2014 Qatar MotoGP FP 1 ResultsThe first free practice of the 2014 MotoGP Championship completed Thursday at Qatar’s Losail International Circuit.
And as the 23-rider grid began tuning their perspective Open- and Factory-option machines for 2014 Qatar MotoGP, the usual top Factory runners were down on the time sheets. Instead, the top-five FP1 finishers all participated in the Qatar test that only featured Open-option riders.Leading the 45-minute session was the Open rider who was fastest in his class throughout the preseason – NGM Forward Racing’s Aleix Espargaro.He piloted his Yamaha YZR-M1 to a 1:55.201 around the 3.34-mile circuit containing 16 corners that enters its 11th season on the MotoGP calendar. To put this time into perspective, the Fastest Lap (on qualifying tires) was a 1:53.927 posted by Jorge Lorenzo in 2008.Espargaro was 0.3 of a second his quickest time during Qatar testing, but still led the grid by almost a half of second. Arriving 0.466 of a second back was GO&FUN Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista. Third quickest was Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Bradley Smith, who was 0.615 of a second back.The final final two riders to post within a second of Espargaro were Andrea Iannone on the Pramac Racing Ducati GP14 and the other Monster Yamaha Tech 3 pilot, Pol Espargaro, who broke his shoulder 10 days ago at the same circuit during preseason testing. Iannone was 0.795 of a second back, and Pol 0.819 of a second back.The top factory rider in FP1 was Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa, who trailed Aleix Espargaro by 1.131. He was followed by Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Valentino Rossi.Rounding out the top 10 were Aleix’s teammate Colin Edwards, Rossi’s teammate Jorge Lorenzo and Drive M7 Aspar Honda’s Nicky Hayden. As for the Ducati Team GP14 riders, Andrea Dovizioso finished 13th, 1.845 seconds behind Aleix, and Cal Crutchlow 14th, 1.899 back.The reigning MotoGP Champion was next. Riding after breaking his right leg exactly six weeks ago, Marc Marquez piloted his RC213V to the 11th quickest position, 1.481 seconds off the top time.In other crash news, Energy T.I. Pramc Racing Ducati’s Yonny Hernandez finished 15th and went for a scan after walking away from a turn 16 crash which caused a brief red crash due to track debris, MotoGP reports.The riders will return to the Losail Circuit Friday for the second and third free practices. And of course, with the new practice/qualifying sessions implemented last year, practice is extremely important considering the top 10 riders in practice automatically enter Qualifying 2.2014 Qatar MotoGP Free Practice 1 Results (#, Position, Name, Country, Team, Bike, Gap, Best Lap Time, Speed):
This week, Senior Editor Nic de Sena rides the all new Ducati Monster. Big changes have been made by Ducati–has the company ruined the considerable heritage of the iconic Monster–or are the changes worth it? In the second part of the show, we chat with Nick Ienatsch, Founder and Head Instructor at the Yamaha Champions Riding School. He says: “We aim to change your riding life by introducing you to Champions Habits: The techniques, approaches, skills, and the mindsets of the best riders in the world. These Champions Habits are the foundation of safety and consistency to whatever speed you ride, in any venue on any bike. Street riders, this is just as much for you as track riders. The best way to make safe riders is to make good riders.“ We hope you enjoy this episode!