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.
With conditions coming good after dark, the riders were soon up to speed. Maverick Viñales is once again fastest, the Movistar Yamaha rider the only man to get into the 1'54s, just a few hundredths off the race lap record held by Jorge Lorenzo on the same bike. Marc Marquez is currently second on the Repsol Honda, two tenths behind Viñales, and just ahead of Jorge Lorenzo, the five time world champion starting to get to grips with the Ducati Desmosedici. There is nothing wrong with Lorenzo's top speed, the Spaniard hitting 351.8 km/h down the long front straight, and breaking the speed record for the circuit.
Jonas Folger's incredible run of form continues, the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha rider sitting in forth, just ahead of Alvaro Bautista on the Aspar Ducati. Andrea Dovizioso's factory GP17 is behind Bautista's GP16, and ahead of Aleix Espargaro on the Aprilia. Cal Crutchlow is eighth fastest on the LCR Honda, over a second behind Viñales, and just ahead of Viñales' teammate Valentino Rossi.
There have been a spate of fallers on Saturday night. Bradley Smith, Danilo Petrucci, Aleix Espargaro, Jack Miller, and Alvaro Bautista have all been down the road, though no serious injuries have been reported.
Testing continues until 11pm local time, though the evening dew means that nothing meaningful will happen after 10pm.
Times at 8pm local time:
|1||25||Maverick Viñales||Yamaha M1||1:54.984|
|2||93||Marc Marquez||Honda RC213V||1:55.196||0.212||0.212|
|3||99||Jorge Lorenzo||Ducati GP17||1:55.344||0.360||0.148|
|4||94||Jonas Folger||Yamaha M1||1:55.541||0.557||0.197|
|5||19||Alvaro Bautista||Ducati GP16||1:55.607||0.623||0.066|
|6||4||Andrea Dovizioso||Ducati GP17||1:55.781||0.797||0.174|
|7||41||Aleix Espargaro||Aprilia RS-GP||1:55.862||0.878||0.081|
|8||35||Cal Crutchlow||Honda RC213V||1:55.986||1.002||0.124|
|9||46||Valentino Rossi||Yamaha M1||1:56.066||1.082||0.080|
|10||9||Danilo Petrucci||Ducati GP17||1:56.200||1.216||0.134|
|11||17||Karel Abraham||Ducati GP15||1:56.230||1.246||0.030|
|12||43||Jack Miller||Honda RC213V||1:56.251||1.267||0.021|
|13||45||Scott Redding||Ducati GP16||1:56.319||1.335||0.068|
|14||42||Alex Rins||Suzuki GSX-RR||1:56.403||1.419||0.084|
|15||5||Johann Zarco||Yamaha M1||1:56.536||1.552||0.133|
|16||26||Dani Pedrosa||Honda RC213V||1:56.743||1.759||0.207|
|17||29||Andrea Iannone||Suzuki GSX-RR||1:56.783||1.799||0.040|
|18||53||Tito Rabat||Honda RC213V||1:57.024||2.040||0.241|
|19||22||Sam Lowes||Aprilia RS-GP||1:57.383||2.399||0.359|
|20||76||Loris Baz||Ducati GP15||1:57.631||2.647||0.248|
|21||44||Pol Espargaro||KTM RC16||1:57.682||2.698||0.051|
|22||38||Bradley Smith||KTM RC16||1:57.791||2.807||0.109|
|23||36||Mika Kallio||KTM RC16||1:58.048||3.064||0.257|