Wings, winglets, aero nodules: call them what you will. Every Tom, Dick and Harry has been testing them under the floodlights at Losail, but it was the wing-less Suzuki of Maverick Vinales who ended the second day fastest.
Many attempted race simulations for the first time this ‘season’ despite a greasy surface. All riders/teams tested new Michelin compounds and tried to avoid crashing on the late evening dew. Factory Ducati’s Iannone was second fastest and won the battle of the Andreas, while Lorenzo finished third on the timesheets – the trio less than 100th of a second apart.
Scott Redding had another promising evening in 4th spot just a few tenths off Vinales, despite a lack of confidence in the front-end. He’s already much happier on the Desmosedici than he ever was on that Honda. Avintia’s Hector Barbera rounded out the top-5 although we’ll probably never see him inside the top-10 when it comes to racing. Maybe I’m wrong but I’m probably not.
Suzuki: Let’s hope the testing speed equates to race pace as the GSX-RRs look fast. The much wanked-over seamless gearbox is ready and waiting in Qatar, and was sampled by Aleix Espargaro.
Ducati: Consistently fast again. Ran single wings. Four Desmos in the top-ten. #WingGate
Yamaha: Didn’t really concentrate on lap times by the sound of it. VR46 is saving tyres for the final day, as allocation is limited. J-Lo tried wings and a long run.
Honda: Struggled when you look at the timesheets. Tested winglets for the first time with the help of HRC test rider Hiro Aoyama. Marquez says he’s struggling with corner exit.
Aprilia: Struggling with the new bike and a budget that compares to HRC’s hospitality. Would love wings.
Pics: Yamaha Racing, Repsol Media, Pramac, Suzuki MotoGP, Ducati Corse
1. Maverick Viñales, ESP, Team Suzuki Ecstar, 1’55.436s
2. Andrea Iannone, ITA, Ducati Team, 1’55.508s, +0.072s
3. Jorge Lorenzo, ESP, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP, 1’55.535s, +0.099s
4. Scott Redding, GBR, Octo Pramac Yakhnich, 1’55.677s, +0.241s
5. Hector Barbera, ESP, Avintia Racing, 1’55.815s, +0.379s
6. Andrea Dovizioso, ITA, Ducati Team, 1’55.856s, +0.420s
7. Dani Pedrosa, ESP, Repsol Honda Team, 1’55.857s, +0.421s
8. Valentino Rossi, ITA, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP, 1’55.947s, +0.511s
9. Marc Marquez, ESP, Repsol Honda Team, 1’56.046s, +0.610s
10. Aleix Espargaro, ESP, Team Suzuki Ecstar, 1’56.126s, +0.690s
11. Pol Espargaro, ESP, Monster Yamaha Tech 3, 1’56.173s, +0.737s
12. Loris Baz, FRA, Avintia Racing, 1’56.427s, +0.991s
13. Cal Crutchlow, GBR, LCR Honda, 1’56.584s, +1.148s
14. Yonny Hernandez, COL, Aspar MotoGP Team, 1’56.667s, +1.231s
15. Tito Rabat, ESP, Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS, 1’57.263s, +1.827s
16. Bradley Smith, GBR, Monster Yamaha Tech 3, 1’57.267s, +1.831s
17. Eugene Laverty, IRL, Aspar MotoGP Team, 1’57.670s, +2.234s
18. Alvaro Bautista, ESP, Factory Aprilia Gresini, 1’57.721s, +2.285s
19. Jack Miller, AUS, Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS, 1’57.789s, +2.353s
20. Michele Pirro, ITA, Octo Pramac Yakhnich, 1’58.113s, +2.677s
21. Hiroshi Aoyama, JPN, Honda Test Rider, 1’58.347s, +2.911s
22. Stefan Bradl, GER, Factory Aprilia Gresini, 1’58.418s, +2.982s