Yamaha newbie Maverick Vinales remained quickest when the third free practice session finished under the floodlights of Losail International Circuit in Qatar, which will host Sunday the opening round of 2017 MotoGP.The Movistar Yamaha MotoGP YZR-M1 pilot Vinales set the fastest time Thursday during the opening free practice (FP), and again during Friday’s third free practice. When you combine all three free practices, the 22-year-old Spaniard’s Friday time of 1:54.316 was fastest.
To put this time into perspective, the Circuit Record Lap (under race conditions) is a 1:54.927, and the Best Lap (across all sessions) is a 1:53.927, both set by Jorge Lorenzo aboard Yamaha YZR-M1 machinery.Vinales, who also experienced his first crash aboard the Yamaha during FP3, has led all preseason tests heading into 2017 MotoGP. Overall, he was followed by Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Andrea Iannone, who was 0.532 of a second behind (FP3) and the reigning three-time MotoGP Champion, Marc Marquez, who was -0.596 of a second behind (FP1).The reining Moto2 Champion, Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Johann Zarco, impressed with a fourth overall, the Frenchman trailing Vinales by 0.692 of a second. He was followed by two Ducati prototypes: the Ducati Team GP17 piloted by Andrea Dovizioso (-0.726 of a second, FP3) and the man who topped FP2, Octo Pramac Racing Ducati’s Scott Redding (-0.769, FP2).Like Vinales, Redding also crashed in FP3, but walked away unharmed.Rounding out the top 10 of riders that will automatically enter Qualifying 2 are Marquez’s teammate Dani Pedrosa (-0.797, FP3); Zarco’s teammate Jonas Folger (-0.892, FP2); LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow (-0.895, FP3); and nine-time World Champion Valentino Rossi (1.098, FP2).Five-time World Champion Lorenzo finished 12th overall as the Spaniard continues to adapt to the new Ducati GP17. Lorenzo f was 1.145 seconds off the pace.The 23-rider grid returns to Losail at 7:55 p.m. local time for another free practice ahead of Qualifying for Sunday’s Qatar Grand Prix.Photography by Luciano Bianchetto
2017 Qatar MotoGP Free Practice Results | Photo Gallery
KTM RC 390 and Gordon McCall of Quail Motorcycle Gathering
byMotos and Friends by Ultimate Motorcycle
Hello and welcome once again to Ultimate Motorcycling’s weekly Podcast—Motos and Friends.
This week’s Podcast is brought to you by Yamaha motorcycles. Discover how the YZF-R7 provides the perfect balance of rider comfort and true supersport performance by checking it out at YamahaMotorsports.com, or see it for yourself at your local dealer.
This week features Senior Editor Nic de Sena’s impressions of the new KTM RC 390. The entry-level KTM has always been an impressive motorcycle that has sold extremely well, however the factory has now taken the bike to another level, with top-spec features that are typically found on flagship machines. Clearly KTM has realized that even smaller engined machines should have high spec suspension, brakes and electronics packages. Nic tells us how well the new RC 390 is equipped, and what he thought of riding the smaller displacement rocket.
In the second segment I chat with automotive and motorcycle industry icon, Gordon McCall. Gordon is the Director of Motorsports at the Quail Lodge & Golf Club in Carmel Valley, California.
This weekend of Saturday May 14th sees the annual Quail Motorcycle Gathering re-start after its Covid-forced hiatus, and having attended every one of the previous Motorcycle Gatherings, personally I’m very happy that the event is back on the schedule. Gordon chats about the event and a little of what’s happening this year. It’s a great event and if you feel like a trip to the gorgeous Quail Lodge in Carmel Valley, you’ll get to meet Gordon, Roland Sands, and of course a large number of stunning motorcycles too.
From all of us at Ultimate Motorcycling, we hope you enjoy this episode!