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.
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.
“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.
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|