Qatar MotoGP Test Sunday Final Times: Quartararo Leads Rins And Viñales

Fabio Quartararo has topped the second day of the Qatar MotoGP test, the Petronas Yamaha rider edging ever closer to the 1'53 bracket. Alex Rins ended the day in second place, the Suzuki Ecstar rider just under two tenths slower than Quartararo, and a few hundredths ahead of Maverick Viñales on the factory Monster Energy Yamaha.

Franco Morbidelli put on a strong display once again, ending the day in fourth, just ahead of Pecco Bagnaia on the second Pramac Ducati. Johann Zarco impressed on the Avintia Ducati GP19, the Frenchman half a second off Quartararo, and a few hundredths behind Bagnaia.

Joan Mir was seventh quickest on the Suzuki GSX-RR, finishing slightly ahead of Andrea Dovizioso, the first Factory Ducati rider home. Valentino Rossi was ninth quickest, while Takaaki Nakagami was the fastest of the Honda riders on the 2019 Honda RC213V.

Testing concludes tomorrow.

Times at the end of the second day:

Pos No Rider Bike Time Diff Prev
1 20 Fabio Quartararo Yamaha M1 1:54.038    
2 42 Alex Rins Suzuki GSX-RR 1:54.200 0.162 0.162
3 12 Maverick Viñales Yamaha M1 1:54.264 0.226 0.064
4 21 Franco Morbidelli Yamaha M1 1:54.481 0.443 0.217
5 63 Francesco Bagnaia Ducati GP20 1:54.520 0.482 0.039
6 5 Johann Zarco Ducati GP19 1:54.565 0.527 0.045
7 36 Joan Mir Suzuki GSX-RR 1:54.612 0.574 0.047
8 4 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati GP20 1:54.662 0.624 0.050
9 46 Valentino Rossi Yamaha M1 1:54.740 0.702 0.078
10 30 Takaaki Nakagami Honda RC213V 1:54.759 0.721 0.019
11 41 Aleix Espargaro Aprilia RS-GP 1:54.762 0.724 0.003
12 9 Danilo Petrucci Ducati GP20 1:54.852 0.814 0.090
13 44 Pol Espargaro KTM RC16 1:54.890 0.852 0.038
14 93 Marc Márquez Honda RC213V 1:55.093 1.055 0.203
15 43 Jack Miller Ducati GP20 1:55.194 1.156 0.101
16 53 Tito Rabat Ducati GP19 1:55.352 1.314 0.158
17 88 Miguel Oliveira KTM RC16 1:55.600 1.562 0.248
18 27 Iker Lecuona KTM RC16 1:55.644 1.606 0.044
19 73 Alex Márquez Honda RC213V 1:55.725 1.687 0.081
20 33 Brad Binder KTM RC16 1:55.930 1.892 0.205
21 35 Cal Crutchlow Honda RC213V 1:56.178 2.140 0.248
22 38 Bradley Smith Aprilia RS-GP 1:56.407 2.369 0.229
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I know it's just testing.
But 3 Yamahas in top 4 , and all four yamahas in top 9.
Best Honda (Nakagami) in 10! place... Alex Marquez in 19th, and Crutclow in 21th (second last)...
I think the other has done their homework, but Honda starts to fall behind a bit..

Suzuki and Yamana looks really good.

Zarco seems to get on with the Ducati quite well.

Smith is slow for some reason.. why?

I would guess Bradley Smith may be doing reliability testing seeing as how the bike is 100% new. Aleix is going probably 9-9.5/10 to get data for race speeds without gravelling but there is a need to find out if the whole thing will stay bolted together for a season/weekend/race after what Aleix went through last year with mechanicals. Just my guesswork. Inside dope anyone?

The Honda isn't a great motorcycle. It's probably the 3rd or 4th best on the grid. Márquez is the difference maker. He wins in spite of the Honda, not because of it. He's nursing his shoulder in these tests, so don't take his times seriously. 

Another Testing Championship for Yamaha is as meaningless as it's been for the 3 previous seasons. 

Last year Crutchlow finished the Qatar test 17th fastest, but finished the Qatar Moto GP 3rd. Dovi was 14th fastest tester last year, so either Ducati have found something or they're doing glory laps to hide from the truth. The not knowing is the best part, at least until Marc of Marquez reminds us all who's boss in Thailand.

Zarco seems ot be competitive on anything that isn't a KTM, based on those metrics Pol Espargaro deserves the most enormous medal.

Yamaha and both Quartararo/Vinales are to be taken seriously right now. Particularly with the 2020 tires that exacerbate the Honda achilles. Suzuki too, both their riders. Vinales, calm and smart now yes. I do not fault him for his foray into distress 2018 and over half of 2019. Given the shite bike that he was given, it was a given to be forgiven. He was not separate or isolated, he was inter-resonant. Now, just like then.

Watch out for Maverick this year, and criticism of him personally based on old shite is old shite. Mav and Fab Q are stepping up. So are the Suzuki duo. Marc may be pushing his front and regressing back into the increased crashing situation he recently surpassed. Dice are rolled, and even he can only skittle so many times and smile.

The Honda has a major problem. Marc may be forced to careen into corners waggling again even with that motor. His comfort zone has a condition window. It is about to have four or five bikes in it with him. I predict 2020 looks less comfortable and more gravel scuffed for Marquez.

"Just testing" my take offs, we have much to see here!

P.S. I have always liked Smith. We don't know his testing schedule. But we do know his pace, which has been a concern since his time on a Yamaha. He is off the pace of the small rear group that itself is off the pace. Useless data for Aleix, just breaking the bike in. 2021 Aprilia will have an exciting 2nd rider. Iannone is obviously done, and the goalposts have moved on beyond Smith.

Can't wait to see how the 2020 Duc is cornering on the sweepers. Same for the Suzuki and Yamaha in the drag race. When we get to Europe, expecting several VERY interesting things this yr. 2017 was a lovely vintage. This 2020 barrel tastes great with a bit of cheese to cut the preseason tannins.

... but whether or not the bike is still only a win from the front/die in traffic motorcycle has yet to be determind. The new rear Michelin may tip the scales towards edge grip in favor of Yamaha & Suzuki, however if there's a much stronger-accelrating RCV or GP20 parked in front, it wont be terribly usable.

You need cojones de acero (balls of steel) to ride those bikes, and bolas de cristal to predict what might happen.

So much of this time of the year is devoted to translating peoples' wishes into commentary, I suspect.

As I don't have any emotional attachments past Aussies on the grid (go, Jackass!) I'll reserve my judgement to around round 3, at which point form starts to assert itself once all the sandbagging from the usual players is dispensed with.

For example, the new rear tyres may assert themselves and create some advantage for some, but anyone who thinks MM93 can't adapt his riding style to the changing circumstances hasn't been paying attention.  Honda generally have a few aces up their sleeves and often dispense them pre-season to misdirect the opposition, and then front up with a new and unexpected magic show.  We'll see what cards they have pretty quickly.  Remember, they can always tune down a powerful engine without messing with the internals, and they are free to mess with chassis and aero throughout the season.

Yamaha and Suzuki may well benefit from mid-corner grip from the new rear, but as has already been observed, it's not much good if you're behind MM93 on the fast line through a corner and he's holding you up in the middle of it, and he does that shit so much better than most already.  The key is qualifying in front of him, and then launching better than he does.  Odds on that, anyone????

Ducati look to have most to lose with the new tyre.  What's its durability like when Jack is laying black lines exiting the corners trying to keep up with the bikes that actually have a properly functioning front-end???? Zarco is happy to slide, too.  How long the tyre lasts for him is the big question.  Dovi is happy for a smoother approach, but what will happen when the rear hooks up mid-corner and pushes the front?  

KTM and Aprilia - anyone really know what the season will be like?  Both have been guilty of over-promising and under-delivering.  I'd keep my powder dry for a while yet before I'd lay any money down.

The only certainty here is that there is no certainty.  Yet.

But if I was a betting man, I'd put all my shekels on MM93.


One of your contributors has written "Vinales, calm and smart now yes. I do not fault him for his foray into distress 2018 and over half of 2019. Given the shite bike that he was given, it was a given to be forgiven."

What was wrong with the Yamaha in 2018 and 2019?  Given the performances of Fabio Quartararo on a low spec. bike in 2019, it appears the biggest problem the factory Yamaha had was two riders who had no idea on chassis set-up.

Once Vinales started taking a close look at Quartararo and riding the bike instead of complaining about it, the results started to come.

Expect to see all four Yamaha in the top 10 on a regular basis in 2020.  Which leaves only six other places in the top ten.  One of them will be Marc Marquez, despite the 2020 Honda being worse in the chassis department than 2019 (according to Cal Crutchlow).  So that leaves five places left in the top 10.  At least one of them will be a Suzuki and another (at least) a Ducati.  But which riders will be scoring the points on those brands on a regular basis?