Archive - Race Or Practice Result
March 27th, 2015
Sam Lowes has topped the third session of free practice for the Moto2 class, after a scintillating battle for supremacy with Johann Zarco. Lowes and Zarco kept pushing each other to the limits, swapping the lead all the way down to the wire. It was Lowes who ended up on top, the Speed Up rider finishing just ahead of the Ajo Racing man at the end of the session.
Tito Rabat took 3rd behind Lowes and Zarco, the reigning world champion becoming the third rider to break the two minute barrier. The gap was large, however: Rabat is three tenths slower than Zarco, and nearly half a second slower than Lowes. He is still a third of a second quicker than the man in 4th, however, Sandro Cortese ending the day three quarters of a second behind Lowes, and a couple of tenths ahead of Axel Pons.
Alex Marquez had a much better session in FP3, the reigning Moto3 champion starting to find his feet in Moto2. At one point, the Spaniard was up to 8th, before slipping down the field to 11th. Former teammate Alex Rins finished ahead of him once again, ending the session in 9th, after missing much of the first part of FP3 with clutch problems, an issue he shared with his HP Pons teammate Luis Salom.
Danny Kent has continued to impress in the Moto3 class, topping the timesheets of the final session of free practice. Kent and Miguel Oliveira swapped places at the top for most of the session, Kent eventually winning out with a very fast lap at the end.
Kent leads his Leopard Honda teammate Hirokl Ono, the Japanese rider making good use of a large group to jump up at the end, first to 4th, then to 2nd, pushing Miguel Oliveira down into 3rd, and the first of the KTM riders. John McPhee followed the Estrella Galicia riders around on his fast lap to get up to 4th, while Fabio Quartararo once again impresses at a track he has never seen, ending the session in 5th.
Marc Marquez has put some distance between himself and his rivals, topping the second session of free practice by nearly half a second. Marquez got a quick lap in early, then concentrated on race pace. Worryingly for his rivals, Marquez' race pace was mostly faster than 2nd place man Dani Pedrosa's best lap.
If the gap from 1st to 2nd was large, it was much closer behind Marquez. Dani Pedrosa was 0.447 behind his Repsol Honda teammate in 2nd, but the same gap covers 2nd place to Mike Di Meglio in 8th. In fact, an entire second covers Pedrosa in 2nd down to Stefan Bradl in 18th, showing just how tight the field is behind Marquez.
The group behind Pedrosa was illustrative of that. Andrea Dovizioso ended FP2 in 3rd, less than a tenth slower than Pedrosa. Dovizoso's GP15 once again sprouted wings, Ducati continuing to experiment with the anti-wheely devices, though only on the bike of Dovizioso. Cal Crutchlow put in an impressive lap on the LCR Honda to take 4th spot, just a few hundredths behind Dovizioso, while Andrea Iannone was just seven thousandths of a second slower than Crutchlow.
Sam Lowes continues to reign supreme in the Moto2 class at Qatar, leading the second session of free practice almost from the start and never being challenged. The Speed Up rider could not quite get under the two minute mark in FP2, but he was once again under Tito Rabat's pole record from last year.
Reigning champion Rabat ended the day second, a third of a second behind Lowes, and ahead of Johann Zarco this time. Axel Pons set the 4th fastest time, another third of a second behind Zarco, and over a second behind the pace of Lowes. Pons heads up a large group of close riders, with Taka Nakagami, Tom Luthi, Sandro Cortese and Xavier Simeon separated by tenth of a second, and Alex Rins another two tenths behind in 9th. Rins was once again impressive, faster than both his teammate Luis Salom, and the reigning Moto3 champion and former teammate Alex Marquez. Marquez ended down in 18th.
Miguel Oliveira dominated the second session of free practice for the Moto3 session. The Portuguese rider led by nearly half a second for most of the session, the chasing pack only closing the gap as the session wound down, only for Oliveira to open a gap again at the end.
Niccolo Antonelli ended the day in 2nd, just under two tenths behind Oliveira, with Isaac Viñales taking 3rd, over six tenths slower than the Red Bull KTM rider. Romano Fenati showed good pace in the second session, ending in 5th ahead of the deeply impressive Fabio Quartararo, the French rookie living up to expectations. Livio Loi was 7th fastest on the RW Racing Honda, just edging out Danny Kent, who had led FP1. Efren Vazquez and Jorge Navarro rounded out the top 10.
Marc Marquez leads the way at the end of the first session of free practice for the MotoGP class, the reigning world champion starting his 2015 season where he left off in 2014.
Marquez came out of the gate fast, setting his best time with his second flying lap, only for him to see 1st place taken from him by his Repsol Honda teammmate, Dani Pedrosa. Pedrosa led the session for the first 15 minutes, until Marquez came back out and snatched the lead. From that point, the dominion of the two Hondas went unchallenged.
Jorge Lorenzo had sat in 3rd for much of the opening session, but was demoted by Aleix Espargaro at the end, after the Suzuki rider put in a soft tire to set a time. Despite that, Espargaro's pace on the Suzuki was strong, even on the medium race tire, staying well inside the top ten. Cal Crutchlow put in a late fast lap to jump up to 5th, behind the Movistar Yamaha of Lorenzo, staying just ahead of Danilo Petrucci, who had put a soft tire on the Pramac Ducati at the end of the session to take 6th. It had been hard work, as Petrucci had had to sprint back to his pit box after his first bike cut out in pit lane.
Sam Lowes has smashed the existing Moto2 pole record in Qatar, becoming the first man to lap the Losail circuit in under two minutes on a Moto2 bike. Lowes ended the session six tenths of a second ahead of Johann Zarco, while reigning Moto2 champion Tito Rabat took 3rd.
Lowes and Zarco dominated the first session of practice for Moto2, sharing the lead for most of FP1 with exactly the same time. With five minutes to go, Zarco finally took a lead, only to see Lowes smash his time on his very last lap. Rabat was a comfortable 3rd, but could not match the pace of the two leaders.
Tom Luthi finished FP1 in 4th, the Swiss rider nearly 1.6 seconds behind the time set by Lowes, and nearly a second behind Zarco. Times were much closer behind Luthi: Jonas Folger was a tenths slower in 5th, while Sandro Cortese, Franco Morbidelli, Ant West, Alex Rins and Julian Simon were separated by just a quarter of a second. Rins' 9th time marked the best of rookie performances in the Moto2 class, while reigning Moto3 champ Alex Marquez struggled with mechanical issues, only managing the 18th best time.
Danny Kent has drawn first blood of the 2015 season, topping the first session of free practice for the Moto3 class. Kent used a handy slipstream from Romano Fenati to just pip Miguel Oliveira at the very end of the session.
Oliveira ended the session in 2nd, after having led the way for most of it, Kent moving from six tenths behind Oliveira to a tenth of a second ahead of the Red Bull KTM rider. Niccolo Antonelli moved up to set the 3rd fastest time, getting ahead of Isaac Viñales. After a slow start, Brad Binder ended the session in 5th, while Jorge Navarro posted an impressive 6th fastest time on his first visit to the track.
There were impressive starts for two of the Moto3 rookies in FP1. Red Bull Rookie champion Jorge Martin ended the session in 8th, 1.5 seconds behind Kent, while Fabio Quartararo finished in 14th spot, 1.8 seconds slower than the leader Kent.
At the starting grid for race two, Sylvain Guintoli was absent. This was due to a clutch problem that they raced to resolve. As the grid lined up after the warmup lap, Guintoli's Honda was fixed in time for him to join the grid in last position.
The first World Supersport race in Thailand was Film Wilairot's home round and it was clear, like with Kenan Sofuoglu in Turkey, that he was the man the packed grandstands really came to see race seventeen laps of the Chang International circuit.
The inaugural race in Thailand was held over 20 laps.
An uninterrupted 45 minute qualifying session took place on a 39°C track with an air temperature of 28°C, both very low for the weekend.
Superpole One was contested on a dry track under relatively cool conditions.
Leon Haslam recorded a 1'34.253, the quickest time of the weekend, in this untimed session, as riders tried to make up for the lost timed session this morning. Jonathan Rea was only three hundreths slower, with Alex Lowes a further two tenths behind.
Anucha Nakcharoensri crashed eight minutes into the session and was stretchered away to the medical centre, but he has been deemed fit to race tomorrow.
Jules Cluzel was quickest in the damp session, ahead of Kenan Sofuoglu and PJ Jacobsen.