2016 Qatar Moto2 & Moto3 Thursday Post-Practice Press Releases

Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after the first day of practice at Qatar:

Rocket start for Livio Loi: fastest in Qatar

The first day of the 2016 season had Livio Loi’s name on it. RW Racing GP’s rider was fastest in the first practice (2.06,456) for the GP of Qatar, and in the second (2.05,832) - and he did it on his own, without a tow.

The pressure was on Livio Loi and RW Racing GP after the excellent results in the test in Qatar last weekend. But it didn’t bother the young Belgian at all. On the contrary: he continued to be fast in the official practices for the Grand Prix as well. The fastest to be precise. Twice.

After heavy rain the track conditions were much worse than during the test. It showed in the lap times. “We told Livio to see for himself how far he could go in the first practice,” RW Racing GP team manager Jarno Janssen said. “We didn’t want him to take unnecessary risks. But still he was fast. Never outside the top 6 and building up the pace lap by lap. He did a good job.”

The team led by chief mechanic Hans Spaan worked hard and Loi concluded the first practice with the fastest time. Early in the second session he already matched his lap times from the first session and continued to build up speed.

Livio Loi - 1 (2.05,832):

“We followed the upward trend. I felt good from the beginning and I knew I could be fastest again, like in the test. The gaps are close, with 18 riders within a second, but the difference between me and number 2 is three tenths of a second, and that is what satisfies me the most. I did it on my own, without a tow or someone in front of me as a target. And I did two laps of 2.05 like that. We’ve done a good job for this first day. It’s a great start and we surely want to continue like this. There may be even a bit more in it, I feel there still is room for improvement, but it depends on the conditions of the day and of the track.”

Great teamwork from Red Bull KTM Ajo to start the year

Brad Binder and Bo Bendsneyder complete first day of Qatar Grand Prix with the sixth and tenth fastest times, respectively.

03/17/2016 - Losail International Circuit, Qatar

The 2016 World Championship kicked off on Thursday under the floodlights of the Losail International Circuit. It was a great start for Red Bull KTM Ajo, as by working together in the two Free Practice sessions at the Qatari track both their riders achieved very positive results. Brad Binder was sixth in the combined timesheet for the day, with one of the fastest paces in the class, and rookie Bo Bendsneyder was tenth in his very first sessions in Grand Prix racing.

Teamwork and putting in the maximum number of laps were the two main strategies for the Red Bull KTM Ajo riders, as they rode together at various stages of the first practice. Both made a single stop in the garage, as they worked predominantly on getting a feel for the bike ahead of the second session. Binder was sixth -2:07.343- after 16 laps and Bendsneyder fifteenth -2:07.885, 14 laps-.

In the second 40 minutes, the pair once again undertook some excellent teamwork. Binder and Bendsneyder alternated spots at the head of the timesheets, occupying the first two positions. Despite dropping down the order in the final stages, the South African and the Dutchman finished sixth -2:06.268- and tenth -2:06.477-, respectively, improving their laps from the opening session.

On Friday, the Red Bull KTM Ajo riders will undertake their third and final practice session from 7pm (local time).


"I felt good on the bike today. We did not make any real attempt to set a fast lap, but we instead focused on finding the best pace possible. I had some problems when the tyres were worn, -especially with the front- but this is an aspect on which we will focus tomorrow. I think we've met the objective of the day, because this will help us to be stronger for Sunday. We have to keep working, but the first step has been good."


"This first day of this GP in Qatar has not gone badly. In the first session we devoted a lot of time to looking for a good feeling, assessing the state of the track and reconnecting with the bike. In the second session we put on new tyres and pushed harder. Our best time is good and the pace is not at all bad, but I want to improve it.

I feel comfortable riding, but I want to continue working on my feeling with the front end. Now we will analyse what we can change for tomorrow. I can’t wait to continue working at this GP, which will be my World Championship debut."


Gresini Racing Team Moto3 racers Enea Bastianini and Fabio Di Giannantonio faced today the first two free practice sessions of the Grand Prix of Qatar, the first of the 2016 Moto3 World Championship.

Under the fllodlights of the Losail International Circuit, Enea Bastianini resulted the 14th fastest in the combined classification at the end of the evening with a lap time of 2’06”567. Regardless of the final position, the 18-year-old rider from Rimini was satisfied of the work done in both sessions, having acquired a good feeling with the front end, which gave him some problems during the recent test.

His teammate Fabio Di Giannantonio got 2’08”223, a performance that left the 17-year-old rookie from Rome quite satisfied because obtained alone and with old tyres.

Tomorrow there will be the third and final free practice session, while on Saturday as usual it will take place the qualifying session that will decide the starting grid of the Grand Prix.

ENEA BASTIANINI (14th - 2'06"567)

“I’m happy because the front end issues we had encountered during testing now seem definitively solved: I was struggling to have a good feeling on the front wheel, but now I feel more comfortable. Many riders were already fast today, but we are working in the right direction and if we continue in the same direction, tomorrow, we will be able to work better on the overall set up of the bike and then improve, especially over a single fast lap”.

FABIO DI GIANNANTONIO (30th - 2'08"223)

“In the first session I immediately felt at ease, managing to make good times in all sectors of the track, although in the end the lap time was not very good. Then, at the beginning of the second session I improved myself, setting 2’08”2 old tyres. In the end, unfortunately, I was not able to make the most of the new tyre and as a result we closed the evening on the final positions, but I can be happy because I got my best lap alone. I have to improve myself tomorrow, at least I would to replicate the same lap time I got a few days ago during testing, and why not lower it. The bike is working very well, I have to improve my riding”.


“The final position in the combined standings was not so good today, although actually the gap of Bastianini from the top is not so high. Last year: we started from a worse situation, and then we were able to fight for victory… Enea continues to be calm and I’m convinced that if we continue to stay focused we will do well. Di Giannantonio is learning and by the way today he has always used old tyres. Let’s give him time and slowly he will come, I’m confident”.



Losail, Qatar

Today’s sessions officially set the start of the first GP of the 2016 season. The Moto3 riders, after the test that was held last week, made their return to the Losail track for the FP1 and FP2 of the Commercial Bank Grand Prix of Qatar.

Both RBA Racing riders worked on developing the decisions that were taken in the test, looking for options to improve the set-up of their KTM machines: Juanfran Guevara set the time of 2'07.154, 1.322 seconds off the best lap and progressing after each run.

Rodrigo couldn’t take full advantage of FP1, because of a crash at the beginning of the session. The Argentinian and his technicians worked hard to make up for the time that was lost at the first stage. Eventually Gabriel set the time of 2’07.685, finishing in the 25th position.

#58 Juanfran Guevara: 20th - 2'07.154

“In the first session the track wasn’t at its best: we decided not to change the tyre and use it throughout the practice. We noticed some small issues, but we chose to simply focus on the outings and to wait for better conditions to make any changes. In the second session we started off without many modifications, in order to work mainly with the race tyre and the soft one. With this last one we do have some chattering and it’s difficult to control it, whereas with the first one the situation is a bit better. We will analyse and compare the data of today with the test’s, in order to progress: in particular we must focus on the last part of the circuit, which is very fast and it’s where we suffer the most.”

#19 Gabriel Rodrigo: 25th - 2’07.685

”Today we had the first free practices for the GP. In the first session the track was quite dirty and, right at the beginning, we had a mishap: I crashed out and we couldn’t take full advantage of the time at disposal. In the end we managed to do a decent lap, but we lost plenty of useful time and that didn’t help much. In the second session, I was comfortable with the used tyre, but when we decided to use a new one I got stuck in traffic and I couldn’t improve my time. I’m confident because I know there’s plenty of margin and, with a good lap, I can make up a lot. Now we’ll check the data to make any necessary change on the bike and tomorrow we’ll work to make a step forward.”


The first two free practice sessions have officially heralded the beginning the Grand Prix of Qatar, the first stop of the 2016 season for the Moto3 World Championship.

After a month and a half of testing, split between four private sessions and two official IRTA tests, it is now full competitive action for the Moto3 team as the three Leopard Racing riders took to the track under the floodlights of Qatar.

At the Losail International Circuit, the challenge began for Leopard Racing in the cadet category with not only a new line up of riders but also the new KTM RC250 GP. Unfortunately the track was dirty after rain fell yesterday, hindering the riders for fast laps in the first Free Practice session, the team deciding to refine the setup of the machines to understand the new conditions rather than push for fast laps.

Intense work was completed by Fabio Quartararo, as he ended the first day in 13th place overall with a best time of 2'06 "550. The 16 year old from Nice struggled with used tires in FP1 and with a new tyre in FP2 with the French youngster also working with a new electronics map provided by KTM.

Joan Mir, debut rider in the World Championship was the best of the Leopard Racing team today. Having concentrated on learning a completely new track last week at the last IRTA test, the 18 year-old Palma de Mallorca rider pushed hard in the last moments, stopping the clock at 2'06 "160, a time that earned him second place at + 0.328s from Belgian Livio Loi.

A good performance also came from Andrea Locatelli today as the Italian took to the track determined to improve the feeling with the bike compared to what we saw in testing. FP1 started well as he challenged the first positions but ended with a harmless crash in Turn 2. In the second session Locatelli was able to keep a good pace and driven by strong motivation, managed to record the seventh fastest time of the day with the time trial 2'06 "277.

Tomorrow, Friday, March 18, riders will be engaged in the third and final round of FP3 ahead of the official qualifying session on Saturday.

#20 Fabio QUARTARARO - 13th (2'06.550):

"The first session went well, only using one one tyre. I have not had a great pace because I was interested only in regaining feeling with the bike. In FP2 I mounted the new tires, but with the soft I could not open the throttle as I wanted because I had not enough grip. Tomorrow will be surely better. I still want to thank the team for today's work."

#36 Joan MIR - 2nd (2'06.160):

"We have had a good job! In the first session I was not comfortable, the bike was skating too much however in the second session I put the new tire in and I could keep a good pace along with Andrea and Fabio. Then I worked on what I needed to do to make the soft tyre work and the time has come! We must be calm though, these are only the first free practice sessions. Tomorrow will be the most important towards qualification and maybe there we can shave 1 ". It is important to fight in the top positions, I want to thank the team for all their hard work."

#55 Andrea LOCATELLI - 7th (2'06.277):

"There are no words! Today was a very positive day, after so many long and hard tests where I was at the top because I had to get familiar with the bike and build confidence. With today started the race weekend, I feel good and mentally motivated. We have not touched much on the bike, we have limited ourselves to just turns and I saw that even alone today I could turn very well. I'm really happy, I like the bike a lot. This is demonstrated by the time we set; I think also we can make yet another step forward."


Good debut for Bulega, third. Fourth place for Fenati and Migno 19th

Losail (Qatar), March 17th 2016. Nicolò Bulega and Romano Fenati had closed, rispectively, in the third and fourth place the first day of free practice at the Grand Prix of Qatar for the Sky Racing Team VR46. They signed a positive lap times of 2.06.184 and 2.06.195 and they are in the Top5 of the combined standings.

It was a great debut for Bulega, who under the floodlights of Losail, had a strong start from the first practice. Despite a crash, fortunately without consequence in the second session, who prevents him from improving his time, the feelings are positive and the young Italian is confident for tomorrow.

Fenati, consistent from the beginning, is 4th only 3 tenths from the first position. His goal is being closest to the top guys for the qualifying. It was a positive day of work also for Migno. Unfortunately Andrea was unable to fully exploit the new tires, finishing the day 1 with a time of 2.06.961, 19th in the combined.

This morning the riders took part in the friendly soccer match at the Aspire Dome in Doha between the VR46 Academy Riders with Valentino Rossi and Xavi Hernandez. Below you can find some pictures.

PABLO NIETO - Team Manager

We finally back on track and we close a very positive first day. We have two riders in the Top5 and means that we did a great job in the pre season. Romano and Nicolò were immediately fast, they have improved their lap times, but also Andrea did a good job. We have to stay focused because tomorrow the level it will rise again.

ROMANO FENATI - Pilota Sky Racing Team VR46

BEST TIME > 2.06.195

It was a really positive start: I improved my lap time at each exit and I closed the first day in fourth position. We did a great job with the whole team and we will continue to analyse the data for improving for the qualifying.

ANDREA MIGNO - Pilota Sky Racing Team VR46

BEST TIME > 2.06.961

We back on track, we are on the right way and I am satisfied. I was immediately fast in the first session, while in the second round I could not used the new tires as I wanted due to the traffic. Tomorrow we will continue in this direction: my goal is to keep concentrated for the qualifying of Saturday.

NICOLÒ BULEGA - Pilota Sky Racing Team VR46

BEST TIME > 2.06.184

I'm really happy with this debut in the World Championship. Despite the crash in the last attempt, when I had the "S" tyre, it was a really positive day. I recorded a good time and I'm confident: we can improve for qualifying. I hope to continue in this direction.

Morbidelli and Márquez make big progress in Qatar

Losail, Qatar – 17 March 2016: Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS riders Franco Morbidelli and Álex Márquez made big progress during an incredibly close opening night of Moto2 action at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar.

Italian Morbidelli shaved exactly a second off his best time in tonight’s FP2, with a personal best lap of 1.59.896 securing him an impressive sixth position at the floodlit Doha venue.

And Álex Márquez was able to improve his pace by close to 0.9s after a lap of 2.00.049 placed the Spaniard in an encouraging 10th place in the combined rankings.

It was an encouraging start for Morbidelli and Márquez on an opening night of practice that highlighted just how fierce and tight the battle for Moto2 World Championship glory will be in 2016.

The top 18 riders were split by less than a second and Morbidelli and Márquez go into tomorrow night’s single 45-minute practice session confident that overnight improvements will strengthen their challenge ahead of Sunday’s 20-lap season opening night race.

Franco Morbidelli: 6th - 1’59.896

“In the first practice session we just tried to adapt to the condition of the track and it was more like a shakedown for me and the bike. We started to improve a lot in FP2 and at the end I was quite happy with my pace. It was hard to concentrate for an outright fast lap time at the end of the session because there was a lot of traffic and I couldn’t find space for a clean lap. We can gain some time but I am really happy with the work of the team. They are working so hard for me and we’re making good progress and it is a lot of fun to work with my crew, who always give their maximum for me to be faster.”

Álex Márquez: 10th - 2’00.049

“We need to improve tomorrow and to be honest I need more help from the bike to be able to push a bit more and be faster. We are not so far from the top lap time and everything is very close but we need be more constant with the pace. We definitely have a good base for tomorrow and I think if we can improve in the first sector I will be much more competitive. I lose two-tenths in the first sector alone and I am only 0.4s off the best time, so it is clear where the improvements can be made”

Pete Benson: Franco Morbidelli’s Chief Mechanic

“It was a really good practice. Franco has just been slowly getting up to speed and getting happier with the bike. The test we did here last week was really beneficial and our best of the winter, so it shows the value of testing outside of Europe. Franco is happy with the bike and we are making important progress each time he goes out on the bike. We are still about 0.5s away from the best pace, so there is work to do, but we are confident that he’ll be in the fight on Sunday night.”

Moto3 - First night of practice for 3570 Team Italia in Qatar

Set-up test for Stefano Valtulini and Lorenzo Petrarca during the first two sessions at Losail.

The 2016 season of 3570 Team Italia in Moto3 World Championship has started under the spotlight of the Losail International Circuit (Qatar). In the first two sessions of practice in the night of 17th March, the rookies Stefano Valtulini and Lorenzo Petrarca have focused on the set-up of their Mahindra MGP3O, trying to limit the gap from the top gradually.

In the combined standings of FP1-FP2, Stefano Valtulini is 31st with a best lap in 2'08"422, preceding his teammate Lorenzo Petrarca (32nd in 2'09"665), both improved compared to the performances of the first session of practice.

On the top of the standings, thanks to a time of 2'05"832, there's the Belgian Livio Loi (Honda), the fastest in both the sessions.

Stefano Valtulini (3570 Team Italia - Mahindra MGP3O #43) 31st, 2'08"422

"The two sessions were positive if we think about the progress that we did. In the first session, we started from some set-up aspects to be perfected after the previous tests, and we were able to improve. During the second session, with new tyres, I was able to do another step forward, as confirmation of the good job that we did. From this point of view I am happy and we will keep on working to improve further."

Lorenzo Petrarca (3570 Team Italia - Mahindra MGP3O #77) 32nd, 2'09"665

"We are doing great about the set up, now the further improvement is on me. I will try to go out on track having fun, without thinking about the time and without feeling forced to prove something, two aspects that I have noticed in these two sessions. I have the potential to ride faster, and if I have no worry, I am sure that I'll find the feeling to do better. We will work just on little aspects of the set-up, trying to increase my feeling in bends."

Emanuele Ventura (3570 Team Italia - Team Manager)

"Let's try to see this first day of practice in a positive way. In the standings the most of Mahindra bikes are close, including us, that we're improving session after session. Compared with the tests, our riders have improved and this is the most important aspect: they started their first "official" day with the right attitude, working methodically. And for us this is the main aspect."


The first two free practice sessions of the Grand Prix of Qatar which took place today under the floodlights of the Losail International Circuit officially kicked off the 2016 campaign of the Team Federal Oil Gresini Moto2. Aboard his Kalex Moto2 machine, twenty-five British driver Sam Lowes, who had two crashes without consequences, was second fastest in the combined classification with a lap time of 1’59”657, thus confirming himself among the fastest, as happened during the pre-season test.

SAM LOWES (2nd - 1'59"657)

“The track conditions have changed compared to the test, so maybe I should have stayed more relaxed to avoid the crashes: sorry to the team for this, but overall it was still a good first day of practice. We have already forgotten the falls and we take only the good things about today: the team did a fantastic job and today I immediately felt comfortable on the bike and managed to be fast. Tomorrow we will keep working for the race, to further adapt the bike to the track conditions, but I already feel good”.


“Today’s free practice sessions were very important to better understand different things that were not yet one hundred percent during the final test: Sam had two crashes, however he made again a great job with a very positive long run, fast and consistent, using old tyres. It was a positive start, now we just have to stay calm and make a couple of very small changes to be ready to fight”.

Positive opening night for Johann Zarco in 2016 World Championship

Ajo Motorsport rider starts Qatar GP fifth fastest after first two free practice sessions of the season.

03/17/2016 - Losail International Circuit, Qatar

After a 4-month winter break, the Moto2 World Championship returned to action on Thursday night at the Losail International Circuit. Johann Zarco, the reigning World Champion, started the event with a good feeling and was fifth fastest –with a time of 1:59.889– in the combined timesheet for the evening. The Frenchman also had a strong pace that bodes well for Sunday's race.

The good condition of the Qatari track allowed the Moto2 riders to be fast from the start of the opening session. Johann Zarco felt comfortable and spent most of the session in the Top 3, making just a solitary stop in the garage as he put in 19 laps. A great second stint allowed him to set his best lap of 1:59.977 for third –a time already faster than that which he achieved in the Official Test last week.

The Ajo Motorsport rider needed just four laps in Free Practice 2 to lower his time. A 1:59.889 lap earned him fourth place in the session, 3 tenths off the top spot, but Zarco was more pleased with his pace on used tyres.

On Friday the intermediate category riders will enjoy only one practice session, which starts at 7:55pm local time.


"It was a very positive first day of the GP. I felt much better than at the test we had at this circuit. This means that last week was very important and we did a great job, which has allowed me to focus solely on my riding today because the bike worked well. We have taken a step forward, and I'm happy. We remain very consistent and have a good pace with worn tyres. With new tyres we can still improve our feeling. I am calm, satisfied and took a positive result today. We’re going step by step."

Lights, camera, action!

Estrella Galicia 0,0 riders Jorge Navarro and Aron Canet place twelfth and sixteenth, respectively, on the opening night in Qatar –in which only 8 tenths separate them from the top spot.

The inaugural Moto3 practice sessions of the season began on Thursday night in Qatar, with the Estrella Galicia 0,0 riders starting the 2016 campaign highly motivated. Despite wind and poor track conditions, due to the typical dust on the asphalt and the atypical rain that fell throughout Wednesday, Navarro led the timesheets from the start in the opening runout. With two minutes remaining in FP1, the Spaniard was the first to breach the 2:07 barrier, stopping the clock at 2:06.538 -a time just 0.082s off the fastest rider. Across the box, rookie Aron Canet went from strength to strength, climbing positions and setting a best lap of 2:07.959.

In Free Practice 2, traffic prevented Navarro from improving his best lap time, and he finished fifteenth in a session in which the first seventeen riders were separated by just 8 tenths. Canet was one of those riders, and cut more than a second off his time from the previous session; his time of 2:06.681 placed him sixteenth.

On Friday the Estrella Galicia 0,0 riders will contest their final Free Practice session at the Losail International Circuit, which starts at 7 p.m –local time–.

Jorge Navarro

12th, 2:06.538, 29 laps, 156 km

"There is very little difference in times between the first seventeen riders"

"In these first two sessions everything was very tight. I had a good feeling in the first session, despite the wind and how dirty the track was, and I ended up second. In the second session I was unable to improve my times because I came up against a lot of traffic -and also I have went a little wide on a corner. There is very little difference in times between the first seventeen riders, and if you make a small mistake, you end up far down the order. Tomorrow we will continue working as planned and keep getting ready, especially focusing on Sunday's race."

Aron Canet

16th, 2:06.681, 28 laps, 151 km

"We worked as a team and thanks to Jorge [Navarro] I was able to improve"

"On this first night all the times were very tight. I was sixteenth fastest, 8 tenths behind the top rider. The important thing is that I felt very good on the bike, and I'm very happy with how things went and how we worked as a team. Thanks to Jorge [Navarro] I was able to improve my times, since initially I had problems with the front end and a lot of chatter. In addition, the wind didn’t make things easy. We didn’t ride in windy conditions in preseason, so we had some extra work with that today."

Things are getting serious in Qatar, positive day one for the Forward Racing Team.

Free practice has started today for Lorenzo Baldassarri and Luca Marini at the Losail circuit in Qatar. The two riders of Team Forward Racing resumed the work done during testing to improve the set-up of their bikes ahead of Sunday's race.

Lorenzo Baldassarri struggled a bit more than expected to pick up the pace in the first session but then found a good feeling by clocking 1: 59.979 which earned him the seventh position.

Luca Marini performed very well and lowered by a whole second last week best lap closing the day in thirteenth position with a time of 2: 00,179.

Lorenzo Baldassarri

"Today was a positive day because I learned a lot in managing the tires grip by doing many laps on the hard ones. I had trouble finding the right set-up, but I learned a lot. In the second session, with soft tires, I managed to get a good time despite the traffic and I am satisfied with the work done. Tomorrow we will continue with the work to get more feeling. "

Luca Marini

"Day one went very well and I am very happy with the work we have done.

The first session I was lapping a behind other riders to understand their lines and to improve mine, since this is still a new track for me.

In the second practice we improved a lot. We started with old tires to bring them up to the laps of the race. Immediately I felt an improvement compared to last week.

After changing rubber we made a number of modifications to the bike to try to make it easier to ride.

In the end I managed to do a good lap and the thing that makes me happy is that I was all alone.

There is still room for improvement but I'm pleased with the work done so far. I hope to go on like this for the rest of the weekend and of the season in general, because we are adapting well and I'm really enjoying it. "

Tech3 Racing Team pair begin the season opening fight in Qatar

The Tech3 Racing Team duo of Xavi Vierge and Isaac Viñales bolted into action today under the floodlights, as they determinedly began the first sessions of track action in the 2016 Moto2 World Championship.

Xavi Vierge began with a solid showing in FP1 as he completed 17 laps whilst he began adjusting the setup of his Mistral 610 in preparation for Sunday’s race. In the second practice, the Spaniard upped his pace as the track continued to clean. On his penultimate lap, he produced a time that was 1.237 seconds quicker than the earlier session, leaving him fully confident of making further strides forward tomorrow.

Meanwhile, Isaac Viñales optimistically got the action underway beneath the floodlights and made constant progression throughout the day as he looks to begin his Moto2 career with a positive result on Sunday. The Spaniard pushed hard throughout both sessions and finished with a time that was 0.583 quicker than his mornings’ best, which sees him charged and ready for FP3 tomorrow.

Xavi Vierge

Position : 23rd - Time : 2'00.786 – Laps : 35

“Overall, I am satisfied with today’s work and it was a positive start to the weekend for me. The bike felt good and we have made an improvement since we were last here, but now I need to advance with my riding. I think we can go 0.5 seconds faster but at the moment I have to do a bit of work to get that time. I am excited for tomorrow as there will be another opportunity to make some steps forward, and we must stay focused. Thank you to the team for their positive work today, they were perfect as always.”

Isaac Viñales

Position : 26th - Time : 2'01.795 – Laps : 23

“It was a very productive day and I am satisfied with what we managed to achieve because I was able to cut my lap time from the test and I made steps forward with my rhythm also. In all honesty, after last week, I was a bit frustrated, which always affects the confidence a bit, but after the good job that we did today, I feel better now. Also, I have worked hard on improving my riding style, which is what I am focusing on at the moment and as a result I feel more comfortable. Tomorrow we will aim to continue progressing in every area so that we can lower the lap time further.


The Leopard Racing team made their competitive debut in the Moto2 World Championship at the Losail International Circuit this evening as the 2016 season got under way beneath the floodlights.

It was a big night for the team as they began their adventure in the Moto2 World Championship with riders Danny Kent and Miguel Oliveira after securing the Moto3 World Championship at their first attempt last season.

Moto3 World Champion Danny Kent and runner-up Miguel Oliveira, who battled with Kent for the title until the last race race of the season, now find themselves moving from rivals to teammates as they make their debut with the Leopard Racing Moto2 team and the Kalex machine.

Under the floodlights of the Losail International Circuit, the two riders worked hard across first evening of practice in Qatar. The Portuguese rider Miguel Oliveira tried sharpening the setup he found during the IRTA tests in search of greater competitiveness, then, in the second Free Practice session, he focused on the pace lap concluding the session in 20th position, only 1” from the leader Jonas Folger.

On his return to the Moto2 class, Danny Kent began Thursday’s first free practice session with hard tires to check the track conditions after the rain of yesterday and the wind during the early part of today made the track dirty. In the FP2 session the English world champion improved, finishing in 22nd position with the chrono 2'’00"757, he got on the 11th of his total laps completed today.

#44 Miguel OLIVEIRA - 20th (2'00.635):

“I think this was one of the most difficult races I did in my career, but we mastered it in the best possible way to finish in ninth position. Anyway, to remain on the bike in these conditions was the most important thing. Of course I went into today’s race with high hopes to give the team a top result like in practice sessions and qualifying, but we got really important points finally. From this point I’m quite pleased because we gained one position in the world standings. So in the next races we need to give our best too.”

#52 Danny KENT - 22nd (2'00.757):

"Finishing the day in 22nd overall is not where we want to be, especially after testing where we put together good performances. I didn't feel as comfortable or as confident on the bike today so we'll look at the data to try and understand what we're doing different to what we did at the tests and see what we can improve for tomorrow. It's only the first day, I'm confident we'll chip away and we'll get closer to the front.”

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Screw-up on their part, not David's fault. Too bad really, would have loved to hear his comments on the first day as he was doing pretty well and going faster than Kent for the first time.