2017 Qatar MotoGP Post-Test Press Releases

Press releases from the MotoGP teams after the final day of the final test in Qatar:


MOVISTAR YAMAHA MAKE FINAL STEPS IN LOSAIL TEST

Today Movistar Yamaha MotoGP riders Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi completed the third and final day of the 2017 pre-season test. The Factory Yamaha duo were able to enjoy a good amount of track time and concluded the test in first and sixth place respectively in the overall standings.

LOSAIL (QATAR), 12TH MARCH 2017

Today the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team successfully completed the MotoGP Official Test in Qatar. Continuing their strategy to wait for sunset before revving up their engines, Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi spent the day perfecting their racing set-up, setting the first and eleventh fastest time of the day respectively.

Viñales used today’s outings on the Losail International Circuit to their 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.

As the session progressed, so did the Spaniard's efforts. He once again proved his status as the man to beat, when he set a 1’54.330s just before the end of the fourth hour. This hot lap remained unchallenged for the rest of the session. Viñales proceeded with a long run to wrap up the test with vital information on fuel consumption and tyre degradation, bringing his tally for today up to 60 laps. He finished the day in first place, 0.071s ahead of his closest rival in both today’s and the combined results.

Rossi had a more challenging time as he struggled to find the same feeling he had yesterday. The Italian had a productive day, determined to shape up for the MotoGP season, putting in 54 laps in total.

Around halfway through the session he set his fastest time of the day, a 1'55.185s. Unable to further improve on his time as the temperatures went down, the Italian settled for eleventh position in today’s results, 0.855s from his teammate. However, Rossi ended up in sixth place in the combined standings, thanks to the 1’54.732s lap that he set yesterday.

The Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team will return to the Losail circuit in two weeks' time to officially kick off the 2017 MotoGP World Championship.

MASSIMO MEREGALLI

TEAM DIRECTOR

This test has been crucial for us in order to prepare for the first round of the season and all in all we are satisfied. After the very positive results yesterday, we resumed our work on the bikes' set-up today, mainly focusing on race simulations. We finalised our testing programme by making some final adjustments to the settings as Maverick completed a very strong longer run, while Vale had to cut his run short. Maverick kept up his fast lap times over the last three days, during both the time attacks and the race simulation, and this gives us great confidence for the first race. After yesterday’s good performance, Valentino encountered some problems with his bike’s set-up today. His engineers will draw a comparison between yesterday and today’s endeavours to find out what amendments to the setting did and didn’t work. Having concluded this last test, we feel eager to start the season in two weeks' time.

MAVERICK VIÑALES

MOVISTAR YAMAHA MOTOGP RIDER

I’m really happy, we made another step with the bike and I feel comfortable, even on the race pace we are quite happy. 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.

VALENTINO ROSSI

MOVISTAR YAMAHA MOTOGP RIDER

Today was more difficult compared to yesterday. We started with the same bike to continue our programme, but unfortunately I didn't have the same feeling and the same speed. It looks like the condition of the track changed a bit and we were unable to improve. I didn't have the same feeling as yesterday and I was a bit slower. We put in a lot of effort to go a bit slower. I think we are still not ready, we don't understand 100% how to make the bike work at the maximum. We are a bit worried because at the end except for some good laps the winter tests were very difficult. So now we have to speak together and try to be stronger for the first race. I hope to be faster and more competitive.


Andrea Dovizioso and Jorge Lorenzo conclude third and final day of pre-season MotoGP testing in Qatar in second and fourth place respectively

Andrea Dovizioso finished the third and final day of testing at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar in second place. The Ducati Team’s Italian rider recorded his best time of 1’54.401 on the twenty-seventh of the 43 laps he completed today and was classified second overall in the three-day aggregate standings.

Fourth place today went to Jorge Lorenzo, with a time of 1’54.519 which he set on the twenty-ninth of his 53 laps. The rider from Mallorca, who was fourth overall in the three-day standings, also did a few laps of testing with the new front fairing tried briefly yesterday by his team-mate.

The MotoGP riders will be back on track at Losail for the opening round of the 2017 World Championship season on Thursday 23rd March in the first free practice session of the Grand Prix of Qatar.

Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – today 43 laps – 1’54.401 (2nd)

“These three days of testing at Losail have been very interesting because every day we found different track and grip conditions which were very useful in preparation for the race at the end of the month. We went strongly but I am not entirely satisfied with my race pace, which despite being good, is not enough yet because Vinales was really quick. In any case we got through a lot of work and we confirmed a lot of things, so I am confident for the first round of the season.”

Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team #99) – today 53 laps – 1’54.519 (4th)

“Today was a much more positive day than the first two. In general things went very well and I achieved my best position in the three official 2017 tests. We upped the pace quite a lot and I also managed to set some good times, but we still have to work on the race pace and, with the GP in mind, also decide which tyres to use. We still have a lot of work to do, but on this track I think we can score a good result and so I’m leaving Qatar optimistic about the first race.”


Repsol Honda conclude final pre-season test in Qatar

The 2017 MotoGP pre-season came to an end today with the third and final night of testing in Qatar. The timesheets saw Dani Pedrosa ending in third place (1’54.469” on lap 46 of 50), with teammate Marc Marquez 10th (1’54.990” on lap 12 of 47).

Both of the Repsol Honda men spent a productive night completing their testing plans, which included electronics, aerodynamics and refinement of general race setup, with the focus on keeping a good race pace. Dani continued until almost the end of the session, further improving his lap time at the end.

Marc fell once very early in the session and twice after 9 p.m. with no consequences, but he had to abort his race simulation on his sixth lap in the mid-1’55” range.

Action will resume at the same track on Thursday, 23 March, with FP1 for the Grand Prix of Qatar, the opening race of the 2017 MotoGP Championship.

Dani Pedrosa

3rd 1’54.469

“I think today was a positive day in general. We had a few things to sort out from yesterday, and step-by-step we improved our feeling, the lap times and our rhythm in general. The improvement was general and even if we still have work to do, we gained confidence and this was a positive end to the pre-season. This track is not one of my favourites, but the team did a great job and things kept improving. We’re in better shape than last year and we’ll try to add this confidence to the motivation for the GP and to do our best at the first race.”

Marc Marquez

10th 1’54.990

“I’m happy with the pace we were able to keep today but of course it hasn’t been the best test of the pre-season for us. I crashed three times, the first at the very beginning because the bike had a wobble at turn 4 and I braked late. Then later in the night I lost the front twice, and especially the last crash during my race simulation was my fault. But when you’re doing a long run you must try and push, otherwise you can’t understand where you really are. Anyway, better if this kind of thing happens now, during a test, and hopefully when we come here again for the race we’ll be able to manage things better. As I said, our rhythm is quite good; only Maverick [Viñales] is faster than everyone here, and if we were to race tomorrow I believe we should be able to fight for the podium.”


APRILIA IMPROVES IN THE MOTOGP TESTS IN QATAR

ALBESIANO: “ALEIX'S SPEED AND THE QUALITY OF OUR PROJECT ARE CONFIRMED. WE ARE CONTINUING TO GROW”

The three days of tests on the Losail track have come to an end, the last tests before the Grand Prix Motorcycle Racing championship begins 26 March on the same track.

The new 2017 Aprilia RS-GP confirmed the growth trend seen in the first two tests at Sepang and Phillip Island. Aleix Espargarò got even closer to the leaders, particularly on the second day of testing when he finished in fifth place, just 66 hundredths from the leader. The Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Spaniard had what it took today to do even better, but two crashes slowed him down, especially the first which came as Aleix was doing his bests lap, already improved in T1 and his best partial yet in T2. The second crash even forced him to change bikes, removing any chance of lowering his time. Aleix, who also tested the new fairing Aprilia brought in two runs, focused on his race pace, confirming the good feelings he has had since the 2017 bike's début even in this situation. This means that his best time is still 1’55.121, done on Saturday, which earns him twelfth place in the three-day standings.

Sam Lowes, on the other hand, continued his progress with a time of 1’56.167. Also slowed by two crashes today, he finished the tests having done better than the day before. Yet another encouraging sign along the English rider's path to his MotoGP début.

