Marc Marquez has consolidated the hype surrounding the young Spaniard by taking top spot in the final session of free practice for the MotoGP class, making it two out of three for the Repsol Honda rookie in his very first race meeting. Marquez' advantage could not have been smaller, however, taking top spot from Jorge Lorenzy by just one thousandth of a second.
Takaaki Nakagami has continued to impress at Qatar, topping the timesheets in the final session of practice for the Moto2 class. The Japanese rider just edged Pol Espargaro to push the title favorite down into 2nd. Scott Redding took 3rd, the Marc VDS Racing man a quarter of a second behind Espargaro, and ahead of Espargaro's teammate Tito Rabat. Rabat in 4th was the last rider to get within a second of leader Nakagami.
Luis Salom has taken a big lead in the final session of free practice for the Moto3 class, topping the timesheets by nearly half a second. The Red Bull KTM rider ended ahead of Alex Rins, after the Estrella Galicia 0'0 rider had held the lead early. Jonas Folger ended the session in 3rd, fractionally behind Rins, while Racing Team Germany's Jack Miller grabbed 4th, four tenths behind Folger and the last man to get within a second of Salom.
Marc Marquez has topped the second session of free practice at the Qatar round of MotoGP. The Repsol Honda rookie set his fastest lap of the session - and the fastest lap of the weekend so far - while following Valentino Rossi at some distance, to end with and advantage of over a quarter of a second. The fast lap seemed to take even Marquez by surprise, the Spaniard running straight on at Turn 1 directly after his fast lap.
It's back. The world is a better place now that young men are wasting fuel going round in circles at irresponsibly breakneck speeds on multimillion dollar motorcycles. (On a side note, someone pointed out today that a satellite 160kg Honda RC213V costs about half its weight in gold, at current prices, which suggests that a factory bike must be close to costing its own weight in gold). The lights in the desert are once again spectacularly lit, and the sandy void which surrounds the Losail circuit again rings with the bellow of MotoGP bikes.
The Pata Honda team issued the following press release at the end of their test at the Motorland Aragon circuit:
Rea and Haslam complete Aragon test
Pata Honda World Superbike riders Jonathan Rea and Leon Haslam have completed a three-day test at Motorland Aragon in Spain ahead of next week’s second round World Superbike championship event at the same circuit.
Press releases from the MotoGP teams after the first day of practice at Qatar:
2013 Season gets underway in Qatar
Tonight under the floodlights of the Losail circuit in Qatar, the 2013 MotoGP season began.
Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after first day of practice at Qatar:
Promising start for Kornfeil and Iwema
RW Racing GP experienced a good start of the 2013 season. In the first free practice for the Moto3 riders on the Losail circuit in Qatar Jasper Iwema set a promising 9th time. His team mate Jakub Kornfeil was on his tail and finished 11th. The Czech improved to 10th in the second practice session. The Dutchman had to settle for 20th after a small mistake in his flying lap.
Takaaki Nakagami has topped the second session of free practice for the Moto2 class at Qatar, the Japanese rider benefiting from the track being cleaned by a good number of previous sessions. The Japanese rider just kept ahead of Tuenti HP 40 rider Tito Rabat, who was in turn less than a tenth quicker than his team mate Pol Espargaro. Scott Redding took 4th, half a second behind Nakagami but a good four tenths ahead of a big group of riders challenging for 5th, led by Julian Simon.
Jorge Lorenzo has gotten the defence of his 2012 MotoGP title off to a strong start, topping the first session of free practice for the class at Qatar. The Spaniard leapt to the top of the timesheets with a late charge, after his teammate Valentino Rossi led for much of FP1. Lorenzo took over from Cal Crutchlow, after the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha rider briefly led the session. Rossi completed a Yamaha clean sweep of the top three spots, the three bikes separated by just 0.071 seconds.
Pol Espargaro has started the 2013 Moto2 season as he means to go on, topping the timesheets in the first session of free practice. The Tuenti HP 40 rider ended the session three tenths ahead of Italtrans rider Takaaki Nakagami, the two men swapping the lead throughout the session. Espargaro's teammate Tito Rabat ended the session in 3rd, ahead of Marc VDS Racing's Scott Redding. Redding had a difficult start, stopping with an electrical problem on his out lap, but returning in time to get within three quarters of a second of Espargaro.
Jonas Folger has drawn the first blood of the 2013 Moto3 season, topping the first session of free practice at Qatar. The German leads Spaniard Alex Rins by nearly four tenths of a second, while Luis Salom took 3rd. Efren Vazquez ended the session in 4th spot, and was the last rider to get within a second of Folger.