2019 Qatar Moto2 & Moto3 Test Press Releases

Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after the final test of the preseason at Qatar:


After being the absolute protagonist in the last two winter tests of the preseason and setting the quickest lap-time (1’58.439secs) in the three-day outing at Losail, Sam Lowes is finally ready to tackle the opening round of the 2019 Moto2 World Championship – which takes place in Qatar this weekend.

The standard bearer of Team Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 displayed an exciting amount of speed throughout the three days of practice while working on many areas of the Triumph-powered machine he is still trying to get to know better. After not having the best time on day one due to very windy conditions, the Briton was able to work hard in the remaining days and consistently stayed on top of the timesheets.

On the final day, Lowes also had the time to complete a race simulation, which is currently being analysed by the team ahead of the season debut, in order to come up with the perfect plan for the Qatari event. The Losail International Circuit is one of Lowes’s favourite venues, as the former World Champion was on pole in 2015 and then lined up on the front row in the following edition with the Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 team in 2016.

The preseason draws to a close on a very high note and now the team is excited to get things started, while knowing that from Friday onwards it will be game time; proceedings will get underway this Friday at 14:45 local Qatari time (GMT +3) with the first free practice session of the intermediate class.


“We come from a very positive test in which we worked very hard, so I must thank the whole team first and foremost. We also managed to complete a race simulation on the last day: we decided to do it during the day, when conditions are normally worse than at night time as we wanted to test the bike limits – and I believe we succeeded. Generally speaking, we had a great winter and we found a good base to work on at every GP, so I cannot be but happy and positive ahead of the first race of the year. The goal is to stay at the front and battle for the win.”


After a long break, the Snipers team is coming back with the first press release of the year 2019 and we are pleased to do that from the top of the official Irta test classification. The duo of the team has literally dominated the Qatar test by getting, in the third day, also the track record. To be exact, both riders broke down the best time signed last year (2:05.285 for Romano Fenati, followed by Tony Arbolino with the time of 2:05.515) . That's a good sign for the start of the championship and this represents already a small victory for the team that, after the season 2018, is now deeply renewed.

We thanks Marinelli Cucine for its past support and, in particular, a memory goes always to Andrea Marinelli who contributed, in an inestimable way, to our current determination.

We thank Rivacold Mastering Cold, Alceste, Alessandro and Roberta Vitri, for having believed in us once again and all the new companies that decided to support us and that we'll introduce in the next press releases and on the social networks. We finally thank REBOOT 55 for having routed us on the right way.

Romano Fenati: "They have been three positive days where we worked really well. We were fast from the first day but it hasn't been easy as even the other riders were fast. The race is another story but we try to go on in this direction and to do our best".

Tony Arbolino: "It was a positive test, we were strong and, from my side, we did a good step ahead. We are competitive and I feel good for this start of the season. In the past year, in Qatar, I wasn't feeling comfortable compared to other tracks but, this time, we were really fast. We still can improve a little bit more but everything is ready and I am looking forward to start the race weekend".

Leopard riders are ready to race in Qatar

Three days and 249 laps after, Lorenzo Dalla Porta and Marcos Ramirez leave the stunning Qatar track with good feelings despite some issues throughout the testing sessions.

To find the best set-up for next weekend and get the best possible feelings were the goals of the team and they’ve done the job.

Most of the time both Dalla Porta and Ramirez have been inside the Top10 and finally the Italian man has got the 4th place on the combined standings (less than half a second far from the fastest rider) and the Spaniard, the 7th.

Right now Qatar lights are off but not for so long, as in less than a week action will be back on track. Stay tuned and don’t miss the first race of the season. This is just the beginning of the 2019 adventure!

Lorenzo Dalla Porta, 4th (2:05.771)

"These three days have been positive, we have done a lot of laps and have seen interesting things for the race. Besides, we have a nice race pace, which is very important. I have missed a fast lap but it wasn't easy. What really matters is next week's race and in any case we are very pleased after this test. We are ready to start".

Marcos Ramírez, 7th (2:06.030)

"I’m happy after the test because we have found the best set-up for the race, and for this season overall. We have had some crashes as many other riders, but we have worked a lot with the team and we can say that we are ready for next week. The important thing is that we have a lot of useful information. I can’t wait to be here again in a few days!"

PETRONAS Sprinta Racing complete positive 2019 preseason

John McPhee and Ayumu Sasaki finish 6th and 15th respectively as they end preseason in good form at Qatar test, with season set to start at same circuit next weekend.

With the final test of the 2019 preseason now in the bag, PETRONAS Sprinta Racing are ready for the opening round of the Moto3 World Championship after an intense period of preparation. Both riders and their technical staff have found good base settings for their Moto3 machines, giving them plenty of reason for optimism ahead of the new campaign. John McPhee ended the Qatar test tonight in 6th place with his teammate Ayumu Sasaki in 15th.

After a period of adaptation to the Honda, John McPhee and his team are now feeling satisfied with the package they have worked so hard to find. The Scotsman has been consistent throughout the three days in Qatar, setting strong lap times riding alone. The PETRONAS Sprinta Racing rider clocked his best lap of the Qatar test tonight with a 2’05.899 during the second session.

His teammate Ayumu Sasaki also ended preseason with a good feeling with his bike, even though he has struggled a little at the Losail International Circuit, mainly thanks to a heavy crash suffered last night. However, the Japanese rider and his team have found a good setting for this track, as they did at Jerez, with Sasaki finishing the Qatar test with a best lap of 2’06.341, set in tonight’s final session.

With preseason now complete, PETRONAS Sprinta Racing are looking forward to the start of the new season, with the GP of Qatar due to get underway with the opening free practice sessions on Friday 8th March.

Johan Stigefelt - Team Director

"We have had three good days of testing in Qatar. John [McPhee] has taken a little time to adjust to the Honda but we have worked hard on the set-up of the bike ever since we started preseason back at Valencia last year - we have changed and tried a lot of things and in the end we have found a good package that he likes and is comfortable with. In fact, today was the best day we have had in preseason because he has done a lot of laps alone, setting fast and consistent times. He was also able to set a qualifying lap on his own with the soft tyre. He used this package today and he and the team have done a great job. I’m pleased to end preseason testing like this and I think on John’s side we are ready.

Ayumu [Sasaki] has had a good preseason, although not so much in this Qatar Test because it has been difficult for him, with a big crash yesterday that affected him a little. Step by step he has made progress and at the end of the session we saw he could be fast straight away. Ayumu will be ready for the race - he found a good setting at Jerez that he is happy with and there are just a couple of areas on the track here where he needs to be faster."

#71 Ayumu Sasaki

15th +1.056

"I am happy because I was progressing well but I just struggled a bit on the last day when I wanted more. The good thing is that we could see the right direction during the last session of the test and I am happy to have finished the test like this. I was expecting a bit more but it’s never easy after a crash like yesterday. I am ready for the race and we still have three practice sessions to improve, so I am looking forward to the weekend."

#17 John McPhee

6th +0.614

"We have had three very productive days here in Qatar. We already had a good base set-up for the bike after the Jerez test but we have kept working as a team to improve the feeling even more. I am very happy with how the team is working, they have all been fantastic and step by step we have improved the lap time and our race pace. These three days we mainly focused on race pace and race setting and I feel very comfortable and consistent over a long run. We treated the second session tonight as more like a qualifying session to see what lap time we could manage and we ended up happy with the lap time because I set it on my own. It is great to finish the last test of preseason like this."

Márquez and Vierge bid farewell to the pre-season with their best times and homework completed

Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS closes three days of testing with great satisfaction and the riders ready to face the World Championship battle. Speed, rhythm and confidence were all gained during the team's work in the test that delivered constant progression.

The last day of the test and the last day of the pre-season has seen the circuit's fastest lap record lowered for the second day in a row, with Sam Lowes setting it at 1:58.439. The general objective of the riders and teams has been to squeeze the maximum out of the time on track and polish all the final details, and Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS was no exception. The Spanish-Belgian structure is prepared to face the year confident of success, with good results, good mood and good teamwork during testing meaning it has been a very fruitful pre-season.

"It's the most important day". That's how Alex Márquez defined today and after doing some final chassis and suspension tests to improve his feeling with the rear of the bike, he carried out a race simulation. Looking for consistency and to fully understand the behaviour of the tyres over a race distance, the number 73 lapped in podium rhythm and could keep in the low 1’59” bracket. In the last session of the day a second simulation was made, but in this case, opening the throttle to the maximum and simulating the strategy of fighting for Pole Position was the focus. The qualifying simulation led Márquez to sign off with his best time of the test and he stopped the clock at 1:58.948. It was the eighth best time of the day and on the combined standings.

Fine tuning the balance of his machinery has remained the priority for Xavi Vierge who, despite having improved a lot from the first tests, has continued to work on rear traction and improving his sensations with used rubber to optimise performance for the second half of the race. The number 97 also wanted to say goodbye to the day with a time attack in which Xavi rode below 1'59'' and sealed a time of 1:58.880. That was his personal best, which placed him sixth on the day and at the conclusion to the three-day test.

Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS closes the pre-season with the best sensations to face the start of the competition with enthusiasm and high expectations. There is only one week to go before the starting lights on the Losail International Circuit are switched off and the 2019 World Championship finally begins.

Alex Márquez

8th, 1:58.948, 52 laps, 280 km.

"We only need one tenth per lap to win the race"

"I'm very happy with my race pace because the simulation has gone very well. We can still improve a bit and we're not there to win yet. There are a couple of opponents who have a better race pace but I'm happy because I was very constant and I kept the pace until the end, setting the fastest lap in the penultimate lap. We only need one tenth per lap to win the race. The qualifying simulation didn't go so well but I'm not too worried because with Saturday's adrenaline it can be improved. I'm happy and ready. The team has done a great job.”

Xavi Vierge

6th, 1:58.880, 51 laps, 274 km.

"We've done several race simulations and we've improved every time"

"I am very satisfied. We took another step forward yesterday and I am very happy with all the pre-season work in general. We have advanced as a team and with Alex we have also worked together and that has allowed us to get much more information. There have been some difficult moments that we have been able to get out of and that will be very important throughout the season. We've done several race simulations and we've improved every time. I'm already looking forward to the adrenaline of racing. We are very prepared to face the World Championship.”


It closes at Losail the last testing session before the opening race of the 2019 season. In Moto2, Marini and Bulega are very close to the top guys. Important steps forward also for Foggia and Vietti Ramus in Moto3.

Losail (Qatar), March 3rd 2019 - Less than a week before the first race of the 2019 season, the pre-season of the Sky Racing Team VR46 officially closes at Losail with really encouraging results thanks to a great team work. In Moto2, Luca Marini and Nicolò Bulega have always kept the pace of the strongest guys and are respectively in the ninth and 13th place in the combined standings of the three days. Top10 for both Moto3 riders with Dennis Foggia ninth and Celestino Vietti Ramus tenth.

Very fast from the very first sessions, Luca has broken the wall of 1.59 and with a best of 1:58.980, signed today, has a gap of half a second from Lowes (1: 58.439). Gap of seven tenths and a great job on the race pace instead for Nicolò with a best lap time of 1: 59.226, second rookie.

Impressive Day3 for Dennis and Celestino in Moto3. After a step by step approach, today they have been protagonists of sensitive steps forward and have reduced the gap to just 9 tenths. Separated by a single thousandth they have closed with a lap times of 2:06.199 and 2:06.200.

Pablo Nieto

Three days of hard work for both Teams and now we are really close to the race. In Moto3, we made a great steps forward and today we have closed the testing session more than positively. Dennis did a fantastic job on the race pace while Celestino from a gap of more than 3 seconds at the end of the Day1, today he has reduced the distances a nine tenths. Positive feelings also in Moto2 with Luca not 100% fit, but fast and Nicolò who, after three testing sessions at Jerez, has faced a completely different kind of track and has closed close to the fastest guys.

Luca Marini

A really productive testing session: we tried many new solutions, collected important data that we will try to use during the race weekend to find the right compromise with the bike. Many riders have been fast, but we are there with them. The Team has done a great job, we are a great group and we are looking forward to the FP1 of the next week.

Nicolo Bulega

Compared to Jerez, we have done a different kind of job and we are satisfied. We have focused on the race pace and less on the fast lap to get as competitive as possible for the race. With the used tires the feeling was good and now we just have to wait a few more days to get back on track for the first race.

Dennis Foggia

A good Day3, we are on the right way. We have done a great job on the pace with used tires and we were able to make a good step forward at the end of Day2. I'm happy, we are close to the group of the fastest and I can not wait to get back on track, but first let's enjoy these two days of rest!

Celestino Vietti

Three very positive days where we were able to try a lot of material and new solutions to being ready for the race of the next week. Lap by lap, I was able to improve and get closer to the group of the fastest riders. Now I have more data, more experience and I’m more familiar with the new track. The way in front of us is very long, but we know in which direction we have to move and the Team has supported me with a great job.

Brad Binder and Jorge Martin finish 2019 preseason in good shape

Red Bull KTM Ajo rider complete the Qatar Official Test satisfied with the progress made with their new KTM Moto2 bike.

03/03/2019 - Losail International Circuit, Qatar

The final day of the Official Test in Qatar brought the 2019 preseason to an end for the Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto2 team today, as riders Brad Binder and Jorge Martin rounded off their workload for the visit to Losail. The pair ended in a positive way this Sunday's practice and are ready for action ahead of next weekend's season opener at the same venue.

Better weather conditions and a lack of wind allowed Binder to complete 58 laps. Making steady progress, the South African clocked his best time of the test in today's second session, and his 1:58.999 lap was over half a second quicker than his Saturday marker. The 2016 Moto3 World Champion ended Sunday in tenth place on the combined timesheets.

