Qatar washout sees Ducati on top at final MotoGP test

Torrential downpours bring an abrupt end to teams’ testing schedules

Rainfall began early on today at the Losail International Circuit for the final day of MotoGP testing and the conditions didn’t improve to the point where any of the teams decided to go out on track leaving the Ducati Team on top of the time sheets and Andrea Dovizioso claiming bragging rights over reigning MotoGP champion Marc Marquez for the Repsol Honda team and in third overall is Dovizioso’s teammate Andrea Iannone.

We are very satisfied with the results obtained in the first two days of testing in Qatar.

Andrea Dovizioso

Dovizioso’s best time of 1m 54.907s set in yesterday’s session proved enough to stay ahead of Marquez and both Ducati riders will be very happy to come away from the test in the top three on the all-new GP15 while Marquez’s teammate Dani Pedrosa was .675s behind in 6th place and behind the Movistar Yamaha riders Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi in 4th and 5th places respectively.

The best satellite rider over the two days was CWM LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow with the British rider improving once again on the factory Honda machine. Monster Yamaha teammates Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaro ended in 8th and 9th places with Smith getting the upper hand and in the best overall position within the Open Class and in 10th place is Karel Abraham for the AB Motoracing team.

Frontrunners really positive ahead of season opener in Qatar

Dovizioso is very happy with how the first two days of the test went and speaking afterwards he said, “We are very satisfied with the results obtained in the first two days of testing in Qatar, because we were always very quick both on new tyres and used ones. It’s a pity that today we were unable to go out on track, because we had some important tests to do in view of the race and we wanted to gather some extra data, but the rain made it impossible.

In any case we start the season very satisfied over the work done with the new GP15, which immediately went well here in Qatar. I really think that we can have our say in the race, and for sure things are a lot more positive than last year. I want to thank my team and all the guys in Ducati Corse because they have worked really hard and very well!” Dovizioso added.

Despite not being able to conduct a full testing schedule, Marquez remains confident moving into the season opener “It’s a shame this last day was cancelled due to the rain but I’m happy with how we are going into the first race. In time we will see how we do at different circuits, but we can make a positive assessment of our progress this Winter. I can’t wait to start the season here in Qatar, in just a week and a half’s time. It will be interesting because having this test so close to the race will make everything tighter. As you can see from the time sheets from the past two days here, the differences will be very small."

With just ten days to go before the season opener at the same track Iannone is really optimistic about his chances saying, “I am happy with the way these two days of testing went, because they were undoubtedly very positive. We went really well and again managed to improve the feeling with the new GP15, even though I am very disappointed that we were unable to benefit from this final day of testing, which for us was important. We had scheduled a specific work programme in order to improve some small things and to do some more tests, but unfortunately the rain prevented everyone from going out on track. I am optimistic for the race weekend and can’t wait to get back on track here in ten days’ time.”

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series MotoGP
Event Qatar March testing
Track Losail International Circuit
Drivers Valentino Rossi , Bradley Smith , Andrea Dovizioso , Jorge Lorenzo , Cal Crutchlow , Dani Pedrosa , Karel Abraham , Marc Marquez , Pol Espargaro , Andrea Iannone
Article type Breaking news
Tags ab motoracing, lcr honda, movistar yamaha, repsol honda, tech 3