc Marquez.
Here are the schedule details for each day's events, per BT Sport:
Friday: Free Practice 1, 2
9:45 a.m.-2 p.m. GMT/5:45 a.m.-10 a.m. ET: Free Practice 1
2 p.m.-5:15 p.m. GMT/10 a.m.-1:15 p.m. ET: Free Practice 2
Saturday: Free Practice 3 and Qualifying
10 a.m.-1 p.m. GMT/6 a.m.-9 a.m. ET: Free Practice 3
Sunday: Race Day
10:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m. GMT/6:30 a.m.-8:15 a.m. ET: Warm-Ups
12:15 p.m.-2 p.m. GMT/8:15 a.m.-10 a.m. ET: Moto3 Race
2 p.m.-3:30 p.m. GMT/10 a.m.-11:30 a.m. ET: Moto2 Race
3:30 p.m.-5 p.m. GMT/11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. ET: MotoGP Race
5 p.m.-6 p.m. GMT/1 p.m.-2 p.m. ET: Chequered Flag
Dovizioso is fancied to win by former Ducati rider Neil Hodgson, who told BT Sport the track favours his old team, particularly the Italian who has finished second for three years in a row.
Hodgson also believes the 31-year-old will have a more ruthless edge this time around.
Even Marquez has tipped Dovizioso as faster after early testing, per Oriol Puigdemont and Jamie Klein of Autosport.
Dovizioso welcomed the praise from his rival, citing the comfort of his Ducati bike on the track.Dovizioso has a good chance to improve on 2017's second-placed finish.Mirco Lazzari gp/Getty Images
Marquez may be content to give Ducati the edge before the race, but it's hard to imagine the Honda rider remaining this accommodating. The edge for the Spaniard may come from his ability to stay on his bike and save himself from potential crashes.
Valentino Rossi praised Marquez's ability to escape potential problems, per Riders (h/t Motorsport.com's David Gruz): "He had so many saves last year that it can't be a coincidence. For me, he worked to improve his technique, his style of riding helps him."
Being able to avoid crashes on a track this demanding is an asset for any rider. Despite his pedigree as a six-time world champion, Marquez will be competing against recent history, having failed to win this race since 2014.
Vinales owns the more recent experience of crossing the chequered flag first. The 2017 winner has already shown he's up for the challenge of repeating the feat by riding the quickest on the first day of the final pre-season test, per Valentin Khorounzhiy of Motorsport.com.Vinales was a winner last year.Mirco Lazzari gp/Getty Images
Competing on a Honda bike will also boost Vinales' chances, since the team "won the last three premier class races in Losail—and five of the last six," according to BT Sport.
Honda has a great chance to feature on the podium, although Ducati will take some beating thanks to Dovizioso and three-time winner Jorge Lorenzo.
Source : http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2764503-motogp-grand-prix-of-qatar-2018-race-schedule-live-stream-and-top-riders