The reigning Moto3 World Champion and Moto2 newcomer, Jorge Martin, continued with his setup work. The Spaniard performed a long run and a total of 49 laps during the evening. Martin set a 1:59.042 time that put him eleventh, but a crash in the last session prevented him from further improvement.

The Red Bull KTM Ajo riders will be back in Qatar from March 8th to 10th to contest the opening round of the season.

Aki Ajo - Team manager

"It has been a tricky weekend, since the weather was constantly changing and made the track conditions vary, forcing us to adjust the bike to the different circumstances. On Friday we started very well, with Brad leading the timesheets, but today we had to deal with some issues. Even so, we are happy because we have extracted some very important information from these past three days. The Moto2 class is getting more competitive all the time, so we will have a very tight season ahead."


"On Friday it seemed that everything was fine; we had some problems but we were not too worried about them. However, over the last two days we couldn't find what we were looking for. Overall, the whole team have worked hard and, although we have had some difficulties, we have done our best. This test has allowed us to assess where we are and see what we need to do to be faster. If we can fix those details, we'll be further up the order."


"Today was another very positive day. To start with, it was a bit difficult, since the track conditions had changed and I didn't feel comfortable. But thanks to the great work by the team in the second session I started to feel more and more at ease and managed to set good times -even with very worn tyres. In addition, I performed a long run of 12-13 laps that helped me to see where we are at. It's a pity that in the last session I suffered a crash when trying to set a fast lap, but luckily I was unharmed."

Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Moto3 conclude Qatar Official Test with objectives reached

Alonso Lopez ends preseason having lowered his best lap time at Losail and improved his pace. Sergio Garcia Dols continues amongst the frontrunners in preparation for his upcoming debut in Argentina.

The Qatar Official Test at the Losail International Circuit came to an end for the Estrella Galicia 0,0 Moto3 riders this Sunday, as they contested the third and final day of preseason activity at the venue for next weekend's season opener. Weather conditions were similar to those on Saturday, with temperatures above 20ºC and 12km/h winds.

Alonso Lopez had made significant progress during the first two days of the test, looking for a setup that would allow him to maintain a strong pace when riding alone -even on used tyres. With that objective achieved, the Spainard focused his third day of work on optimising his feeling and aiming for a fast one-off lap time. He would eventually clock a 2:06.043 best time that placed him twelfth overall for the test, a time lower than his previous quickest lap of the track. In the first session on Sunday he was highsided from his bike at Turn 10, but escaped unhurt.

Sergio Garcia Dols ends the test having made remarkable progress since his first time out on track at Losail last Friday. He had set the objective of finding a more comfortable setup on Day 3, attempting to get a better feeling with the front end. A loss of front grip meant that he suffered a small crash at Turn 9, but he leaves Qatar pleased with a top time of 2:06.975 for 22nd place on the combined timesheets.

Garcia Dols is ineligible to compete at the Qatar Grand Prix, as he will not have turned 16 by then, but he will make his Moto3 World Championship debut at the Argentinian Grand Prix at the end of March. The Estrella Galicia 0,0 team will instead run Monlau Repsol Technical School product Ryusei Yamanaka in Qatar, ahead of his participation with Junior Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 in the Moto3 Junior World Championship this year.

Alonso Lopez and Ryusei Yamanaka will be back on track at Losail on Friday at 13:50h local time for the first Free Practice session.

Alonso López

12th, 2:06.243, + 0.958, 153 laps, 826 km

"We have been improving our pace and I think we are in good shape"

"I think that throughout the three days at this test we have managed to configure a setup that allows us to ride comfortably and with a good pace. The first race is just around the corner and I am very happy with the work we have done. Little by little we have been improving our pace and I think we are in good shape, allowing me to ride quickly without other riders as references. I think that is worth a lot, because there are often quick times that are set when you follow another rider and use a slipstream."

Sergio García

21th, 2'06.975, + 1.690, 157 laps, 847 km

"Every time we have gone out on track we have continued to improve"

"I think we have had a very good preseason. I have been fast at almost every circuit we've visited. I am also very satisfied with the setup we have found, even though these three days in Qatar were not the best for me. I can't wait to start racing in Argentina and make my debut in the World Championship. The best thing is that every time we have gone out on track we have continued to improve."

Bo Bendsneyder finishes the preseason with top 10 ranking

NTS RW Racing GP has finished the preparations for the 2019 season with confidence and a good feeling. Bo Bendsneyder ended the last test session at the Losail International Circuit in ninth. His temporary teammate Jesko Raffin concluded the day in seventeenth. Next Friday the season starts with the free practice sessions for the Grand Prix of Qatar, on the same circuit.

Bendsneyder started well right away. In the first session he already set a time of 1.59.544. The problems that existed yesterday with the front of the NTS, could be resolved by a number of adjustments. These improvements, however, revealed some new obstacles, which meant that the second session was largely lost. Problems with the electronics kept the Dutchman more than half an hour inside. In the third session, in circumstances that were less favourable, he managed to improve his time anyway. This 1.59.308 was good enough for a top 10 in the session. In the overall rankings of the three test days, Bendsneyder is fifteenth, 0.869 away from the 1.58.439 of Sam Lowes.

Jesko Raffin, who mounted the NTS for the first time only on Saturday, concluded the day with an impressive seventeenth position. In the overall rankings, the Swiss came out in 23rd with that 2.00.334. He too encountered problems with the electronics in the second session, in which he had planned a race simulation and a time attack.

Bo Bendsneyder: “I was able to start the last day with a good feeling and good lap times, because the problems we had yesterday were solved. But if you ride faster, new issues can pop up. In session 2 we wanted to work with a set of new tires, but due to problems with the electronics, that session was almost completely lost. That is a shame, because the track temperature was the best in that session. In the third session it was much colder and therefore less favourable, but wanted to make up for the lost time, and I also did a time attack. My fastest laps I have done on my own, in not so easy conditions, so that is very positive. All in all a good test, in which we were able to do a lot and achieved good results. That gives confidence. I think we have a good setup to start the season on Friday.”

Jesko Raffin: “We have been able to do a lot today, both in improving the bike and my feeling with the NTS. The cooperation with the team, also with Bo's crew, is superb. We had the same problems in the second session. It is a pity that we lost time because we planned a race simulation and a time attack. Luckily I was able to improve my time in the last, colder session and that indicates that we are doing well. I am very satisfied, considering that I was on this machine for the first time only yesterday. I am really looking forward to the weekend and I can hardly wait until it is Friday.”

We leave behind the preseason with good feelings.



After the first test in Jerez , the 2019 preseason finishes in Qatar circuit.

Boé Skull Rider Mugen Race Team ends with good feelings, ready to start the new 2019 season.

#22 Kazuki Masaki: 13º 2'06.246

"Overall I’m happy with these three days of training, maybe the lap time doesn’t show too much the good work we have done, I have the impression that in the race weekend we can improve even more and fight to be in the front group. The team has done a fantastic job every day, I’m feeling very comfortable with the team we have and I’m getting used to the new ktm."

#76 Makar Yurchenko: 25º 2'07.227

"We have been working hard to get the best set up for the bike and try to solve some problems with the setting.

however we have done some steps forward, but I'm still not happy and I know that we have a lot of work that has to be done.

Anyway, I hope to continue improving during the race weekend."


Ángel Nieto Team riders ready for the first race of the season in Qatar

Romano Fenati confirmed his preseason form with the fastest time of the final night in Qatar, with a 2’05.285 that only his teammate Tony Arbolino and KTM rider Aron Canet were able to get close to. Six days of winter testing is now complete for the Moto3 class, who will next take to the track on Friday evening for the first free practice session of the Grand Prix of Qatar.

Ángel Nieto Team riders Albert Arenas and Raúl Fernández have ended an intense preseason in good form, with Arenas a little battered and bruised tonight after his crash yesterday but still able to do a good job over thirty laps of the Losail circuit. Arenas knocked 1.2 seconds off his fastest time from yesterday and ended the test with a best effort of 2’06.312, just a second off the top. His teammate Raúl Fernández finished the test in seventeenth position but the rookie is confident and excited about his chances in the opening race of the season next weekend.

14th Albert Arenas 2:06.312 (29 laps): “I am very satisfied with the job we have done today, after setting thirty very satisfactory laps. Everything we are trying is paying off. We looked at the crash from yesterday and understand what happened, but I am still a bit bruised tonight. In any case, I am happy with the race run we did tonight and I also set a fast flying lap on my own, so I feel ready for the race. Now we need to try and rest up over the coming days and try to fully recover so that we can start the season in top form next weekend.”

17th Raúl Fernández 2:06.558 (55 laps): “It has been a positive day and unlike yesterday we have been able to improve my rhythm riding alone, even though we didn’t get lucky with a slipstream. My target tonight was a 2’05 but I didn’t manage it, so it is a bittersweet feeling but I have to be happy because I have got pace and I can do 2’06s easily. I’ll take that.”

The Redox PrüstelGP Team is ready for the Qatar Grand Prix

A week before the season opener at the Losail International Circuit, the Redox PrüstelGP team finished their last pre-season test. The three-day showdown was hampered by heavy sandstorms, especially on the first day of the test. On the third and last day conditions improved on the 5.38km long circuit at the gates of Doha, so especially in the last sessions of the day times increased significantly.

Rookie Filip Salac suffered a heavy crash on Saturday after the young Czech continued to suffer from grip problems on the rear tyre, which had previously bothered him in the tests at Valencia and Jerez. 17-year-old Salac finished in 24th place in the combined three-day time ranking, with a personal best of 2:07.217 and a gap of 1,932 seconds to the comeback rider, Romano Fenati, who led the field with his strong 2:05.285. Only 0.009 seconds separated him from his former Red Bull Rookies Cup colleague, Can Öncü.

Jakub Kornfeil had to digest a high-speed crash at 180km/h at the end of the third day. Nevertheless, the experienced Czech is satisfied with the progress of the three days and knows that there is still a lot of potential in his Moto3 KTM.

His personal best of 2:06.590 was achieved in the 7th session on Sunday afternoon. The 25-year-old feels ready for the upcoming season opener after trying many different tyre options and the front fork was on the test plan as well. The set-up for the first Grand Prix of the year has been largely found and the routinier finished the Qatar test in 18th place overall, 1,305 seconds behind leading Snipers rider, Romano Fenati.

In just a few days, the Redox PrüstelGP Team's Czech duo will be in for the first free practice, when the big season opener at the Losail International Circuit takes place from the 8th to the 10th of March. The team will use the coming days to further analyze the data gained and to prepare the two KTM machines for the first outing on Friday at 11:50 am (CET).

Jakub Kornfeil #84

A lot of things happened in the past three days. On the first day it was difficult because the track was pretty dirty. Over the days we have improved our lap times significantly but the times I was hoping to be able to ride with our KTM was a high 2:05. Unfortunately I couldn’t deliver this time. Overall, me and my crew chief, Hector and the Team in general are happy with the progress. We had some problems but now the bikes has some kilometer on it and so it’s normal for the machinery. For myself, I think I could have been better in a few laps but I am still really happy with the bike. Hector is giving me a fantastic bike. I think the bike still has some more potential but unfortunately I had a crash at the end of today. It was a high speed crash at 180km/h. My leather suit was completely damaged but I only feel a little bit of pain in my left thumb. I am really looking forward to next week and even though we are not high up in the time chart, I am optimistic and think we did a good job the past tests. I think we are ready for the start of the new season and I’d like to thank my team and all our sponsors that believe in us.

Filip Salac #12

We did a good job at the test in Qatar. It’s a track I enjoy riding as it is a fast circuit. In the end, the lap time wasn’t how I wanted but I do have a good feeling with the bike. In my last practice of today, I was able to ride a 2:07.217 but in that lap I actually had a slower rider in front me which slowed me down about six tenths but it was still my best personal time. Of course I am a bit unhappy about this because six tenths can make a huge difference in the placement. Still, I am happy with the test and the bike although I had a heavy crash on the second day of testing. My back hurts quite a lot now but I was still faster today than yesterday. Big thanks to my team for putting my bike back together yesterday and the great job in general.


Moto2 riders complete the sixth and final day of tests and turn their attention to next weekend’s race

After three days of testing at Jerez last week and three more in Qatar, preseason is now over and the first race of the year is almost upon us. Sam Lowes ended the Qatar test tonight on top of the Moto2 timesheets, with a 1’58.439 that proved out of reach for his closest rivals Tom Luthi, Remy Gardner and Augusto Fernández. A new era for the intermediate class officially dawns in a matter of days, as the Triumph 765cc engine takes its Moto2 bow at Losail.

The Ángel Nieto Team completed the sixth and final day of preseason testing with Jake Dixon and Xavi Cardelús pushing hard in Qatar. The British rider finished 25th overall after being unable to better the 2’00.495 he set yesterday, although he did come within a tenth of that time. Dixon, who will race in Qatar for the first time next weekend, has mixed feelings at the end of the test after struggling to find a way past the 2’00.621 he set tonight. Meanwhile Xavi Cardelús set his best time in the final session of the test, shaving eight tenths off his fastest lap from yesterday to end with a 2’01.656. The Andorran has taken a step forward today and is hopeful of maintaining the trend next weekend at the first Grand Prix of the new season.

25th Jake Dixon 2:00.621 (42 laps): “I’m not really happy tonight because the feeling with the bike still isn’t how I want it to be. I can do the same lap time every time but it feels like we’ve found a limit and the bike won’t let me go any faster. We didn’t do so many laps tonight because we are trying to find a solution to fix this problem but we have a few days off now to think of something that will give me a better feeling for the race weekend. Then we’ll come back and chip away again.”

31st Xavi Cardelús 2:01.656 (62 laps): “We have taken another step forward tonight, a bigger step this time, and I am happy with how the evening went. I already improved in the first session and after struggling a little in the second one we gave our best in the final session of the night and managed to set a good, clean lap.”

Third day of IRTA test in Qatar brings preseason 2019 to an end

Following 111 laps during three intense days of testing at the Losail International Circuit, Red Bull KTM Tech3’s Marco Bezzecchi concluded his final preparations ahead of the 2019 Moto2 World Championship season today with a fastest lap of 2:00.921 minutes, which was 1.274 seconds quicker than his best time of yesterday.

Meanwhile, Philipp Öttl completed 156 laps from Friday to Sunday night and clocked a best of 2:01.337 under the impressive floodlights, which made him miss out on his teammate by just 0.416 seconds. Yet, both intermediate class rookies are eager to start their first race at the same site in less than one week.

Marco Bezzecchi

Position: 28th – Time: 2:00.921 – Laps: 37

“Today we worked in a different way, because during the past days we were working a lot on the bike and this was leading to some confusion in my riding, in my head, so we tried to take a base, which I liked and worked more on the riding. It was a small step, but I think it’s a good one. The team worked very well and I was able to be faster than yesterday and also more consistent. The gap is still big, but I know that I have to work on my riding. I will try a lot during the race weekend. I want to ride as much as possible, because I want to follow some other riders, as during this test I was riding alone always. My feeling is lot better, although the position doesn’t look great, anyway, I’m sure I will become faster.”

Philipp Öttl

Position: 29th – Time: 2:01.337 – Laps: 57

“The only positive fact today was, that we were able to do our lap times consistent. I tried some things on my riding like using the rear brake in right corners, which requires some time to get use to. I think it will help as soon as I control it. I wanted to lower my lap time and I thought it was possible, but somehow, we seem to be stuck a little bit. We experienced with my riding and changed the position of the footpeg, which was good, but overall, I miss my improvement regarding the lap time. There’s not much more, I can say.”

Khairul Idham Pawi takes another step forward as preseason comes to an end

PETRONAS Sprinta Racing rider makes progress in Qatar at the final test before the start of the Moto2 World Championship.

Khairul Idham Pawi completed the final test of the 2019 preseason tonight, after three days of hard work in Qatar that have seen the Malaysian rider make gradual progress from start to finish. The PETRONAS Sprinta Racing rider set a strong and consistent pace today, lapping alone throughout the evening on his way to 22nd position at the end of the test.

As a measure of the constant progress he has shown here, Khairul Idham Pawi’s best lap times came tonight, 2:00.148, when he slashed two seconds off his best effort from the first night and closed to within just a tenth of the two-minute barrier. The PETRONAS Sprinta Racing rider also completed a positive race simulation in the final session of the test, setting a fast and consistent pace.

Khairul Idham Pawi and the PETRONAS Sprinta Racing team make their official debut together next weekend at the opening round of the Moto2 World Championship, which also takes place at the Losail International Circuit, from 8-10 March.

Johan Stigefelt - Team Director

"We have had some good sessions with Khairul during preseason but we know he can give us more. He hasn’t shown us 100% what he is capable of yet. Today was a day of progress for him and the last couple of sessions today were very good because he rode alone and set some fast times. What he needs to improve is his fastest lap. He has shown some pretty good speed so I think when the race weekend comes around, we’ll start for real and Khairul will have more to show."

#89 Khairul Idham Pawi

22th +1.709

"I am happy with today. We did a race simulation of 20 laps and I felt comfortable and the pace was good. We are improving with each session and the lap time is also getting better. This is important looking ahead to the first Grand Prix of the season. We have room to improve but the important thing is that we keep making progress. I want to say thanks to the team because they have worked hard to solve the problems and to try to improve, and I am now really looking forward to the race weekend and the start of the new season."

Can Öncü and Red Bull KTM Ajo conclude 2019 preseason

Turkish rookie rounds off final Official Test at Losail International Circuit.

03/03/2019 - Losail International Circuit, Qatar

The 2019 preseason came to an end for Can Öncü and the Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 team this Sunday, as they finished off a three day test at the Qatari track that will host the opening round next weekend. The current Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup champion continued his adaptation to the World Championship, lowering his times on every evening of the Official Test. After making the most of his testing time at Jerez and Losail, the 15-year-old has gained valuable experience ahead of his first full season of Grand Prix racing.

Thanks to favourable weather conditions, the Turkish talent completed 49 laps on Sunday, and a total of 144 during the whole test. In today's second Moto3 session, Öncü clocked a 2:06.984 lap. His time was more than a second quicker than his previous best, giving him 22nd place on the timesheets for the final day -23rd overall for the three days.

Can Öncü's next outing onboard his KTM Moto3 bike will be at the Qatar Grand Prix from March 8th-10th.

Aki Ajo - Team manager

"It has been a very positive test for the entire team. Can [Öncü] had previously competed at this track in the Asia Talent Cup but he had no experience of riding with the other World Championship riders, so these three days have been very important for him. Can was very focused on finding a good pace and on completing long runs. He is very happy with how he has done and set a good time. We can say that we are prepared for the first race of the year; obviously he is a rookie and everything will be new for him, and he has to continue learning day by day."


"Sunday was the best day of the test. We're very happy because we have been able to lower our times and have been consistent. I feel better on the bike every time I go out, even when riding alone. We haven't worked much with new tyres, as I have tried to learn to preserve them since the end of the race is more important than the beginning. Today we tested some new parts that worked well, so I think we're ready for the first Grand Prix."

Finish Qatar test, now focus on the race Weekend

Moto2 category finish three days of testing getting a very useful information for next week at Qatar Round.

Hiroshi Aoyama - Team Manager

Finally we complete three days of testing with Moto2 . Chantra make another step going below 2’ that was a very good lap time even his crash but he is not injured so this is important. About Dimas, he is on the correct way, but he still need to understand circuit so we gave many laps. I think he still have a lot of space to improve next week. All team make a good job these three days but still we have to analyse all information and be ready for the race.

Dimas Ekky Pratama #20

We finish the test and even I improve my lap time every day, my time was not good. I know it’s not easy but next week I will give my 100% to be more close to top riders. Also team help me with set up on the bike that give me some confident and now I affront the next weekend with a positive thinking

Somkiat Chantra #35

Today also was better that yesterday and I am very happy. Also the setting on the bike help me so I have to say thanks to my team for the effort. We increase the engine brake and it was good for set a good lap time. I feel better on the bike and understand the more the circuit so I cannot wait for first race.


Honda team Asia Riders finish 3 days of testing that shows in which situation they will be.

Hiroshi Aoyama

Hiroshi Aoyama - Team Manager

First of all I want to recognize all the work of all team these three days of hard work. Kaito did a quite step from yesterday, I see on track that he is consistent even alone so it in a good moment. Ogura also did a good job but today he loses a little bit confident from the crash. Even that we know which points he have to improve so we are ready to start the first race weekend of the year.

Kaito Toba #27

These three days of testing were really good. We worked hard from beginning so we achieve a good lap time. My rhythm was good, we made a race simulation and was a good lap time and the setup of bike was also better so I think I’m ready for the action in first round.

Ai Ogura #79

Until last outing today was very difficult even that I improve my riding style and my lap time little by little. Also the setting on bike was improved and in my last outing I can set a quite good lap time. Everything work quite well, unless my crash, but I’m positive and focus on next week race.


The final official test of what has been a very long preseason is over and it is now time to concentrate on the opening event of the 2019 Moto3 World Championship, which gets underway this Friday 8 March at the Losail International Circuit – where riders of all classes have wrapped up their final winter test yesterday.

It will surely be a very emotion-filled weekend as Riccardo Rossi prepares for his maiden World Championship race, while Gabri Rodrigo will need a near-miracle in order to be fit to race after breaking his right collarbone at Losail – following a highside at turn five.

The Argentine rider of team Kömmerling Gresini Moto3 underwent surgery yesterday – performed by the experienced hands of Dr Mir at the Dexeus Clinic in Barcelona – and will fly to Qatar on Thursday to perform the medical check and then hopefully get on track for free practice the following day.

His Italian team mate will continue his familiarisation with his Honda NSF250RW in a weekend that is going to be challenging but exciting at the same time.

Moto3 action will begin at 13:50 local time (GMT +3) with the first free practice of the quarter-litre class, while the maiden race of the year will get underway at 15:00 on Sunday.


“It was a perfect preseason until Saturday, but things can change very quickly unfortunately. It’s useless to feel sorry for myself: surgery went well and I must thank Dr Mir, so now I’m only thinking of getting back to Qatar and join the team. I had a good night and I’m leaving the hospital today in order to start with rehab. I must say that I feel less pain compared to previous collarbone surgeries, and the doctor confirmed that the fracture was not as bad, so the plate will be more of support than else. Obviously I will only know how bad it is once I get on the bike, but I’m really looking forward to it!”


“The three-day test is over and I must admit I’m not fully satisfied with the results, although not too negative either. We worked really hard and we know there’s a lot more to be done. We only worked on our race pace, so I’m not worried about lap-times as they’re not very indicative. Unfortunately, I crashed out on the last day and that kind of halted our work, but I must say that the feeling with the bike is improving and I feel it mine more and more every day. I like the track and I cannot wait for Friday to get back on my Honda.”

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