Moto2

2015 Qatar MotoGP Friday Round Up: How To Pick A Winner When A Second Separates The Top Nineteen?

"It's just nuts to be separated by one second over the 5 km around this place." It is hard to argue with Eugene Laverty's assessment of just how close the times are after free practice for MotoGP. Laverty is either really close to Marc Márquez, or a long way behind Marc Márquez, depending on how you measure it. The Irishman had a solid day of practice to come up just over a second shy of Márquez' best time on Friday evening. His problem is that as impressive as his time was, there are eighteen riders ahead of him.

It is, quite frankly, ridiculously close. "I don't know when was the last time you saw down to 21st was inside 1.3 seconds," Jack Miller said in awe. "It's almost like we're in Moto3 again." The closeness of the field was a frustration for everyone on the grid. Miller, Scott Redding, Nicky Hayden, even Valentino Rossi cannot believe how tough the field is. "This practice is unbelievable, because there are ten bikes in three tenths!"

That does not make it any easier to pick a winner, however. Marc Márquez is the least troubled of the riders on the grid, fast both in race trim and on a single lap. The Repsol Honda man spent the day working on his race pace, dropping his lap time to around 1'55.3. He could not make the same step for his single lap pace, but as Márquez has topped every session so far, that should not be too much of a concern. It is too early to be handing him the pole, however: with Aleix Espargaro managing fourth on the soft tire, Andrea Iannone getting to within two tenths of Márquez while still running the medium tire, and Cal Crutchlow and Dani Pedrosa showing some real pace on a single lap, the front row is not a given. Márquez fears the Ducatis and Pedrosa most, but warned also against writing off the Yamahas. "In one lap, they can be there," he said.

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2015 Qatar Moto2 And Moto3 Friday Post-Practice Press Releases

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


Red Bull KTM Ajo ready for first QP of the year

Miguel Oliveira, Brad Binder and Karel Hanika improve their times from the first night in Qatar and end the practice sessions with the third, eighth and eighteenth best laps, respectively.

03/27/2015 - Losail International Circuit, Qatar

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2015 Qatar Moto2 FP3 Result: Lowes Takes Top Time In Classic Slugfest With Zarco

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. 

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2015 Qatar MotoGP Thursday Round Up: Racing For Real, And The Strange Consequences Of Sponsorship Falling Through

When the flag drops, the speculation stops. Though usually, a rather more forthright word is used instead of speculation. After the long winter of testing, of trying to assess who was trying what on which lap to try to compare lap times, MotoGP is underway for real. Everyone on track is looking for race pace, and a fast lap to ensure they get into Q2. It is a whole lot easier to comprehend, and infinitely more thrilling.

Conditions had not looked promising ahead of practice. Strong winds blew down the front straight in the late afternoon, raising fears that they would coat the circuit in dust and sand. Then shortly before the action was due to kick off, a few drops of rain started falling, threatening to at least delay proceedings should it continue. But the wind dropped and the rain stopped, and the 2015 MotoGP season got underway as planned.

Fears about the track were unfounded, lap times quickly heading towards something resembling race pace. Danny Kent's fastest lap in Moto3 was seven tenths off the lap record in the first session of the day, and when Moto2 hit the track, Sam Lowes set about destroying the existing pole record, becoming the first ever Moto2 rider to break the two minute barrier at the circuit. In MotoGP, Marc Márquez was lapping a few tenths off lap record pace, a record still held by Casey Stoner from 2008.

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2015 Qatar Moto2 And Moto3 Thursday Post-Practice Press Releases

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


Oliveira starts out setting the pace

Red Bull KTM Ajo rider sets the fastest time of the first night of the Qatar Grand Prix. Binder and Hanika conclude with the eleventh and seventeenth best times on the combined timesheet.

03/26/2015 - Losail International Circuit, Qatar

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2015 Qatar Moto2 FP2 Result: Lowes' Domination Continues

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.

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2015 Qatar Moto2 FP1 Result: Lowes Smashes Pole Record To Lead First Session

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.

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2015 Qatar Moto2 And Moto3 Preview Press Releases

Press releases from the series organizers and from some of the Moto2 and Moto3 teams ahead of this weekend's season opener at Qatar:


2015 Moto2™ World Championship begins in Qatar

The 2015 Moto2™ World Championship starts this weekend with the Commercial Bank Grand Prix of Qatar.

After the recent weather-affected final preseason test in Jerez, it is hard to predict any favourites for the 2015 Moto2™ title as riders prepare to do battle under the lights at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar.

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2015 Moto2/Moto3 Jerez Test, Day 3: Kornfeil And Schrotter Fastest As Wet Conditions Claim Victims

Poor weather continued at Jerez on the final day of testing for the Moto2 and Moto3 classes, with high winds and rain lashing the circuit. The weather limited action on the track, many teams preferring to sit out the day rather than risk injury or severe material damage with less than a week to go to the start of the 2015 season. 

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