2017 Qatar MotoGP Test, Friday Results
Heading into the final preseason test of 2017 MotoGP at Losail International Circuit, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s newest rider, Maverick Vinales, was the center of focus. The Spaniard topped every 2017 pre-season test aboard the YZR-M1, and he was expected to dominate under the floodlights.
The Spaniard impressed, ending day one of three at Qatar with a 1:55.179. But the 2013 Moto3 Champion did not post the quickest time. Claiming the top spot by 0.360 of a second ahead of Vinales was Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso, who claimed second-place finishes at the Qatar season opener the past two seasons.
Dovizioso’s best lap of 1:54.819 during his 36 laps was also quicker than the race lap record of 1:54.927, which was posted by Jorge Lorenzo last year while the three-time MotoGP Champion was riding the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP.
“In this first day of testing at Losail I had a really good feeling with my Desmosedici GP, better than I had expected, and the sensations were positive just like in Malaysia,” Dovisioso said. “We tried several different types of interesting set-up, which gave us some important feedback. Today everyone was very quick, but in any case I was able to set my time quite easily. We know we still have to improve certain aspects, but to start the tests in this way helps us a lot for the work that we have to do in the next couple of days.”
Claiming third quickest on Friday was LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow; the Brit finished 0.601 behind Maverick Vinales, and was followed by two Ducati prototypes—the Pull&Bear Aspar Team Ducati piloted by Karel Abraham (0.794), and newly-signed Ducati Team GP17 pilot Lorenzo (-0.797).
Rounding out the top 10 during the opening day of Qatar MotoGP Testing were Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Jonas Folger, nine-time World Champion Valentino Rossi on the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP YZR-M1, Repsol Honda Team’s Dani Pedrosa, Folger’s teammate Johann Zarco and Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Andra Iannone.
Iannone, along with the reigning MotoGP Champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) and Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing), suffered crashes.
As for Marquez, he finished 12th, 1.080 seconds off the pace, and just ahead of Octo Pramac Racing Ducati’s Danilo Petrucci. Completing the top 15 were Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini), Jack Miller (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS) and Scott Redding (Octo Pramac Racing).
The action continues Saturday at Losail, the same venue that will host the season opener March 26.