Aleix Espargaro has stamped his authority on the final day of the test for non-factory teams at Qatar, blitzing to a remarkable time of 1'54.874 on the Open Forward Yamaha, less than two tenths off the pole position set by Jorge Lorenzo at last year's race. Aleix led an Espargaro 1-2 and a Yamaha clean sweep, ending just ahead of brother Pol on the Tech 3 Yamaha, and fifteen hundredths ahead of the second Monster Tech 3 Yamaha of Bradley Smith.
It was not all good news for the Espargaro brothers, however. Pol crashed towards the end of the evening, falling heavily and breaking his left collarbone. The Spaniard is flying to Barcelona tonight and will undergo surgery to fix the collarbone, in an attempt to be fit for the season opener which takes place in two weeks' time. Pol was not the only rider to crash; both Stefan Bradl and Alvaro Bautista had offs, though neither rider suffered any injury.
The satellite Hondas ended the evening behind the Yamahas, reversing the roles from yesterday. Stefan Bradl just edged Alvaro Bautista for 4th, less than five hundredths separating the LCR Honda man from the Go&Fun Gresini rider. Andrea Iannone bagged 6th, the Pramac Ducati rider nearly two thirds of a second slower than Aleix Espargaro. Colin Edwards was 7th, 1.1 seconds slower than his NGM Forward teammate. Nicky Hayden took the honors among the Honda RCV1000R riders, just 1.4 seconds off the pace of Aleix Espargaro, and two tenths off the pace of Colin Edwards.
Sunday was also the day to try out race runs. The big question hanging over Aleix Espargaro was whether his pace during long runs would be able to match his single-lap pace. Aleix answered that question in the affirmative, posting a very impressive race simulation on the harder of the two tire options featuring a long string of high 1'55 laps. More importantly, lap times did not appear to drop off too much at the end of the run. On the basis of this run, the Forward Yamaha rider could well be a serious threat for the top 5 during the race.
|1||41||Aleix Espargaro||Yamaha Forward Open||1:54.874|
|2||44||Pol Espargaro||Yamaha M1||1:54.907||0.033||0.033|
|3||38||Bradley Smith||Yamaha M1||1:55.027||0.153||0.120|
|4||6||Stefan Bradl||Honda RC213V||1:55.187||0.313||0.160|
|5||19||Alvaro Bautista||Honda RC213V||1:55.232||0.358||0.045|
|6||29||Andrea Iannone||Ducati GP14 Open||1:55.518||0.644||0.286|
|7||5||Colin Edwards||Yamaha Forward Open||1:55.978||1.104||0.460|
|8||68||Yonny Hernandez||Ducati GP13 Open||1:56.056||1.182||0.078|
|9||69||Nicky Hayden||Honda RCV1000R Open||1:56.273||1.399||0.217|
|10||7||Hiroshi Aoyama||Honda RCV1000R Open||1:57.006||2.132||0.733|
|11||45||Scott Redding||Honda RCV1000R Open||1:57.009||2.135||0.003|
|12||8||Hector Barbera||Avintia Kawasaki||1:57.142||2.268||0.133|
|13||17||Karel Abraham||Honda RCV1000R Open||1:57.342||2.468||0.200|
|14||63||Mike Di Meglio||Avintia Kawasaki||1:57.669||2.795||0.327|
|15||9||Danilo Petrucci||Aprilia ART||1:58.086||3.212||0.417|
|16||70||Michael Laverty||PBM Aprilia||1:58.555||3.681||0.469|
|17||23||Broc Parkes||PBM Aprilia||1:58.971||4.097||0.416|