Latest MotoGP Results
Danny Kent has continued to impress in the Moto3 class, topping the timesheets of the final session of free practice. Kent and Miguel Oliveira swapped places at the top for most of the session, Kent eventually winning out with a very fast lap at the end.
Kent leads his Leopard Honda teammate Hirokl Ono, the Japanese rider making good use of a large group to jump up at the end, first to 4th, then to 2nd, pushing Miguel Oliveira down into 3rd, and the first of the KTM riders. John McPhee followed the Estrella Galicia riders around on his fast lap to get up to 4th, while Fabio Quartararo once again impresses at a track he has never seen, ending the session in 5th.
Marc Marquez has put some distance between himself and his rivals, topping the second session of free practice by nearly half a second. Marquez got a quick lap in early, then concentrated on race pace. Worryingly for his rivals, Marquez' race pace was mostly faster than 2nd place man Dani Pedrosa's best lap.
If the gap from 1st to 2nd was large, it was much closer behind Marquez. Dani Pedrosa was 0.447 behind his Repsol Honda teammate in 2nd, but the same gap covers 2nd place to Mike Di Meglio in 8th. In fact, an entire second covers Pedrosa in 2nd down to Stefan Bradl in 18th, showing just how tight the field is behind Marquez.
The group behind Pedrosa was illustrative of that. Andrea Dovizioso ended FP2 in 3rd, less than a tenth slower than Pedrosa. Dovizoso's GP15 once again sprouted wings, Ducati continuing to experiment with the anti-wheely devices, though only on the bike of Dovizioso. Cal Crutchlow put in an impressive lap on the LCR Honda to take 4th spot, just a few hundredths behind Dovizioso, while Andrea Iannone was just seven thousandths of a second slower than Crutchlow.
Sam Lowes continues to reign supreme in the Moto2 class at Qatar, leading the second session of free practice almost from the start and never being challenged. The Speed Up rider could not quite get under the two minute mark in FP2, but he was once again under Tito Rabat's pole record from last year.
Reigning champion Rabat ended the day second, a third of a second behind Lowes, and ahead of Johann Zarco this time. Axel Pons set the 4th fastest time, another third of a second behind Zarco, and over a second behind the pace of Lowes. Pons heads up a large group of close riders, with Taka Nakagami, Tom Luthi, Sandro Cortese and Xavier Simeon separated by tenth of a second, and Alex Rins another two tenths behind in 9th. Rins was once again impressive, faster than both his teammate Luis Salom, and the reigning Moto3 champion and former teammate Alex Marquez. Marquez ended down in 18th.
Miguel Oliveira dominated the second session of free practice for the Moto3 session. The Portuguese rider led by nearly half a second for most of the session, the chasing pack only closing the gap as the session wound down, only for Oliveira to open a gap again at the end.
Niccolo Antonelli ended the day in 2nd, just under two tenths behind Oliveira, with Isaac Viñales taking 3rd, over six tenths slower than the Red Bull KTM rider. Romano Fenati showed good pace in the second session, ending in 5th ahead of the deeply impressive Fabio Quartararo, the French rookie living up to expectations. Livio Loi was 7th fastest on the RW Racing Honda, just edging out Danny Kent, who had led FP1. Efren Vazquez and Jorge Navarro rounded out the top 10.
Marc Marquez leads the way at the end of the first session of free practice for the MotoGP class, the reigning world champion starting his 2015 season where he left off in 2014.
Marquez came out of the gate fast, setting his best time with his second flying lap, only for him to see 1st place taken from him by his Repsol Honda teammmate, Dani Pedrosa. Pedrosa led the session for the first 15 minutes, until Marquez came back out and snatched the lead. From that point, the dominion of the two Hondas went unchallenged.
