2017 Qatar MotoGP Test Saturday Notes: A Glimpse Of The Future

As veteran MotoGP journalist Dennis Noyes pointed out on Twitter late on Saturday night, on Sunday, we will start to see some of the real truth of where everyone stands. Sunday is the last chance for the MotoGP field to do a full race simulation, putting together everything they have learned during winter testing. The last day of the test at Qatar will serve as a dress rehearsal for the race.

But Saturday gave us a quick peek at everyone's hands. The work now is more about refinement than revolution, and genuine speed is coming to the fore. The final timesheets from Saturday do not tell the whole story, but a general picture is starting to form. It is looking increasingly like the 2017 MotoGP championship is going to be fought out between Maverick Viñales and Marc Márquez. And while they focus on each other – which they are doing more and more – other riders, primarily Valentino Rossi, are waiting in the wings to strike.

Ducati show their hand

There was a little bit of revolution on display at Qatar on Saturday, however. Ducati finally rolled out their new aerodynamic solution. It is different yet again from the other four manufacturers who have shown off their winglet replacements. The top half of the fairing has been remodeled, to create a very slim nose section and a pair of large ducts, one either side. The shape and position of the ducts (see below) appear to create a very large aerodynamic surface, providing plenty of downforce.

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2017 Qatar MotoGP Saturday 10pm Times: Times Tighten At The Top

The riders all upped their game as the second day of the MotoGP test at Qatar neared its final hour, and riders start clocking off. Maverick Viñales remains quickest, having improved his time by half a second, and lapping under Jorge Lorenzo's pole time from last March. Movistar Yamaha teammate Valentino Rossi took a big step forward, the veteran taking second spot and closing to within three tenths of a second.

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2017 Qatar MotoGP Saturday 9pm Times: Viñales Leads, Ducati Rolls Out New Fairing

There have been few changes in the timesheets at Qatar with two hours of the second day left. Maverick Viñales leads as before, from Marc Marquez and Jorge Lorenzo. Scott Redding has entered the top ten, jumping up into seventh spot.

The big news was Ducati rolling out their aerodynamics at last. Once again, their package is different from everyone else, a large loop on either side of the nose of the bike. No feedback on how it works yet, but the riders will surely be asked about it later tonight.

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2017 Qatar MotoGP Saturday 8pm Times: Viñales Leads As Speed Records Broken

Testing is underway again at Qatar, for the second day of the final preseason test. The first two hours of the test were wasted as usual, as the teams judged that there was no point in going out on a scorching hot track during daylight, and so waited for the sun to set. The only exceptions were the usual suspects: KTM's Mika Kallio and Bradley Smith, both with a lot of work to do.

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2017 Chang World Superbikes Race 1 Notes - Two Times Three In A Row

Jonathan Rea claimed a dominant victory at the Chang International Circuit, the reigning world champion setting a searing pace en route to his third victory in a row. When he arrived in Parc Ferme after Race 1 the Northern Irishman's emotions were clear for all to see as he celebrated his 41st WorldSBK victory.

“I felt really good and quite calm, my guys gave me a really good bike again and that was my plan,” said Rea. “We had a really good pace but Chaz also had a very fast pace, as did Marco, so I had to ride away into T1 to make the holeshot, I wanted to get my head down in T1 and I did it. I managed to get a good gap and then built up a rhythm, I was just doing my job and it was enough to win, so I’m really happy. Last year there was a big fight between me, Tom and Chaz but the bike’s improved a lot since last year, so I’m really happy with that.

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2017 Chang Thailand World Superbike Superpole Results: No Qualifying Tyres

In the opening session, ten riders competed for two places, with Lorenzo Savadori and Stefan Bradl the two quickest Superpole one qualifiers in yesterday’s timed sessions. No Superpole tyres would be available in either session as their delivery was delayed.

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2017 Chang Thailand World Supersport FP3 Results: Jacobsen Leads Smith And Kraisart In Close Session

PJ Jacobsen was quickest ahead of Kyle Smith and Decha Kraisart with Jules Cluzel one tenth of a second of Jacobsen's pace in fourth place. Alex Baldolini has been declared unfit after a crash in FP2 while Stefan Hill and Luke Stapleford have been withdrawn for technical reasons.

Results:

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2017 Qatar MotoGP Friday Notes: A Treacherous Track, and HRC's Bulges

At Sepang, after losing so much time to the weather during the shakedown test ahead of the official test, Ducati boss Gigi Dall'Igna said that there was no point using Sepang as a test circuit, if the surface was not going to dry. "Maybe we have to test somewhere else," he said.

Now MotoGP is somewhere else. At Qatar, where the rain is never a concern (well, almost never), and the teams don't have to worry about the track not drying up. But arguably, the teams get even less track time at Qatar than they do at Sepang, even when it rains. The test starts at 4pm, with the fierce Arabian sun still beating down on the track. Sunset is two hours later, and it takes a while for the track to cool to the normal temperatures which will be found at the race.

Track temperatures are fine after dark, at least for a few hours. Around 10pm, an hour before the track closes, the dew starts to form. The time at which it starts tends to vary, depending on temperature and humidity, but it is very rarely before 11pm. Invisible damp patches on the track mean riders start to crash without warning. The sensible riders wait for the unlucky riders to crash, then take that as a signal to scurry back to their garages and call it a day.

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2017 Jerez IRTA Test Press Releases

Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams at the end of the three-day IRTA test at Jerez:


Márquez and Morbidelli top the timesheet in Jerez

Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS dominated proceedings at the three-day IRTA Jerez test, with Álex Márquez topping the combined Moto2 timesheet and Franco Morbidelli finishing just over a tenth of a second behind in second place.

Márquez's time of 1'41.989, which he posted in today's opening Moto2 session, was more than half a second under the existing Jerez pole position record, set by Sam Lowes in 2016.

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2017 Chang WorldSBK Friday Press Releases

Press releases from the organizers and teams after the first day at the Chang International Circuit in Thailand:


Rea takes first Asian honours in Buriram

Tight at the top in Friday’s Free Practise

MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship riders took to the 34 degree Thai heat for free practise two, as they battled it out for the final spots in Superpole 2, which will take place before Saturday’s opening race at the Chang International Circuit.

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