2016 Qatar MotoGP Test Friday Times: Lorenzo Leads a Field of Surprises

Jorge Lorenzo leaves the Qatar test with a commanding lead at the top of the timesheets. The Movistar Yamaha rider put in a fast lap early in the test, and spent the rest of the test working on a race simulation, running full race distance during the test. Scott Redding ended the test in second spot, putting in a few hot laps on the Pramac Ducati GP15 towards the end of the test, when most riders switched from testing to going for a fast time. Redding's time demoted Maverick Viñales to third spot, the Suzuki GSX-RR clearly a capable weapon in the hands of the young Spaniard, while his teammate Aleix Espargaro has struggled throughout testing, crashing again on Friday.

Marc Marquez was another rider who crashed, and then went out again, putting in a late fast lap to jump to fourth. Marquez also ran a longer run of fourteen laps, lapping at a good pace, within a couple of tenths of Jorge Lorenzo's race pace over the same distance. Valentino Rossi ended in fifth, though without managing a race simulation. The Movistar Yamaha rider's testing plan was disrupted when he crashed early on, leaving him with just a single bike for much of Friday. Factory Ducati rider Andrea Iannone finished in sixth, just ahead of LCR Honda's Cal Crutchlow.

With almost everyone setting their fastest times on Friday, the combined standings after all three days looks very similar to Friday's timesheet. The biggest difference is with Dani Pedrosa, who was tenth fastest overall, but failed to improve his time on Friday. Pedrosa was very curt when speaking to the media on Friday, making his displeasure at the lack of progress from Honda very clear. Andrea Iannone and Aleix Espargaro also failed to improve their times on the final day.

Friday times:

Pos No Rider Bike Time Diff Prev
1 99 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha M1 1:54.810    
2 45 Scott Redding Ducati GP15 1:55.326 0.516 0.516
3 25 Maverick Viñales Suzuki GSX-RR 1:55.333 0.523 0.007
4 93 Marc Márquez Honda RC213V 1:55.402 0.592 0.069
5 46 Valentino Rossi Yamaha M1 1:55.429 0.619 0.027
6 29 Andrea Iannone Ducati Desmosedici GP 1:55.535 0.725 0.106
7 35 Cal Crutchlow Honda RC213V 1:55.592 0.782 0.057
8 4 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati Desmosedici GP 1:55.700 0.890 0.108
9 8 Hector Barbera Ducati GP14.2 1:55.733 0.923 0.033
10 44 Pol Espargaro Yamaha M1 1:55.882 1.072 0.149
11 68 Yonny Hernandez Ducati GP14.2 1:55.894 1.084 0.012
12 38 Bradley Smith Yamaha M1 1:55.966 1.156 0.072
13 76 Loris Baz Ducati GP14.2 1:56.057 1.247 0.091
14 26 Dani Pedrosa Honda RC213V 1:56.142 1.332 0.085
15 41 Aleix Espargaro Suzuki GSX-RR 1:56.419 1.609 0.277
16 51 Michele Pirro Ducati GP15 1:56.591 1.781 0.172
17 53 Tito Rabat Honda RC213V 1:57.027 2.217 0.436
18 19 Alvaro Bautista Aprilia RS-GP 1:57.043 2.233 0.016
19 43 Jack Miller Honda RC213V 1:57.046 2.236 0.003
20 50 Eugene Laverty Ducati GP14.2 1:57.146 2.336 0.100
21 6 Stefan Bradl Aprilia RS-GP 1:57.340 2.530 0.194
22 12 Takuya Tsuda Suzuki GSX-RR 2:00.291 5.481 2.951

 

Combined times after three days of testing:

Pos No Rider Bike Time Diff Prev Day
1 99 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha M1 1:54.810     Friday
2 45 Scott Redding Ducati GP15 1:55.326 0.516 0.516 Friday
3 25 Maverick Viñales Suzuki GSX-RR 1:55.333 0.523 0.007 Friday
4 93 Marc Márquez Honda RC213V 1:55.402 0.592 0.069 Friday
5 46 Valentino Rossi Yamaha M1 1:55.429 0.619 0.027 Friday
6 29 Andrea Iannone Ducati Desmosedici GP 1:55.508 0.698 0.079 Thursday
7 35 Cal Crutchlow Honda RC213V 1:55.592 0.782 0.084 Friday
8 4 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati Desmosedici GP 1:55.700 0.890 0.108 Friday
9 8 Hector Barbera Ducati GP14.2 1:55.733 0.923 0.033 Friday
10 26 Dani Pedrosa Honda RC213V 1:55.857 1.047 0.124 Thursday
11 44 Pol Espargaro Yamaha M1 1:55.882 1.072 0.025 Friday
12 68 Yonny Hernandez Ducati GP14.2 1:55.894 1.084 0.012 Friday
13 38 Bradley Smith Yamaha M1 1:55.966 1.156 0.072 Friday
14 76 Loris Baz Ducati GP14.2 1:56.057 1.247 0.091 Friday
15 41 Aleix Espargaro Suzuki GSX-RR 1:56.126 1.316 0.069 Thursday
16 51 Michele Pirro Ducati GP15 1:56.591 1.781 0.465 Friday
17 53 Tito Rabat Honda RC213V 1:57.027 2.217 0.436 Friday
18 19 Alvaro Bautista Aprilia RS-GP 1:57.043 2.233 0.016 Friday
19 43 Jack Miller Honda RC213V 1:57.046 2.236 0.003 Friday
20 50 Eugene Laverty Ducati GP14.2 1:57.146 2.336 0.100 Friday
21 6 Stefan Bradl Aprilia RS-GP 1:57.340 2.530 0.194 Friday
22 7 Hiroshi Aoyama Honda RC213V 1:58.347 3.537 1.007 Thursday
23 12 Takuya Tsuda Suzuki GSX-RR 2:00.291 5.481 1.944 Friday

 

2016
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Total votes: 109

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Comments

I'm beginning to wonder if the dire predictions of him skipping Moto2 are playing out.

Total votes: 113

Tito Rabat, top in Moto2 even former World Champion basically on the same pace as Miller on the same (?) machinery.

Total votes: 105

falls on riding that customer bike last year. Add in that the RC213V is not the easiest bike to ride lately, and he's basically starting from scratch.

When Redding swapped from the Production bike to the prototype, he said there was a big difference between them. Granted the production bike Redding rode wasn't as powerful as the one Miller had last year, but I think Miller would probably be better off had Honda given him a RC213V last season. Whatever he learned last year - tires/engine/etc - doesn't apply to what he's riding this season that much.

Total votes: 131

Miller's ankle injury is serious. He can barely walk, and with so many right handers, Qatar is much tougher on his injured ankle than Phillip Island was.

Total votes: 130

Miller broke his tib and fib in January. I wouldn't go jumping to conclusions based on pre-season testing either.

Total votes: 125

...I'm looking forward to fulsome apologies from all those who said Redding was useless. He's looking quick and confident.

I think we'll see an interesting split this season between those riders who've stayed with Honda's increasingly unrideable machines and the ones who looked hopeless on a Honda but have moved on.

Miller has enormous potential, Crutchlow has terrifying courage, Marquez is clearly a genius and Dani is a proven winner, but none of them will get anywhere unless the Big H get their shit together.

No sign of that so far.

I can't wait for the season to start. It'll be fascinating.

Total votes: 127

Keep in mind Redding's teammate Petrucci was doing similar things at the first test. And keep in mind that Petrucci beat Redding handily at PI before his crash too.

Qatar suits the Ducatis. We know that. Pramac is a good team. Redding is a decent rider but will get his ass handed to him by his teammate and will never podium again unless it's a freak occurance like last time.

Total votes: 112

Keep in mind that Petrucci is a Ducati veteran and knows these bikes inside out.
Keep in mind that Redding hasn't done a single race on a Ducati and is learning every bit there is to learn about the bike.
Keep in mind that Redding hasn't ridden anything BUT Honda for the last half of a decade and the vast differences between the brands are much talked about over the years.
Keep in mind that Petrucci is not just a nobody on track, he's a damned good rider who would regularly be on the podium if he has bike to get him there. He probably misses consistency and that top % to be an alien, but he's a force to be reckoned with.

Redding hasn't been good just in Qatar, he's been good since the moment he's put his leg over the Duc. He is beating his factory team mates and even though it's still testing, it's a good sign. If the circumstances allow for it, he'll be a podium contender even this first year on a Duc. You don't have to believe me, just watch what will happen in the races soon. Redding on a bike that he's comfortable with is something people will enjoy watching.

Total votes: 132

Honda - (nope)
Ducati - (yep)
Suzuki - (yes!)

Did Vinales have the fully seamless today? If no he may have another 10th sitting on the workbench. The Suzuki/Vinales story is BIG folks! SUZUKI with Yamaha like power and handling? A miracle.

Ducati has a perfect storm arising - front end issues gone from the GP14.2 w the Michelin rubber, exchanged for a rear tire that hooks their power down. And lots of data. And a leg up on electronics. And Iannone is blossoming. I am a #29 fan, AND see that the bike may be even better than it appears in current hands. Dani must be wondering how he looks in a little red set of leathers next to Jorge on a podium whole trying to fall asleep in his motorhome. Iannone must be relieved that Ducati and Dorna didn't clarify what "event" means and we can't see Stoner's lap times drop. Methinks the ghost of #27 is pushing #29 and this is good.

