Reigning champion Jorge Lorenzo laid down a marker for his title defence by totally dominating the final day of MotoGP pre-season testing at Qatar.
Lorenzo lapped the Losail International circuit, which plays host to the season opener on March 20, with a stunning time of 1m54.810s, using the new control Michelin tyres.
This compares to Andrea Dovizioso’s pole time last year of 1m54.113s, set on ultrasoft Bridgestone tyres.
Scott Redding kept up his recent impressive testing form for Pramac Ducati to finish runner-up, but was over half a second off Lorenzo. Yesterday’s pacesetter, Suzuki’s Maverick Vinales, was just seven thousandths slower than the Briton.
Marquez and Rossi suffer falls
Two-time champion Marc Marquez fell from his Honda at the final corner early on, but bounced back to set the fourth-fastest time late in the night session. He was 0.027s swifter than Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi, who was another early faller at Turn 10.
The leading works Ducati was Andrea Iannone in sixth, who was just under three quarters of a second off the overall pace, with Cal Crutchlow seventh on his LCR Honda – another faller later on.
The second works Ducati of Andrea Dovizioso was eighth, ahead of Hector Barbera (who fell twice) and Pol Espargaro.
Tito Rabat suffered multiple crashes, while Aleix Espargaro and Loris Baz also fell.
Day three times: