Marc Marquez won his third MotoGP world title last year and the Honda rider will be looking to add one more world title to his tally this season.
The Spaniard will face competition from his compatriot Jorge Lorenzo, who left Yamaha for Ducati. Valentino Rossi will also be one of the early favourites to win the title this year and the trio, along with other riders will kick-start their season with the 2017 Qatar MotoGP at the Losail International Circuit.
Where to watch live
The first practice session of the Qatar MotoGP starts at 4.55pm GMT on Thursday, with BT Sport 2 and BT Sports 2 HD providing live coverage in the UK.
Live coverage of the second practice session starts at 2.45pm GMT on Friday. Real-time internet updates are available on MotoGP's official website. Both FP1 and FP2 can be watched live on BTSport.com and is also available on BT Sport's official app.
- Circuit Name: Losail International Circuit
- First MotoGP Race: 2204
- Circuit Length: 5.4km
- Race Distance: 118.4km
- No of Laps: 22
- Most Wins: Valentino Rossi (4)
- 2016 Winner: Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha)
- 2016 Pole: Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha)
The Qatar MotoGP will be the first of the 18 races scheduled for this season with the final race of the season taking place in Valencia in November. Marquez, Rossi and Lorenzo are the early favourites, while Yamaha have replaced the latter with 22-year-old Spaniard Maverick Vinales.
Lorenzo will join Andrea Dovizioso to lead Ducati, while Marquez continue his partnership with Dani Pedrosa to lead Honda team. British star Cal Crutchlow is the only rider from LCR Honda team for this season.