Qatar MotoGP Test Combined Times: Viñales Leads Yamaha Onslaught

Combined times over all three days of the Qatar test:

Pos No Rider Bike Time Diff Prev
1 12 Maverick Viñales Yamaha M1 1:53.858
2 21 Franco Morbidelli Yamaha M1 1:53.891 0.033 0.033
3 20 Fabio Quartararo Yamaha M1 1:54.038 0.180 0.147
4 42 Alex Rins Suzuki GSX-RR 1:54.068 0.210 0.030
5 43 Jack Miller Ducati GP20 1:54.105 0.247 0.037
6 36 Joan Mir Suzuki GSX-RR 1:54.129 0.271 0.024
7 93 Marc Márquez Honda RC213V 1:54.149 0.291 0.020
8 30 Takaaki Nakagami Honda RC213V 1:54.239 0.381 0.090
9 33 Brad Binder KTM RC16 1:54.283 0.425 0.044
10 4 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati GP20 1:54.312 0.454 0.029
11 63 Francesco Bagnaia Ducati GP20 1:54.326 0.468 0.014
12 46 Valentino Rossi Yamaha M1 1:54.332 0.474 0.006
13 41 Aleix Espargaro Aprilia RS-GP 1:54.432 0.574 0.100
14 5 Johann Zarco Ducati GP19 1:54.565 0.707 0.133
15 44 Pol Espargaro KTM RC16 1:54.623 0.765 0.058
16 9 Danilo Petrucci Ducati GP20 1:54.634 0.776 0.011
17 53 Tito Rabat Ducati GP19 1:54.674 0.816 0.040
18 35 Cal Crutchlow Honda RC213V 1:54.830 0.972 0.156
19 88 Miguel Oliveira KTM RC16 1:55.008 1.150 0.178
20 27 Iker Lecuona KTM RC16 1:55.301 1.443 0.293
21 73 Alex Márquez Honda RC213V 1:55.519 1.661 0.218
22 38 Bradley Smith Aprilia RS-GP 1:55.916 2.058 0.397
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Five inline 4s in the top six. The lone I4 is the old dog down in 12th. This is different than last years pre-season Qatar testing results. And it is interesting. Can the V4s control the pace in two weeks time and keep the I4s from entering turn 1 in the lead? Or will the Yamahas and Suzukis crowd out the V4s and refrain from tripping each other up at the beginning of the race thus ensuring a gap that the V4s cannot recuperate on the front straight? Or will the new Michelin rear tires allow riders to go flat out from beginning to end where tire consumption does not play such an integral role in the final results? Qatar 2020 looks to be exciting with who knows how many guys in with a chance of the win. I can hardly wait...And I still would not count out MMarquez, Dovizioso and even Rossi for the battle for the win. GO OLDTIMERS!! (Sorry Simon C.)

The second single most important event in the race besides the start, is the exit of turn one. Has anyone tried to get TC working in turn one when the bike is not in the the same gear as the rest of the race? Maybe the spec Magnetti Marelli software is unable to be set up that way, for turn one on the first lap? It is also very difficult to even test that. It would sure be an advantage, is someone figured out a way.

... get back on the bike after his crash late in the day? Just curious if he did or did not go for a time attack to see where he stood.

The 2020 Honda that arrived is WORSE than the 2019 in its achilles. This is not simply down to the improved new rear tire. Honda continues negligence. They risk much sending Marc waggle careening into corners further over the limit, especially with several bikes and riders coming in to the pointy end of a race frame.

They threw a mix of old and new parts onto both a 2020 and a rattle canned old bike hastily grabbed back from LCR. They were able to get it as horrible as it was last season rather than horrible-er in the last two sessions.

Honda needs to keep Marquez's shoulders and bits gravel free for 2020. He cannot go from "not yet fit" to injured over-reaching his wrestle. He is at risk, and one crash away. With Honda's "help," flying closer to the Sun.

Next HRC has to flip their bike around on the 2021 drawing board to regain sufficient feel and handling. Honda has done a "Yamaha doldrums" - but rather than spin up and underdrive, it does a perilous inverse leaving riders hanging it out in the wind at turn in. Watch Marc's crash count go right back up to 2018 level. We have a potential dynamic shift, sooner than anticipated. It gives me the creeps just a bit with concern for their riders, while proffering exciting potential.

Don't count Ducati out either. They are close and may have it coming together into a solid package (and a Red rider eventually arises). I do not think Honda is. Most relevantly, Yamaha and Suzuki HAVE. They have 4 riders all doing the business. One may step out that bit more, leaving 3 and top Ducs to carve up the rest of the spoils. It looks like it can be one if the Yamahas.

No one came in 2nd last year. Fab Quarty or Vinales could challenge the 2020 Championship from go. Vinales believes he can, and bumps about the threshold. Quartararo needn't believe anything, going with this force of nature as it flows into thriving contention.

1) Marquez/Quartararo
2) Quartararo/Marquez
wee gap
3) Vinales
4) Rins
5) So forth...