Jorge Lorenzo had sat in 3rd for much of the opening session, but was demoted by Aleix Espargaro at the end, after the Suzuki rider put in a soft tire to set a time. Despite that, Espargaro's pace on the Suzuki was strong, even on the medium race tire, staying well inside the top ten. Cal Crutchlow put in a late fast lap to jump up to 5th, behind the Movistar Yamaha of Lorenzo, staying just ahead of Danilo Petrucci, who had put a soft tire on the Pramac Ducati at the end of the session to take 6th. It had been hard work, as Petrucci had had to sprint back to his pit box after his first bike cut out in pit lane.
Sam Lowes has smashed the existing Moto2 pole record in Qatar, becoming the first man to lap the Losail circuit in under two minutes on a Moto2 bike. Lowes ended the session six tenths of a second ahead of Johann Zarco, while reigning Moto2 champion Tito Rabat took 3rd.
Lowes and Zarco dominated the first session of practice for Moto2, sharing the lead for most of FP1 with exactly the same time. With five minutes to go, Zarco finally took a lead, only to see Lowes smash his time on his very last lap. Rabat was a comfortable 3rd, but could not match the pace of the two leaders.
Tom Luthi finished FP1 in 4th, the Swiss rider nearly 1.6 seconds behind the time set by Lowes, and nearly a second behind Zarco. Times were much closer behind Luthi: Jonas Folger was a tenths slower in 5th, while Sandro Cortese, Franco Morbidelli, Ant West, Alex Rins and Julian Simon were separated by just a quarter of a second. Rins' 9th time marked the best of rookie performances in the Moto2 class, while reigning Moto3 champ Alex Marquez struggled with mechanical issues, only managing the 18th best time.
Danny Kent has drawn first blood of the 2015 season, topping the first session of free practice for the Moto3 class. Kent used a handy slipstream from Romano Fenati to just pip Miguel Oliveira at the very end of the session.
Oliveira ended the session in 2nd, after having led the way for most of it, Kent moving from six tenths behind Oliveira to a tenth of a second ahead of the Red Bull KTM rider. Niccolo Antonelli moved up to set the 3rd fastest time, getting ahead of Isaac Viñales. After a slow start, Brad Binder ended the session in 5th, while Jorge Navarro posted an impressive 6th fastest time on his first visit to the track.
There were impressive starts for two of the Moto3 rookies in FP1. Red Bull Rookie champion Jorge Martin ended the session in 8th, 1.5 seconds behind Kent, while Fabio Quartararo finished in 14th spot, 1.8 seconds slower than the leader Kent.
Poor weather continued at Jerez on the final day of testing for the Moto2 and Moto3 classes, with high winds and rain lashing the circuit. The weather limited action on the track, many teams preferring to sit out the day rather than risk injury or severe material damage with less than a week to go to the start of the 2015 season.
A couple of heavy crashes by riders who did choose to ride rather proved their point. Tito Rabat crashed heavily, destroying his Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Moto2 machine and leaving his mechanics with a lot of work to do to get the bike ready to ship to Qatar. But Rabat was lucky, he walked away with just bumps and bruises from the crash. Ana Carrasco was less lucky in Moto3, the RBA Racing Team rider falling and breaking her collarbone. Carrasco may still be fit in time for Qatar, as she will not need surgery on the collarbone, but it is far from ideal preparation.
The poor weather saw Marcel Schrotter end the day as fastest Moto2 rider, lapping nearly a second quicker than Julian Simon on the QMMF Speed up, and Mika Kallio on the Italtrans Kalex. In the Moto3 class, Jakub Kornfeil ended the day with the fastest time, the SIC KTM rider ending ahead of Spanish rookie Jorge Martin on the Aspar Mahindra, and Niccolo Antonelli on the Ongetta Honda.
The weather has not been kind to the Moto2 and Moto3 classes at their last preseason test of 2015. Intermittent rain, some of it very heavy, has severely limited action on the first two days of the test. Even when there have been dry spells, the track has only been completely dry for relatively short periods of time. Miss those dry windows of opportunity, and you miss out on dry practice.