Miller - be patient. DeAngelis - be amazed! Lazarus got the Aprilia on pace at P.I., I am thankful. These injuries they can trancend, holy kashmoli. Aprilia GP - glad you are here! This is just a baby shower, they may have the motor detuned a bit, let's praise their arrival and cheer on the public shakedown. They may pip a satellite Honda come race time.

A year from now KTM gets 2 spots. Suzuki SHOULD have 2 satellite bikes, and would benefit from data and development as well as less tangibles. But the Ducati swarm will not be over and teams will want to run the GP15 and 16. I wish Dorna would just add two bikes to the grid, but of course logistics don't. Could you imagine a HONDA satellite team jumping ship for a Suzuki?! I can, and that is weird.

JL99 has a HALF a second on the field. Uh oh. Sounds familiar. Rossi finds something at the end of FP2 or while everyone else is sleeping. Some riders are deceptively low on the sheet because they are developing instead of performing. There is a bit more to come.

Redding is relevant. A.Espargaro isn't which pains me, he may be settling into his position. Why aren't we hearing from the Crutchlow Criticizers anymore? Is his arse now cashing the checks his mouth wrote, or has his mouth not bothered you? Looks good from here. Satellite riders always have a bit of strength opening the season on a sorted bike with data. But not so much this year w new tires and electronics. Crutchlow and his garage are doing GREAT. The GP16 is not radically different from the GP15, and is sorting well. Tech3 may be underachieving a bit. But then again they never seem to get from Yamaha quite what they boys in blue do.

Honda didn't do it. It isn't just the electronics. They are not quick at direction changes in the design department, and so it us on track. And truth be told it is pleasing even though I love their bikes. There was some hubris - they can't make a series fit their bikes anymore, and Ducati (and Suzuki right NOW?) have made and bike that fits the series. Some important things are back in order.

It is a big deal that the Michelin tires have gotten to a front-rear balance at which last year's bikes can compete. Was anyone else worried that Bstone bikes could not get settings that worked w the new rubber? That would have been UGLY.

So now we can watch for what goes on at 2/3rds race distance when they tires drop and the electronics just offers a map switch button again. Will it be the fronts going away? Which bikes? Which riders? MM93? Are we ready to feel compassion for the kid that has just gone through what was surely the toughest experience of his life late last year? Come on, even you Italians can recognize that he is a good kid that has it hard right now can't you?

As horribly unwise as it is for Dorna to have just gutted the penalty system it may make for a more interesting season. A rider can not say anything that hurts the series, but when the visor is down they can leave paint on any bike they please. We thought the "polite era" was gone a few seasons ago? Sure. What are we going to call this next era then? And is it possible that Dorna just made a thought out marketing decision with race direction changes? Sincerely, let's hope that it stays safe and that riders can keep it together instead of sharpening their winglets.

FP1 please!

Total votes: 126

Tech3 may be underachieving a bit. But then again they never seem to get from Yamaha quite what they boys in blue do

Sure they always complain, but doesn't everybody? Yamaha ALWAYS gives them last year's model, that's a given and if you just scroll back in the results for the last years, you'll see that they always score pretty well in the opening races and further in the season they drop back where they don't keep development up with the factory boys.
The current results just display the huge amount of changes that went through MotoGP with the ECU and tire changes.

Total votes: 126

Laughing at a photo caption on this site that says the Philip Island circuits disguises the Suzuki bike weakness. Especially after learning the Losail results.

Total votes: 113

race pace...marquez wins jorge 2nd redding 3rd as it stands.. maverick 6-7th, as david says don't look too much into fastest times.
as for petruti handing reddings ass to him.. lets wait and see. confidence is a funny thing too much you can get hurt get it just right and a podium is a sure fired possibility.
oh and crutchlow running his god damned mouth again. running reddings consistency down and saying basically he's a poor rider on a good bike.. really cal? you make me cringe.

Total votes: 111

Where was Cal running his mouth? Interested to see what else he was saying as i've only seen press releases.

I rate Scott very highly, it's been hard work being a fan for the last two years but so far so good on the Duke. We all know how well he can ride on a package he is comfortable on (marcvds moto2). Fingers crossed he's up there once the racing starts.

Total votes: 105

I'm wondering again if part of Honda's problems is that Ayoama isn't quick enough to really stress test the bike. With their chassis, electronics and engine aggressiveness problems you would think they'd be doing endless laps of Motegi trying to sort it out. But if the test riders only know how to say "yes", and can't ride fast enough to find the problems, what then?

It's a shame because I was a fan of Aoyama in the smaller classes. But he never really cut it in the big classes.

Total votes: 106