MotoGP: Qatar Ends 2011 Pre-Season Tests
Two nights at Losail International Circuit are all that remain for MotoGP teams to put the final touches on their 800cc prototypes before the season opens at the same Qatar circuit on March 20.
This Sunday and Monday, MotoGP stars such as Valentino Rossi, Jorge Lorenzo, Ben Spies and Casey Stoner will pilot their respective machines under Losail’s floodlights, creating conditions similar to the first round, which is a night race.
Rossi continues to struggle with getting the Ducati Team GP11 on top of the time sheets at the first two sessions in Sepang, and even had to miss a day at Sepang 2 due to illness.
But members of the Ducati team are expecting some improvements at the final test at Qatar, a track Rossi took the win on last year. Rossi’s highest position in the first two sessions was 11th.
But it’s not only Rossi struggling on the Ducati. His teammate could only do a best of eight fastest on the Ducati GP11 out of both Sepang tests. The rest of the Ducatis in both sessions were 10th or higher.
But it’s a totally different story for Honda. Casey Stoner adapted very quickly to the his Repsol Honda RC212V, and dominated all three sessions in Sepang 2. And his teammates Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso were right there on top of the time sheets.
And at Sepang 1, the Honda RC212V ridden by San Carlo Honda Gresini rider Marco Simoncelli took the fastest time.
As for the reigning champ, Jorge Lorenzo was the fourth and fastest Yamaha at Sepang 1, but he fell back a bit in Sepang 2. But his Factory Yamaha Racing teammate Ben Spies was the quickest Yamaha in Sepang 2, the Texan fifth combined fastest behind Stoner, Pedrosa, Simoncelli and Dovizioso, respectively.
The final pre-season MotoGP test at Losail, Qatar, gets underway 6 – 11 p.m. local time both Sunday and Monday (March 13, 14).
Following are the overall fastest times at Sepang 2 last month (combined fastest times from the three days):
1. Casey Stoner Repsol Honda Team
Dani Pedrosa Repsol Honda Team
3. Marco Simoncelli San Carlo Honda Gresini
4. Andrea Dovizioso Repsol Honda Team
5. Ben Spies Yamaha Factory Racing
6. Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha Factory Racing
7. Colin Edwards Monster Yamaha Tech3
8. Alvaro Bautista Rizla Suzuki MotoGP
9. Hiroshi Aoyama San Carlo Honda Gresini
10. Hector Barbera MAPFRE Aspar Team
11. Valentino Rossi Ducati Team
12. Nicky Hayden Ducati Team
13. Loris Capirossi Pramac Racing Team
14. Cal Crutchlow Monster Yamaha Tech3
15. Randy de Puniet Pramac Racing Team
16. Toni Elias LCR Honda MotoGP
17. Karel Abraham Cardion AB Motoracing