Interesting that you rank Fabio higher than Viñales. Fabio is so young and hasn't faced any pressure yet. It would be a shock to me if he could consistently outperform what appears to be a very focused and high performing Viñales over the course of this season, or even at this first race. Viñales has done his hard time and learned from it (should have) although I personally would find it entertaining to watch him crumble again after being awarded the pre-season and early season champion's trophy like back in 2017. Something feels different this time and I don't think that will happen. 

Can't wait to see what happens! 😎

Fabio has felt the pressure in the past But then he choked, but I think we all can assume he learned some valuable the lessons from it. 

Amusing to think that less than a year ago there were people braying that Yamaha must build a V4 to be competitive again.  Funny how things come and go.  But testing is one thing and racing quite another.  So glad that we're only a couple of weeks from finding out... bring it on!  :D

If (and it's still a big IF) HRC has delivered a 2020 bike that is so unsatisfactory that not only can't Crutchlow and Nakagami (and AM) succeed on it, but Marc himself will struggle, what happens next? How will Marc ride?

If he finds himself in the pack after a few laps on a bike that has regressed relative to the competition, will we see more borderline fairing-banging passes than recently? The re-emergence of the aggressive racer over the rational thinker that has evolved over the last few years? Well, I think so. Leopard and his spots, etc. And as a fan, I hope so!

Carmelo Ezpeleta paid someone deep in HRC to "tweak" the RC making it slightly less competative and bringing the field closer to MM93 thus creating more racing drama and selling more subscricptions

Just because you can't prove it doesn't mean it didn't happen




Could change everything the weekend after next. Might mess with the I4 edge grip advantage perceived during testing (3 days of Michelin rubber). Dovizioso's words come from experience - true pace will be revealed during the race.

How much difference will that really make, be interesting to see!

I also accept other observers' points about increasing the excitement watching the re-emergence of the MM93 wrecking truck if his desperation is such. Personally it's not something I want to see as some of those moves were/are reckless at worst, clumsy at best, like the barging out the way of Cal at Phillip Island that, for some reason, went unnoticed by Race Control. 

And don't forget the Yamaha and Suzuki advantage(s) can always be negated by other bikes getting in the way, which an MM93 running in 8th place will certainly do!


... specifically in reference to Viñales. Will anyone really be that surprised if he struggles in the opening laps on the rubber left by the Moto2 bikes, not to mention a full fuel load? I've heard him speak with supreme confidence after a strong test showing before...

Yeah. We've seen the Dr. Jekyl/Mr. Hide personality flip-flop happen many times, but maybe Viñales and his crew learned some things during all that suffering last year.

I really don't see Honda having as much trouble as is made out here. Hopefully they are not on their game quite as much as last year because it's nice to see other winners and a good title fight....but races 3 and 4...if Marc is lost at these two races...hmmm 


HRC in a spot of bother. Should they be unable to fix it right quick they can kiss the first half of the season goodbye except at left turning tracks. The chuckle! Many were contemplating the possibility of Binder bashing fairings with Marc in 2020. Current HRC and KTM trajectories suggest the punters may just get what they wish for. Funny thing is they are both very good at lefty tracks. Very good point re dunlop rubber Peter.

2019 Qatar test:

Dovi was 15th, went on to be easily best of the rest in the championship

Vinales was 1st, just hung on for 3rd, a long way back

Lorenzo 5th, only to fall off the racing planet

Pol Espargaro in 7th, and KTM's "turning the corner" became a U-turn as he was 11th by seasons end.

So reading results from testing is about as useful as inspecting the tea leaves in the bottom of your cuppa.

Marc, in worse shape than last year, riding conservatively, actually finished closer to Vinales this year than last (-0.291s vs -0.405s)....and people are writing him off?      

Interesting that Nakagami just stuck last years' supposedly poor handling bike in 7th, nearly 1.5s faster than Crutchlow last year on the same bike....there isn't too much wrong with it.  But I suspect Crutchlow could win a Ferrari and he'd complain about the colour. 





that all testing is B.S., as it gives an indicator of the speed of riders/bikes riding an ideal line, on a track not layered with Dunlop rubber.

But we will see what the Qatar race brings, with the bikes racing in a tight pack (looking at you, Yamaha). It may be different to what we see in testing. And even then, MM93 is hampered by a lack of strength in his surgically-repaired shoulder. But he should be more fit by the time the Continental races come around.

HRC have truly put all their eggs in one basket, time will tell whether it's the correct decision. But, based on previous results, it's hard to bet against them.

What has truly surprised me is the speed of Takaaki Nakagami. He is also recovering from shoulder surgery and is also riding the 2019-spec RC213V.

Man I hope Aprilia can get finality on the Ianonne situation ASAP, and if he's done, then go find somebody else to ride it this year besides Brad the bulldozer. He is absolutely not cut out for MotoGP as a full time rider.

The biggest problem is obviously, who can they get that is faster and available this year.