The Moto3 class had the worst of the weather on the first day of the final three-day test at Jerez ahead of the 2018 season. The Moto3 bikes only got a single session that was really any use, the day's two other sessions being marred by rain. Aron Canet came out on top of the timesheets, the Estrella Galicia rider leading by over a third of a second.
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The final test for the Moto2 and Moto3 class is underway at Jerez, and for the Moto2 bikes, that means they are finally testing with the official Moto2 Honda engines. The weather has been a touch recalcitrant on Tuesday, the track sometimes dry, but light showers blowing in and out to render the track rather tricky.
Johann Zarco was the fastest rider over all three days at Qatar, his time on Saturday a quarter of a second faster than the man in second, Valentino Rossi, while Andrea Dovizioso was third fastest. As everyone except Andrea Iannone (who didn't ride due to illness) and Taka Nakagami set their fastest times on Saturday, the combined standings are very close to the times at the end of Saturday. Iannone's quick time from Saturday put him in fifth overall, just ahead of Marc Marquez.
Johann Zarco leaves the final MotoGP test of the season as fastest overall after having set a scintillating lap in the final couple of hours of Saturday. The Monster Tech3 Yamaha rider was a quarter of a second faster than anyone else at Qatar, and posted a respectable long run during the final day.
Johann Zarco has topped the timesheets with two hours left of the Qatar MotoGP test, with a stunning lap which got him to within a tenth of a second of the outright pole lap. The Monster Tech3 Yamaha rider came up just short of Jorge Lorenzo's 2008 pole record, set back when MotoGP still had special one-lap qualifying tires.
Johann Zarco leads the MotoGP test in Qatar, beating Cal Crutchlow's quickest time from earlier in the day. The Monster Tech3 Yamaha rider put in three sub-1'55 laps in a row, including the one which beat Crutchlow.
The LCR Honda rider is still second, with Danilo Petrucci third, but the timesheets are starting to change rapidly as riders try for a fast lap before 7pm. At this stage, multiple riders are chasing their best lap time, before attempting a long run or race simulation after 7pm, which is race time at Qatar.
Danilo Petrucci leads at the halfway mark on the final day of the Qatar MotoGP test, the track busy for the last couple of hours despite the strong winds. The Pramac Ducati rider is the only man into the 1'54s at the moment, leading factory Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso by nearly half a second.
LCR Honda rider Cal Crutchlow is third, a tenth behind Dovizioso, and another tenth ahead of Dani Pedrosa. The Repsol Honda rider had struggled on Friday, after banging his hand hard in a crash on the first day of the test.
Andrea Iannone has ended the second day of testing at Qatar on top of the timesheets, the Ecstar Suzuki rider putting in a quick lap at the end of the test to just squeeze ahead of Andrea Dovizioso. The factory Ducati rider ended the test in second, four hundredths of a second behind Iannone, but having done a quick long run at around race time.
Andrea Dovizioso continues to lead the way at Qatar, the Italian putting in a long run between 7pm and 8pm, which is race time on 18th March. The Italian slightly improved his time, extending his advantage over the Tech3 Yamaha M1 of Johann Zarco to nearly a quarter of a second. Cal Crutchlow remains in third spot, while Maverick Viñales used a set of softer tires to punch into the top four on the Movistar Yamaha.
Times at 8pm:
Times at 7pm:
As the sun starts to set in Losail, the MotoGP riders are picking up the pace. Andrea Dovizioso has broken the 1'55 barrier, diving under the race lap record of Jorge Lorenzo by a couple of tenths of a second. Tech3 Yamaha's Johann Zarco soon followed suit, clocking a 1'54.874, just a tenth of a second behind the Ducati rider. Andrea Iannone is currently third fastest on the Suzuki, half a second behind Dovizioso, while Marc Marquez leads Cal Crutchlow in fifth and sixth.
Times at 6pm:
Andrea Dovizioso leads the second day of the final MotoGP test at Qatar, the factory Ducati rider having the slimmest of leads over the Hondas of Marc Marquez and Cal Crutchlow, while Aleix Espargaro holds the fourth quickest time on the Aprilia.
Maverick Viñales has topped the first day of the final MotoGP test at Qatar, ending Thursday just a tenth of a second off the race lap record set in 2016. The Movistar Yamaha rider spent a lot of time on track, racking up a grand total of 64 laps to lead the field. Andrea Dovizioso ended the day in second on the Factory Ducati, just five hundredths of a second behind Viñales, and three thousandths of a second quicker than his former teammate Andrea Iannone, Iannone now riding the Suzuki Ecstar GSX-RR.
The Movistar Yamahas are getting up to speed in Qatar, with Maverick Viñales currently leading the pack at 7:30pm, and 90 minutes of the test left. With the race due to start at 7pm, this is a key part of the test.
Five hours into the first day of the Qatar MotoGP test it is Jorge Lorenzo leading the way, though the factory Ducati rider's advantage is minimal indeed. Suzuki's Andrea Iannone is tied with Movistar Yamaha rider Maverick Viñales for second fastest, both men six hundredths of a second slower than Lorenzo. The Repsol Honda riders follow in fourth and fifth, Marc Marquez ahead of Dani Pedrosa, though there is just a hundredth of a second between the two of them.
Testing will continue for three more hours, the test finishing at 9pm local time.
Times at 6pm local time: