Motorcycle Racing News MotoGP 2017 Qatar MotoGP Test Results: Yamaha’s Vinales 4 for 4 in Preseason

2017 Qatar MotoGP Test Results: Yamaha’s Vinales 4 for 4 in Preseason

2017 Qatar MotoGP Test Results, Overall

2017 Qatar MotoGP Test Results: Yamaha's Maverick Vinales
2017 Qatar MotoGP Test Results: Yamaha’s Maverick Vinales

The final preseason test of 2017 MotoGP at Losail International Circuit in Qatar wrapped up Sunday, and once again it was Yamaha’s newest rider who claimed the top time: Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Maverick Vinales.

The 22-year-old Spaniard has a perfect preseason test record heading into the season opener March 24-26 under the floodlights at Losail. Vinales posted a best lap of 1:54.330 to take the fastest time Sunday, day three of three, but it wasn’t a runaway lap time. The top four riders were within 0.189 of a second of each other.

Vinales, who led day two also, finished the test 0.071 of a second ahead of day one leader, Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso. Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa claimed third fasted, 0.139 of a second back, and Ducati Team’s Jorge Lorenzo fourth, 0.189 off the pace.

2017 Qatar MotoGP Test Results: Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso
2017 Qatar MotoGP Test Results: Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso

Yamaha says Viñales used Sunday’s test outings on the Losail International Circuit to his full capacity. He opted to continue fine-tuning his bike, looking for the optimum balance on the YZR-M1 to increase his margin over the rest of the MotoGP field.

“I’m really happy, we made another step with the bike and I feel comfortable, even on the race pace we are quite happy,” Vinales says. “I feel that we can still better the electronics and gain a couple of tenths, so we have a margin to improve.

“For sure we‘re not on the bike’s limit, so we can still push a little bit more. If we do the same in the first GP as we did in the test, we can fight for the victory. We have a really good package and I feel good on the bike. I have a great fitness now, so I feel comfortable.”

The Ducati Team used a radical “aero-fairing” design for some of the test, Dovi experimenting with it Saturday and three-time MotoGP Champion Lorenzo on Sunday. Lorenzo completed 53 laps, and had his best outing so far on the Ducati Desmosedici since his first ride in Valencia last November.

2017 Qatar MotoGP Test Results: Honda's Dani Pedrosa
2017 Qatar MotoGP Test Results: Honda’s Dani Pedrosa

Two more Ducati’s followed Lorenzo: Pull&Bear Aspar Ducati GP16 pilot Alvaro Bautista (-0.384) and Octo Pramac Racing Ducati’s Scott Redding (-0.420).

The quickest rookie was once again Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Jonas Folger, who finished 0.477 of a second back. He was followed by LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow (-0.491), Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Johann Zarco (-0.570) and the reigning two-time MotoGP Champion, Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez (-0.6600).

Marquez suffered a crash during day three of 2017 Qatar MotoGP testing, as did Bautista and his teammate Karel Abraham, Andrea Iannone (Team Suzuki Ecstar), Danilo Petrucci (Octo Pramac Racing), and teammates Sam Lowes and Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini).

2017 Qatar MotoGP Test Results: Ducati's Jorge Lorenzo
2017 Qatar MotoGP Test Results: Ducati’s Jorge Lorenzo

Nine-time World Champion Valentino Rossi ended the final day of testing in 11th. The Movistar Yamaha MotoGP YZR-M1 pilot, who suffered a crash on day two, ended the day 0.855 of a second behind teammate Vinales. Rounding out the top 15 were Iannone, Abraham, Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Alex Rins and Aprilia’s Espargaro

The MototGP grid now breaks for two weeks ahead of the 2017 season opener at Qatar.

2017 Qatar MotoGP Test Results, Overall:

1. M. VIÑALES MOVISTAR YAMAHA MOTOGP 1’54.330

2. A. DOVIZIOSO DUCATI TEAM 1’54.401

3. D. PEDROSA REPSOL HONDA TEAM 1’54.469

4. J. LORENZO DUCATI TEAM 1’54.519

5. A. BAUTISTA PULL & BEAR ASPAR TEAM 1’54.714

6. V. ROSSI MOVISTAR YAMAHA MOTOGP 1’54.732

7. S. REDDING OCTO PRAMAC YAKHNICH 1’54.750

8. J. FOLGER MONSTER YAMAHA TECH3 1’54.807

9. C. CRUTCHLOW LCR HONDA 1’54.821

10. J. ZARCO MONSTER YAMAHA TECH3 1’54.900

11. M. MARQUEZ REPSOL HONDA TEAM 1’54.990

12. A. ESPARGARÒ APRILIA RACING TEAM GRESINI 1’55.121

13. A. IANNONE TEAM SUZUKI ECSTAR 1’55.284

14. K. ABRAHAM PULL & BEAR ASPAR TEAM 1’55.333

15. A. RINS TEAM SUZUKI ECSTAR 1’55.362

16. J. MILLER TEAM EG 0,0 MARC VDS 1’55.455

17. L. BAZ AVINTIA RACING 1’55.539

18. D. PETRUCCI OCTO PRAMAC YAKHNICH 1’55.556

19. S. LOWES APRILIA RACING TEAM GRESINI 1’56.167

20. T. RABAT TEAM EG 0,0 MARC VDS 1’56.214

21. B. SMITH RED BULL KTM FACTORY RACING 1’56.351

22. P. ESPARGARÒ RED BULL KTM FACTORY RACING 1’56.471

23. M. KALLIO RED BULL KTM FACTORY RACING 1’56.891

Ron Lieback
Ron Lieback
One of the few moto journalists based on the East Coast, Ron Lieback joined the motorcycle industry as a freelancer in 2007, and is currently Online Editor at Ultimate Motorcycling. He is also the author of "365 to Vision: Modern Writer's Guide (How to Produce More Quality Writing in Less Time).

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