ALEIX ESPARGARO'

“Even if today was not the best of the three days, I am still happy with our work. At the beginning I started with a good feeling, managing to be fast even on used tyres. Maybe it was partially because of these good sensations that I pushed a bit too hard with the soft tyre, crashing while I was doing a good lap. The bike was repaired quickly, but a second crash forced me to use the other RS-GP with a less advanced engine and electronics that were not perfectly dialled in. For this reason I was unable to improve in the second part of the session, but I see the glass as half full. We have improved our pace and our level is definitely better than our standings on the time sheets show.”

SAM LOWES

“It may seem strange, but just at the end of this last day, when I crashed, we found the right setup for the 2017 RS-GP to increase my confidence. We had some particular tests. We have a lot of things to try and sometimes that keeps us from focusing on pure performance. This is all part of my growth. Right now my sensations in the saddle are more important than lap times and I learned a lot even from the less positive situations. I am optimistic about the race. The work we did on the front of the bike gave me the confidence I was lacking and now the points zone, which is the goal I've set for the first race, appears to be well without our reach. We'll set up our first weekend based on what we found today - a nice starting base.”

ROMANO ALBESIANO - APRILIA RACING MANAGER

“We are finishing the tests well aware that we have a bike with very good chassis architecture, with excellent capacity going into corners, turning and grip when leaned over. We need to improve the traction when the bike is almost upright and engine performance that has improved but which, on tracks like this one, counts for a lot. We confirmed the progress our project is making here. Today Aleix was held up by two crashes but he had the potential to lap in the mid to high 54 range and to keep up with the leaders. He was fast on a track that is certainly not our favourite and he was efficient in terms of race pace, since he showed that he can lap easily at mid to high 55. Sam also did very well, despite the fact that he fell a couple of times too. He improved consistently over the three days, showing that he has the potential to do well. Now we have two weeks to finalize our work and turn up at the first race with goals that are within reach for us, well aware that we have room to improve throughout the season.”

FAUSTO GRESINI - TEAM MANAGER

"I am very satisfied with these tests. We showed that we have good potential. There is definitely still work to be done, but we are not far off. From the end of 2016 to now, we have taken tangible steps forward and that is a sign that the development over the winter break was important. We also need to consider the way our competitors have improved, compared to whom we were still able to reduce the gap and this is very significant. At a crucial moment for our project, everyone put forth their best effort, from Aprilia to the team. Now we are anxiously awaiting the first race where we will definitely be ready."


SUZUKI ECSTAR FIND POSITIVE DIRECTION AT QATAR TEST

Team Suzuki Press Office - March 12.

Andrea Iannone - P13 - 1:55.284

Alex RINS - P15 - 1:55.362

The testing season has come to an end in Qatar, where Team SUZUKI ECSTAR completed preparation for the 2017 MotoGP World Championship. Andrea Iannone and Alex Rins were able to end the intense three-day session with a positive feeling, as the difficulties they encountered in Losail have finally given the engineers a clear direction to work on to improve the GSX-RR performances.

The final combined classification sees Iannone in 13th place with a best lap of 1:55.284, which is less than a second slower off the fastest pace. This is a positive result after the struggles he encountered in the three days; and it came at the very end of the third day, after the engineers had finally found some new solutions that proved to be effective.

The debutant, Alex Rins, is now eager to get to his very first MotoGP race weekend, as he completed an intense work schedule and established more of his forward progression along the three days. His feel for the bike still leaves some room for improvement from the engineers, as does his lap-time, but his consistency was good and so was his pace. For him, a final 15th place in the combined classification saw him set a best-lap of 1:55.362.

Ken Kawauchi – Technical Manager:

“Every year the test in Qatar proves to be very difficult because the time to run is not very long and it is the very last chance we have before the season begins. So we always have many things to do. Finally, Alex made very good progress and he was able to complete the whole schedule of testing, trying many things and they went well. I look forward to the race for him. Honestly, Andrea struggled a lot in the first two days and also today he had some troubles in finding a good pace, but finally it looks like we found a way to go forward in the development. Unfortunately, there was no room to make a proper attack for time with this new setting, and this prevented him from improving on his best. But, the most important thing is to have found a direction to go towards. So, actually, I’m looking forward to the race with both of our riders.”

Davide Brivio – Team Manager:

“At the end we can say we finished this Qatar test with a smile, meaning that we worked very intensively in these three days trying to find a good set-up. Both Alex and Andrea, at the very end, finally got a good vibe. It looks like we could find some solution that allows Andrea to ride more relaxed and easy. Alex, as well, did a good job during the day; he improved more and more and he also made some good laps at a good pace. I’d say these have been three tough days, but it seems we found our way. Of course, it will need to be verified at the racing weekend, but at the moment I think we may have normalised the situation. Let’s see, now we will try to better-understand the information we got in the winter season and then we go for the Championship. For now, it´s enough with the testing. It’s time to get in the game and get serious. We will be here again in 10 days and we will take advantage of the free practice sessions to check if the intuition we had today will be effective. And then, let the season begin so we can see the real status of the art compared to all other competitors.”

Andrea Iannone - P13 - 1:55.284:

“Overall today it was a bit like the other two days - neither too happy, nor too sad. The most important thing is that after each day we learn a little more, we understand a little more. I have to say that today was the best day of all because we have been able to understand one important thing. At the end, in the last three laps we have improved a lot, riding at 1´55 and we have had a bolt of lightning that has helped us understand where we have to go. Having a pace of 1´55 is something we had not been able to achieve throughout the test so far, so at least I'm a little happier. We still have a bit of chattering, especially on Turn 6, where I can’t get in and slow down like I'd like, but we've improved and that's what's important. And above all, I have managed to find the confidence with the brake and I was able to brake better, something that could not do before.”

Alex Rins - P15 - 1:55.362:

“The truth is that I am very happy about how the three days of testing in Qatar have gone. When we had problems, we knew how to manage them and pull forward. The first two days we tried to evolve the bike and try to improve with the race-pace. But, it was the third day that allowed us to take a step forward, not only for a lap, but the race-pace. We are quite satisfied with the performance. For the race, we have to work a little more but at least we already know which path we have to take. The pre-season in general has gone quite well despite the crash in Valencia. I was able to get the pace and adapt well to the bike. The truth is that the team also helped me a lot to adapt quickly. I would have liked to do the test that we missed in Jerez, but with more kilometres we will adapt even more to the bike.”


Red Bull KTM Factory Racing team READY TO RACE Qatar Grand Prix after final MotoGP IRTA test at Losail Circuit

IRTA Test 3 2017 – Losail International Circuit (QAT)

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing MotoGP factory riders Pol Espargaro and Bradley Smith, together with the team’s test rider Mika Kallio this week completed the final official IRTA test at the Losail International Circuit in Doha (QAT). The 2017 season begins on the same circuit on March 26 when riders complete in the traditional night race.

Following the tropical conditions at the Malaysian circuit of Sepang and the MotoGP IRTA tests at the scenic Australian circuit at Phillip Island, the team this week encountered the desert conditions in Qatar for the final official three-day test. The first day offered typical conditions for this circuit with air and track temperatures around 30 degrees Celsius, but riders had to deal with a strong wind and very difficult grip conditions with dust from the desert on the surface. As a result, Pol Espargaro had two harmless crashes after the first test day began at around 16:00 hours and short before finish at 22:00 that night.

Day two was overcast, and even a few raindrops tended to put the brakes on the program for riders and teams, and this resulted in Bradley Smith also having a small crash. All three riders we able to consistently improve their lap times on Sunday, the final test day, and also register their best lap times of the three-day session. In addition to testing various engine and chassis configurations, the team concentrated on the further development of various electronics strategies, and on setting up the bike for the first race. Espargaro also put in a successful complete race distance on the KTM RC16 at the end of the test.

Mike Leitner (Team Manager MotoGP): "In general, the tests were good for us. Otherwise, it would have been difficult to come to this very special track with a new bike. Now we have to learn what we can improve. We had a full test program because there were many things we wanted to try before the start of the season. This doesn't always look good on the time sheets but it was very necessary for us to go through the process with all the riders, and we're quite happy. The riders and the team worked hard, and everyone gave the maximum, and that's the most important thing. We know we have to improve certain things on the bike but now let's start racing.”