Speed Up rider Sam Lowes has had the best of conditions, the track drying out towards the end of the first Moto2 session on Wednesday morning, though Lowes is still a couple of seconds off lap record pace. Jonas Folger set the 2nd fastest time, but was over a second slower, edging Tom Luthi into 3rd.
In the Moto3 class, it was Jorge Navarro who made best use of the dry line which the second session started with on Wednesday, ending nearly three quarters of a second faster than Danny Kent, who was in turn over a tenth faster than Navarro's teammate Fabio Quartararo. Jorge Martin was the first non-Honda in 4th on the Mahindra, while Isaac Viñales put the Husqvarna (a rebadged KTM) into 6th, behind Enea Bastianini.
Andrea Dovizioso has ended the second day of testing on top of the timesheets, continuing Ducati's domination at the desert race track. Dovizioso shot to the top just before 9:30pm, taking over from Marc Marquez, who had interposed himself ahead of the Ducatis of Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone. Marquez is the only Honda, indeed the only non-Ducati, to get down to the 1'55.0 mark, though Dovizioso managed to crack the 55 barrier and set a 1'54.907. Marquez follows with a 1'55.091, while Andrea Iannone was just a hundredth slower than Marquez. Which tires the Ducatis used to set their times was not immediately clear.
Ducati debuted a set of winglets on the fairing of Andrea Dovizioso's GP15 today, an idea they trialed in 2010 as well. The very different shape suggests a different purpose, perhaps to suppress fifth and sixth gear wheelies.
Times at 9:30pm:
After the customary hour or more of silence, as the riders waited for the sun to set, testing is currently in full swing on the second day at Qatar. Marc Marquez is fastest, and faster than the time set by Andrea Iannone on the first day. Jorge Lorenzo is not far off the time of the Honda, while Andrea Dovizioso follows in third. Track conditions are improved over the first day, the on-track activity having cleared much of the dust from the racing line.
Times at 7pm:
The Factory Ducati men have dominated the first day of testing at Qatar. Andrea Iannone ended the day as fastest, after swapping the top spot with teammate Andrea Dovizioso all evening long. In the end, less than a tenth separated the two GP15s. With the extra soft tire at their disposal, it was easier to set fast times.
Marc Marquez ended the evening as 3rd fastest, a couple of tenths behind Dovizioso. Aleix Espargaro finished behind the Repsol Honda rider, 4th place impressive for the Suzuki man, and within half a second of Iannone. Dani Pedrosa ended the day in 5th, ahead of Jorge Lorenzo, the first of the Yamaha riders. Cal Crutchlow put his CWM LCR Honda between the Movistar Yamaha riders, Crutchlow taking 7th ahead of Valentino Rossi. Rossi had taken a tumble early, but walked away unscathed.
Bradley Smith was the fastest of the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha riders, taking 9th spot with a lap under seven tenths off the pace of Iannone, while Scott Redding showed excellent improvement on the Marc VDS Honda, rounding out the top ten.
Final times at the end of the first day of the test:
Times at 9pm:
Ducati have made it clear they mean business in the first few hours of testing at the final test of the year. While most of the riders waited for darkness to fall before taking to the track at Qatar, Andrea Dovizioso, Michele Pirro and Andrea Iannone were soon circulating, putting more miles on the Ducati Desmosedici GP15. At 7:30pm, Iannone had taken over top spot from his teammate, while Dovizioso was just a tenth behind. The Suzukis, too, are busy, Aleix Espargaro posting an impressive time in 3rd spot, ahead of Marc Marquez on the Repsol Honda and Espargaro's Suzuki teammate Maverick Viñales in 5th. Danilo Petrucci impressed on the Ducati GP14, currently sitting ahead of the Yamahas of Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo. Rossi was reported to have taken a tumble in his first few laps of the evening, but walked away unhurt.
The test concludes at 11pm local time.
Times at 7:30pm: