2019 Qatar MotoGP Test Saturday Final Times: Viñales And Rins Hold A Clear Lead Over The Field

Maverick Viñales has ended the first day of the Qatar MotoGP test at the top of the timesheets. The Monster Energy Yamaha rider put in a lap close to the race lap record towards the end of the test, narrowly missing out on a lap of 1'54. Suzuki Ecstar's Alex Rins ended in second, a tenth behind Viñales, the Spaniard having tried out a new exhaust system with twin tailpipes, which seemed to be a success.

The factory Ducatis followed at a distance, Andrea Dovizioso half a second behind Viñales, and a few hundredths ahead of teammate Danilo Petrucci. Valentino Rossi was fifth quickest, just under six tenths slower than his teammate, and a tenth faster than Tito Rabat on the Avintia Ducati. Fabio Quartararo set an outstanding time on the Petronas SRT Yamaha, ending in seventh, three quarters of a second behind Viñales, while Takaaki Nakagami was the fastest of the Hondas, riding the 2018-spec bike, rather than the 2019 spec given to the factory Repsol Honda riders and Nakagami's teammate Cal Crutchlow. 

Pol Espargaro put the Red Bull KTM RC16 into ninth, just under a second behind Viñales, and a tenth ahead of reigning champion Marc Marquez on the Repsol Honda. Marquez' teammate Jorge Lorenzo finished 21st, two seconds behind the leader.

The test continues on Sunday, before wrapping up on Monday.

Times at the end of Saturday:

Pos No Rider Bike Time Diff Prev
1 12 Maverick Viñales Yamaha M1 1:55.051    
2 42 Alex Rins Suzuki GSX-RR 1:55.159 0.108 0.108
3 4 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati GP19 1:55.550 0.499 0.391
4 9 Danilo Petrucci Ducati GP19 1:55.594 0.543 0.044
5 46 Valentino Rossi Yamaha M1 1:55.604 0.553 0.010
6 53 Tito Rabat Ducati GP18 1:55.694 0.643 0.090
7 20 Fabio Quartararo Yamaha M1 1:55.772 0.721 0.078
8 30 Takaaki Nakagami Honda RC213V 1:55.943 0.892 0.171
9 44 Pol Espargaro KTM RC16 1:56.040 0.989 0.097
10 93 Marc Marquez Honda RC213V 1:56.167 1.116 0.127
11 36 Joan Mir Suzuki GSX-RR 1:56.264 1.213 0.097
12 41 Aleix Espargaro Aprilia RS-GP 1:56.358 1.307 0.094
13 29 Andrea Iannone Aprilia RS-GP 1:56.447 1.396 0.089
14 21 Franco Morbidelli Yamaha M1 1:56.511 1.460 0.064
15 63 Francesco Bagnaia Ducati GP18 1:56.738 1.687 0.227
16 5 Johann Zarco KTM RC16 1:56.770 1.719 0.032
17 88 Miguel Oliveira KTM RC16 1:56.891 1.840 0.121
18 35 Cal Crutchlow Honda RC213V 1:56.921 1.870 0.030
19 43 Jack Miller Ducati GP19 1:56.932 1.881 0.011
20 17 Karel Abraham Ducati GP18 1:57.053 2.002 0.121
21 99 Jorge Lorenzo Honda RC213V 1:57.090 2.039 0.037
22 38 Bradley Smith Aprilia RS-GP 1:57.137 2.086 0.047
23 55 Hafizh Syahrin KTM RC16 1:57.459 2.408 0.322

Circuit records and best time in testing:

Year No Rider Bike Time Event
2018 5 Johann Zarco Yamaha M1 1:54.029 Qatar Test
2018 5 Johann Zarco Yamaha M1 1:53.680 Qualifying
2016 99 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha M1 1:54.927 Race
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Pace is still to come and it is early to say much. This Suzuki, so very curious about how much power they have found as Rins is making it shine so far. (Anyone have a link to trap speeds please and thanks?).

The Yamaha has me convinced already. Hope I am right. Wow, Quartararo! Nicely done kid.

So thankful to see the circus in Qatar and WSBK racing. Life has meaning again.

Looking at Rins' and Mir's speeds, mostly mid to high 330s, with a best of 342.8 from Rins and 343.9 from Mir. From a glimpse the speeds seem to be on par with the Yamahas and Aprillas. KTMs look mostly low to mid 330s and looking at the '19 Hondas and Ducatis I see numerous 340+

This should be a link to their lap by lap analysis - not sure if you need an acct to see it though:



First session only, but the drag race tells something -
Quick look rounding to nearest kph
Rins 345 kph - hope I read correctly (right side top of page one, yes?)
(Maverick 338)
Petrucci 346
Marquez 348

Nice motor Suzuki!! It is "there." It may be the goldilocks best of everything bike if these trap speeds hold up. Handles more like a Yanaha than the Yamaha, tractible power that may be on par with Ducati and Honda. Btw, the Honda got more motor too it looks like. And is a bit more settled.

Q: Quartararo's Yamaha, anyone yet know some specifics of which bits from the bin went on it? 2018 frame/swingarm. 2019 motor? (No way is the 2018 motor out there! And then electronics can be shared w Morbidelli).

Careful with judging top speeds at Losail. Dovizioso during his interview today said that the speed trap is right at the end of the straight and many riders either start braking before that or just after that. So  those top speeds are not a reliable indicator of each motor's capabilities.