Smith: “We were just clarifying the parts and chassis that we’re going to race with, and I’m pleased with the improvements again today. I think we were able to improve another 2.5 seconds over the three days and the track conditions were a bit better today. I found my performance on the medium tire was better and I think that might be a race option for us. In general, we were working with the mapping and the electronics, and we made some good progress, especially in the electronics. We now have something that is a lot more consistent and good over the race distance with all tires, so everybody did a really good job. Looking at the lap times, we have to find another half a second. We’re close to the two guys in front but then there’s a gap to the next group, and that’s where we want to be if we want to fight for points.”

Espargaro: “We were testing a lot of new parts, and I think this is probably the most difficult circuit for us. I believe here we are a bit further away from where we want to be, but we just focused on making long runs with used tires, and to analyze what was happening with the bike. We have good ideas but for sure the lap times could be better. Right now we want to focus more on the race. We’re still missing some acceleration and compared with the other factory bikes still something in the corners. We're okay with the brakes, but we lose some time with the traction and the electronics."

Mika Kallio: “We had a lot of things on our plan, and we had to concentrate on setting up the bike for the first race. Basically, my job was to try to help the others. Maybe this was not the best track for our bike at the moment, but that's why we had so many things on the schedule. We also had an unlucky tire situation not being able use the specs what all the other riders on track got. I concentrated more on the chassis, and the team worked on getting better handing in the corners and a less aggressive engine, and this was positive for the race team.”

Sebastian Risse (Technical Director MotoGP): "This was another new track for us, and one I think didn't suit us as well as the previous two (Sepang and Phillip Island). On the one hand, we had all the final preparations before the first race, and on the other, we just had to adapt to the track and the variable conditions here. We didn't have an easy time here, but there were still a lot of positives. We learned a lot. We could see clear progress so we can take some more steps and approach the first race weekend successfully.”

The Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team and riders now return home, but all material and motorcycles remain in Qatar ready for the first race of the season, the night race on March 26. Brad Binder and Miguel Oliveira will also be competing on the new KTM Moto2 race bike in the middle category and Bo Bendsneyder and Niccolo Antonelli race in the Moto3 class for Red Bull Ajo KTM. Binder won the Moto3 world title on the KTM RC250 GP for Red Bull KTM Ajo last season, and Bendsneyder and Antonelli will be out to repeat that success.


Superb time attack for Scott (6th place) on the last testing day in Qatar

Petrux very fast in race simulation

The last winter test of the 2017 MotoGP season ended with extremely positive indications for Octo Pramac Racing. At the Losail international circuit in Doha, Qatar, Scott Redding sets the seventh time in the combined standings while Danilo Petrucci can be very satisfied with his race pace.

Scott has confirmed the steady progress achieved in the three-day testings. After a positive 20 laps long run, he managed to record a superb lap-time (1'54.750) which earns him sixth position in day-3 timesheet (seventh overall), two tenths behind the hypothetical front row.

Petrux has continued the development work on his Ducati Desmosedici GP and despite some problems encountered during the session, he managed to keep a very high pace during his race simulation, lapping consistently around 1'55.6. A crash without consequences in the final phase of the long run did not then allowed him to go out on track again for the time attack.

6th - Scott Redding - 1'54.750

"I'm very happy with how things went in these three days in Qatar following the difficulties encountered in Malaysia and Australia. We did a great job in particular by improving the feeling with the front end. There is still something to do, but the direction is the right one and I'm very confident for the race. We have made progress day by day. And I have the feeling that I could do even better on the time attack. At the same time I am also pleased with the pace that I can still improve.".

18th - Danilo Petrucci - 1'55.556

"It was a quite complicated test. We had so many new things to try even today. The problem is that I have not spent enough time on track. As a result it was difficult to find the pace but in the race simulation I went very well and this gives me great confidence. Of course I should be able to do better with the new tire, but that does not matter if we think of the race distance. I go home with a good feeling and I'm looking forward to returning in Qatar in a week to focus only on performances.".


Impressive Tech3 duo confident for 2017 after highly positive end to Qatar test

Today Jonas Folger and Johann Zarco both successfully concluded the final preseason test with two noteworthy performances and now await the first race of their rookie campaigns with full motivation. Jonas Folger once again delivered a top performance on the Yamaha YZR-M1 to finish the test as the leading rookie and in 8th, just three-tenths of a second behind Dani Pedrosa in third, as he also completed a confidence-boosting race simulation today. Whereas Johann Zarco continued his swift adaptation to his MotoGP bike as he too completed a long run and eventually finished only 0.093 behind his teammate but ahead of current World Champion Marc Marquez, having cut 0.805 from his fastest time from the first day. The fired up pair will return to the track and will seek to impress in their first GP in the premier class at the highly anticipated season opener in ten days’ time in Qatar.

Jonas Folger

Position: 8th Time : 1'54.807 Laps: 131

"The team and I kept the momentum going and completed another positive test here in Qatar and now I think that we are ready to start the season. Our priority today was to run a race simulation which we did at the end and this was very good for us because I ran some really consistent lap times and the engine mappings that we prepared, worked as we expected them to. It was interesting to see how the tyres performed and I gained some solid experience so now I have more of an idea about what to expect in a Grand Prix. Throughout this test, I have learnt a lot and I have built up more confidence with the bike again, especially in the simulation, where I rode safely. This was very important because the fall at the Phillip Island test when I was doing a long run made me lose some confidence. Now I understand the Yamaha better, particularly when the conditions are changing and I can adapt well. We will see what I can do on the race weekend because it’s a different story altogether when compared to testing but overall, the team and I can be very happy about the preparation that we have done this winter."

Johann Zarco

Position: 10th Time: 1'54.900 Laps: 151

"The final day of the test went really well for me and I am excited about returning to the track soon for the start of my rookie season in the premier class. Today I completed a race simulation, which was important because it allowed me to gain valuable knowledge about how the bike’s behaviour changes over 22 laps. Even though I may not have been super fast, the experience was the most significant thing and I was consistent with my times also. My confidence improved throughout the three days, which I am really happy about, and today I made the most of the soft tyre by setting a solid lap time and ending up in a good position. Overall, we completed this test in a very positive way and now I can start the race week on a better level, plus I understand more about the high level of potential that the Yamaha has. In addition, I finished close to some of the top riders and this gives me further motivation, but it’s great that Jonas was so quick because we are both competitive and we can grow together. Now I will go home and do some training, stay calm and then wait for the race weekend where I aim to do a good job."


CRUTCHLOW SATISFIED AFTER FINAL TEST IN QATAR

PRESS RELEASE: 12 March 2017 | Qatar Test Day Three

LCR Honda rider Cal Crutchlow rounded off a satisfactory final test ahead of the 2017 MotoGP World Championship season with a busy final day at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar. The completion of Sunday’s session marked the end of official preparation for the new term which gets underway at the same venue in two weeks’ time.

Crutchlow completed a total of 70 laps on day three, securing plenty of valuable time in the saddle of his RC213V ahead of the forthcoming campaign. He posted the eighth fastest time of the day, which saw him finish the test ninth in the combined standings – above reigning world champion Marc Marquez who ended in 11th place overall.

The impressive Maverick Vinales again topped the timesheets on Sunday, as he did during every session of the three days. However, with less than 1.3 seconds covering the top 18 riders in the final standings, 2017 promises to be a fascinating season in the premier class.

Cal Crutchlow – 8th

(1’54.821 – lap 64 of 70)

"Today was a positive day, we are happy with what we managed to get through. We worked well as a team again and completed the plan that we had set ourselves. We managed to do a 16-lap long run, unfortunately during that I made a small mistake with the buttons on the handlebar, but we were quite happy overall.

“The final lap time was not very good and I pushed for a lap time on the final lap, but I crashed as we had a malfunction with a part that we think was damaged yesterday. But this is racing and now we look forward to the first round which is very close and hopefully all the fans do too.”


Miller and Rabat ready to race as preseason testing concludes in Qatar

Jack Miller and Tito Rabat today successfully completed their preseason test program at the Losail International Circuit The next time the two Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS riders take to the track will be for free practice ahead of the Grand Prix of Qatar, the opening round of the 2017 MotoGP World Championship.

The main focus for Miller on the third and final day of testing in Qatar was to complete a full race simulation using the latest specification Honda engine. The 22-year-old Australian showed good pace throughout the 21-lap run with all but three of the laps within the 1'56s bracket.

With the race simulation completed Miller then switched his attention to a fast lap, having gone with the softest of the tyre options provided by Michelin in his Honda RC213V. A time of 1'55.455 – his fastest lap of the test - on his second run saw him move up to the order to finish 16th on combined times.

Still recovering from the injuries sustained in his Sepang testing crash, Rabat's physical condition wasn't sufficient for him to complete a race simulation today. Instead the Team Estrella Galicia rider continued the work started yesterday on improving turning and acceleration from mid-corner to exit.

Despite not being fully recovered from the Sepang crash, Rabat's time of 1'56.214 set yesterday was enough to see him finish the three days inside the top 20. The former Moto2 World Champion will now focus on improving his physical condition ahead of the race.

Jack Miller: 16th – 1'55.455

"It's been another good day here in Qatar, I felt really comfortable on the bike and we got a lot of work done. I'm pretty happy with my consistency over the long run and the pace was strong, so when we return for the race we just need to continue working in the same direction. It was nice to get the lap time in at the end; it wasn't quite as fast as I'd have liked it to have been, we just didn't put it all together, but it means I have something up my sleeve for when we come back here in nine days time to race. I can't wait to get into it now!"

Tito Rabat: 20th – 1'56.214

"I wasn't expecting to feel as good as I have done on the bike when I arrived here in Qatar because of the injuries, but it's been much better than I could have hoped for. This morning it was a bit difficult, but things improved this afternoon and I started to feel more comfortable on the bike again. Most of the day was spent on the race tyres and I'm happy to have got down to a 1'56 on a set of tyres that had done race distance this afternoon. This was more important for me than a one-off fast lap at this test, but a fast qualifying lap on the soft tyre is something we definitely need to think about when we return here to race, because I was unable to take profit from the soft tyres today. But, overall, I'm happy with what has been a very positive test and now I'm looking forward to the race."

Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal

"This has been a positive test for us, with both riders improving a lot here compared to last year. Jack feels good with the bike and most of the issues we had last year are now gone. He tried a lot of things and did a lot of laps as we were focussed on race set up rather than chasing a fast lap, but he did manage to put in a quick lap right at the end on the soft tyre, which was good for his confidence. Tito has also improved a lot since the last time we were here, but his condition is still a handicap at the moment; he has no power and struggled a little to get the bike stopped. But when he's fit then I think we'll see quite clearly that this bike suits him better than the version he's tested previously. Now he will be working hard to recuperate further before returning to Qatar for the opening race of the season, where I hope to see both riders finish in the points."


Successful test for Loris Baz and Reale Avintia Racing at Qatar

Reale Avintia Racing rider Loris Baz completed a successful third day of testing at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar. This was the last day of the winter test, and Loris finished 17º on the timesheet only 1.2s from the fastest rider, that once again was Maverick Viñales. Baz had really good feeling during the three days of testing and he leaves Qatar satisfied.

He will be back in his bike here at Losail in ten days time to start the new season, and this time his Reale Avintia Racing teammate Hector Barbera will join him in the garage. Barberá was forced to miss this test after breaking his left collarbone, but he will be ready to compete in the first race of 2017.

Loris Baz | 1'55.539 | P17

“These were three positive testing days and I go back home really happy. Mainly because I had good feeling with the bike and we were able to test some interesting things. Today I did my best lap over the three days with the hard rear tyre, and I also improved with the soft one. I think that it was possible to go a little bit faster at the end, but the last front tyre I used was not working as the previous one. Anyway I leave Qatar satisfied, we did a good job and I did not crash here and also in the previous test in Australia. So I think my winter test was quite positive. The fastest riders were really fast, so it is obvious that we can improve even more, but if we compare how we are now with how we were at the end of last season, I think that we did a big step forward. I’m looking forward to start racing!”.


Source: 
Round Number: 
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2017

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