2016 Qatar Moto2 & Moto3 Test Times, Day 2: Luthi Leads Folger, Loi Dominates Moto3

The second day of testing for the Moto2 and Moto3 teams at Qatar saw winglets infect the junior classes like a rash of smallpox. In the Moto3 class, the Mahindras and Peugeots (which are basically rebadged Mahindras) grew small side winglets, of the type first tested at Jerez two weeks ago. In Moto2, Dominique Aegerter's CarXpert Kalex sprouted a couple of massive drop winglets coming off the back of the tail unit. The official MotoGP.com website reported that the Mahindra winglets were there to help create downforce in fast corners. However, one crew chief opined that the Mahindra winglets look more like they are there to control the airflow around a rider. The MotoGP.com website also stated that Aegerter's winglets were aimed at disrupting the airflow behind the bike, trying to make it harder for a following bike to take advantage of Aegerter's draft.

This kind of reasoning is likely to draw the ire of the Grand Prix Commission. Given that motorcycle racing's distinguishing characteristic is the abundance of overtaking, anything which seeks to make that more difficult, by affecting the slipstream, will not sit favorably with Dorna's technical staff. And given the perspective that the Moto2 and Moto3 classes should be cost-limited, their main aim being to develop young talent, the extensive use of aerodynamics is unlikely to be tolerated. Aerodynamics is an area which can degenerate into a spending war, with incremental gains always possible by throwing yet more CFD modeling and wind tunnel time at the problem. There is an argument to be made that the MotoGP class is meant to be a place where motorcycle manufacturers can work on technical innovation, such as aerodynamics. Moto2 and Moto3, however, are a different kettle of fish.

The question is also whether there is any point in spending on aerodynamics. While Mahindra at least had Jorge Martin finish in 8th in the Moto3 class, eight tenths behind the leader, the wings on the CarXpert Kalex were no help whatsoever. Domi Aegerter ended the second day of the test down in twentieth, nearly 1.6 seconds off the pace. 

It was fellow Swiss rider Tom Luthi who led the way on the second day of Moto2 testing. Luthi ended the day an eighth of a second ahead of Jonas Folger on the AGR Kalex, while Sam Lowes was third fastest. Lowes was once again happy, having set his fastest time during the middle of a long run, when he was concentrating more on race endurance than pushing for single lap pace. Takaaki Nakagami ended the day as fourth fastest, fractionally behind Lowes and a little ahead of Alex Rins, while reigning Moto2 champion Johann Zarco finished with the sixth quickest time.

In the Moto3 class, it was once again a Honda which went fastest. Saturday's best time was set by the RW Racing GP rider Livio Loi, the Belgian building on his excellent pace from Friday to lead Moto3 by over a third of a second. In contrast to Friday, there was an orange armada of KTMs which followed Loi's Honda, with Leopard Racing's Fabio Quartararo at its head. The gaps behind Quartararo are tiny: Nicolo Bulega, deeply impressive as a rookie once again, was six hundredths slower than the Frenchman, teammate Romano Fenati was just two thousandths of a second slower, while Joan Mir set exactly the same time as Fenati.

Sunday is the final day of testing for the Moto2 and Moto3 classes, and the end of preseason testing completely. Next Thursday, the season begins in earnest.

Saturday Moto2 Times:

Pos No Rider Bike Time Diff Prev
1 12 Thomas Luthi Kalex 1:59.680    
2 94 Jonas Folger Kalex 1:59.806 0.126 0.126
3 22 Sam Lowes Kalex 1:59.926 0.246 0.120
4 30 Takaaki Nakagami Kalex 1:59.933 0.253 0.007
5 40 Alex Rins Kalex 2:00.079 0.399 0.146
6 5 Johann Zarco Kalex 2:00.296 0.616 0.217
7 23 Marcel Schrotter Kalex 2:00.379 0.699 0.083
8 7 Lorenzo Baldassarri Kalex 2:00.519 0.839 0.140
9 52 Danny Kent Kalex 2:00.519 0.839 0.000
10 21 Franco Morbidelli Kalex 2:00.585 0.905 0.066
11 24 Simone Corsi Speed Up 2:00.620 0.940 0.035
12 54 Mattia Pasini Kalex 2:00.697 1.017 0.077
13 73 Alex Marquez Kalex 2:00.764 1.084 0.067
14 11 Sandro Cortese Kalex 2:00.797 1.117 0.033
15 14 Ratthapark Wilairot Kalex 2:00.930 1.250 0.133
16 60 Julian Simon Speed Up 2:00.957 1.277 0.027
17 44 Miguel Oliveira Kalex 2:01.168 1.488 0.211
18 39 Luis Salom Kalex 2:01.190 1.510 0.022
19 97 Xavi Vierge Tech 3 2:01.225 1.545 0.035
20 77 Dominique Aegerter Kalex 2:01.277 1.597 0.052
21 10 Luca Marini Kalex 2:01.324 1.644 0.047
22 55 Hafizh Syahrin Kalex 2:01.468 1.788 0.144
23 19 Xavier Simeon Speed Up 2:01.583 1.903 0.115
24 70 Robin Mulhauser Kalex 2:02.233 2.553 0.650
25 57 Edgar Pons Kalex 2:02.260 2.580 0.027
26 2 Jesko Rafin Kalex 2:02.704 3.024 0.444
27 32 Isaac Viñales Tech 3 2:02.915 3.235 0.211
28 33 Alessandro Tonucci Kalex 2:03.676 3.996 0.761
29 8 Efren Vazquez Suter 2:04.956 5.276 1.280

Saturday Moto3 Times:

Pos No Rider Bike Time Diff Prev
1 11 Livio Loi Honda 2:05.824    
2 20 Fabio Quartararo KTM 2:06.193 0.369 0.369
3 8 Nicolo Bulega KTM 2:06.254 0.430 0.061
4 5 Romano Fenati KTM 2:06.256 0.432 0.002
5 36 Joan Mir KTM 2:06.256 0.432 0.000
6 41 Brad Binder KTM 2:06.366 0.542 0.110
7 9 Jorge Navarro Honda 2:06.591 0.767 0.225
8 88 Jorge Martin Mahindra 2:06.630 0.806 0.039
9 23 Nicolo Antonelli Honda 2:06.675 0.851 0.045
10 65 Philipp Oettl KTM 2:06.690 0.866 0.015
11 6 Maria Herrera KTM 2:06.728 0.904 0.038
12 84 Jakub Kornfeil Honda 2:06.803 0.979 0.075
13 44 Aron Canet Honda 2:06.863 1.039 0.060
14 64 Bo Bendsneyder KTM 2:06.921 1.097 0.058
15 55 Andrea Locatelli KTM 2:06.963 1.139 0.042
16 58 Juanfran Guevara KTM 2:07.053 1.229 0.090
17 89 Khairul Idham Pawi Honda 2:07.078 1.254 0.025
18 21 Pecco Bagnaia Mahindra 2:07.146 1.322 0.068
19 95 Jules Danilo Honda 2:07.189 1.365 0.043
20 16 Andrea Migno KTM 2:07.259 1.435 0.070
21 40 Darryn Binder Mahindra 2:07.310 1.486 0.051
22 24 Tatsuki Suzuki Mahindra 2:07.599 1.775 0.289
23 33 Enea Bastianini Honda 2:07.633 1.809 0.034
24 19 Gabriel Rodrigo KTM 2:07.775 1.951 0.142
25 76 Hiroki Ono Honda 2:07.787 1.963 0.012
26 17 John Mcphee Peugeot 2:07.976 2.152 0.189
27 7 Adam Norrodin Honda 2:08.161 2.337 0.185
28 98 Karel Hanika Mahindra 2:08.197 2.373 0.036
29 10 Alexis Masbou Peugeot 2:08.852 3.028 0.655
30 43 Stefano Valtulini Mahindra 2:08.992 3.168 0.140
31 4 Fabio Di Giannantonio Honda 2:09.088 3.264 0.096
32 3 Fabio Spiranelli Mahindra 2:10.143 4.319 1.055
33 77 Lorenzo Petrarca Mahindra 2:10.262 4.438 0.119

 

2016
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