2018 Qatar MotoGP Test Results

With the opening round of 2018 MotoGP less than a month away, the 24-rider grid is at Qatar’s Losail International Circuit – the same circuit that hosts round one – for the final pre-season test.

Riding under the floodlights due to the hot temperatures at the track based on the Persian Gulf, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Maverick Vinales claimed the fastest time Thursday, the first of three test days.

Yamaha's Maverick Vinales at 2018 Qatar MotoGP Test
Yamaha’s Maverick Vinales

The Spaniard put in 64 laps aboard his YZR-M1, earning the fastest time with a 1:55.053 at the 3.34-mile circuit. To put this time into perspective, the Fastest Lap at Qatar (across all sessions) is a 1:53.927 set by Jorge Lorenzo in 2008 during qualifying (Yamaha).

Vinales didn’t steal the Qatar MotoGP Test day-one times; he just beat Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso by 0.051 of a second, and Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Andrea Iannone by 0.054 of a second.

Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso at 2018 Qatar MotoGP Test
Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso

“We had no confidence to push in Thailand. Today it looks like we improved in that area. In the beginning I didn’t feel well with the bike, but after trying some set-ups we felt better and I could push the front more, and step-by-step the lap times became lower,” Maverick Vinales says.

“We are trying to make the bike the best we can. I started to feel better and better every time I exited pit lane today. On the last run I was doing many laps, focusing on my riding style and it looks to be going well. The bike is very consistent and I was able to ride well, but we still need to work on the corner speed, turning and acceleration, so we need to stay focused and keep working. Anyway, in the area that we wanted to improve, we improved – that’s positive.”

Monster Yamaha Tech3’s Johann Zarco finished fourth, 0.133 off the pace and 0.237 of a second ahead of Ducati Team’s Jorge Lorenzo.

Suzuki's Andrea Iannone at 2018 Qatar MotoGP Test
Suzuki’s Andrea Iannone

Rounding out the top 10 were Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Alex Rins (-0.379); Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Valentino Rossi (-0.379); Alma Pramac Racing Ducati’s Danilo Petrucci (-0.475); LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow (-0.483); and the reigning MotoGP Champion, Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez (-0.492).

During the test, there are three choices of Michelin tires for the riders: the soft and medium front tires are the same as the allocation for the race last year, but the harder front tire is new for this season, and was used at the Sepang and Thai test. The rear allocation is the medium and hard from the race weekend at Losail in 2017, plus a new soft option to test.

The 2018 Qatar MotoGP test continues Friday.

2018 Qatar MotoGP Test Results, Day 1

Pos Rider Team Fastest lap Lead. Gap Prev. Gap Laps Last lap
1 VIÑALES, Maverick Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 1:55.053 50 / 64
2 DOVIZIOSO, Andrea Ducati Team 1:55.104 0.051 0.051 44 / 48
3 IANNONE, Andrea Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 1:55.107 0.054 0.003 51 / 58
4 ZARCO, Johann Monster Yamaha Tech 3 1:55.186 0.133 0.079 48 / 52
5 LORENZO, Jorge Ducati Team 1:55.423 0.370 0.237 27 / 55
6 RINS, Alex Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 1:55.432 0.379 0.009 66 / 67
7 ROSSI, Valentino Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 1:55.432 0.379 0.000 38 / 54
8 PETRUCCI, Danilo Alma Pramac Racing 1:55.528 0.475 0.096 43 / 47
9 CRUTCHLOW, Cal LCR Honda CASTROL 1:55.536 0.483 0.008 27 / 45
10 MARQUEZ, Marc Repsol Honda Team 1:55.545 0.492 0.009 26 / 47
11 PEDROSA, Dani Repsol Honda Team 1:55.555 0.502 0.010 31 / 37
12 MILLER, Jack Alma Pramac Racing 1:55.688 0.635 0.133 43 / 44
13 BAUTISTA, Alvaro Ángel Nieto Team 1:55.848 0.795 0.160 52 / 53
14 NAKAGAMI, Takaaki LCR Honda IDEMITSU 1:55.853 0.800 0.005 62 / 64
15 REDDING, Scott Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 1:55.931 0.878 0.078 34 / 45
16 RABAT, Tito Reale Avintia Racing 1:56.029 0.976 0.098 67 / 69
17 ESPARGARO, Aleix Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 1:56.062 1.009 0.033 50 / 50
18 ABRAHAM, Karel Ángel Nieto Team 1:56.268 1.215 0.206 50 / 54
19 ESPARGARO, Pol Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 1:56.275 1.222 0.007 31 / 56
20 SMITH, Bradley Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 1:56.421 1.368 0.146 52 / 64
21 MORBIDELLI, Franco EG 0,0 Marc VDS 1:56.608 1.555 0.187 28 / 60
22 SYAHRIN, Hafizh Monster Yamaha Tech 3 1:56.731 1.678 0.123 27 / 58
23 LUTHI, Thomas EG 0,0 Marc VDS 1:57.292 2.239 0.561 56 / 64
24 SIMEON, Xavier Reale Avintia Racing 1:57.713 2.660 0.421 41 / 46