Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) kept his top spot on the combined timesheets after FP3 at Losail International Circuit, with his Friday best unchallenged by the grid. The Spaniard also suffered his first crash on the Yamaha in an official session earlier in the day, escaping unscathed. Andrea Iannone (Team Suzuki Ecstar) was the late superstar of the session, moving up from P17 to second and just beating reigning Champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team).
Behind Marquez was an impressive dash from reigning Moto2™ Champion Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3), who took over from his teammate Jonas Folger as fastest rookie. Folger is eighth on combined times, and also goes safely through to the Q2 qualifying session.
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) completed the top five overall after the three sessions, ahead of FP2’s fastest man Scott Redding (Octo Pramac Racing). Redding also suffered two incidents in FP3 – with damage to his fairing followed by a late crash. Repsol Honda Team’s Dani Pedrosa was seventh fastest, only 0.028 off the Brit.
Behind Folger was fellow crasher LCR Honda rider Cal Crutchlow, who took ninth despite the late incident. Nine-time World Champion Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) just completed the top ten by 0.021 - the last of those graduating automatically to Q2.
Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team) had a tougher second day, ending twelfth on combined times and missing the cut by only half a tenth. The 'Spartan' will be a big threat in Q1 as he looks to fight at the front in his first weekend in red.
The grid head out for FP4 at 19:55 local time (GMT + 3) on Saturday evening, before Q1 chooses two more graduates for Q2 – and the first grid of the year gets decided.
Friday, 24 March 2017 19:05 Published in Reports, Results & Points
The 2017 racing season gets fully underway this weekend under the lights, in the desert at the Losail Circuit in Qatar, at the first of 18 scheduled MotoGP rounds. After a crazy 2016 season with an unprecedented nine race winners, attention at the top tier of motorcycle racing is steadily building.
Friday, 24 March 2017 11:51 Published in Feature Stories
In his 250th Grand Prix start, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP rider Jorge Lorenzo said goodbye to that title in stunning style, as the ‘Spartan’ took a lights-to-flag signature victory in his final appearance in blue. A record-breaking pole saw the Spaniard then escape at the front, holding off a late charge from reigning World Champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team). An Italian battle royale decided the final podium place, with Andrea Iannone (Ducati Team) taking P3 on the penultimate lap.
Under the blue skies of a long-awaited dry race day, Lorenzo got the holeshot from pole, but it was Iannone who was the big winner into Turn 1 as the Italian blasted through on the inside to take second. With the ‘Spartan’ imperious at the front, Iannone led the chase as Maverick Viñales (Team Suzuki Ecstar), Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP), Marquez and Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) joined him in the battle behind the lead, after the number 93 suffered a bad start off the line.
After getting past Viñales, Rossi and Iannone fought it out at the head of the second group as the number 99 began to disappear into the distance, with Marquez and the number 25 in close company. As Rossi got to the head of the chasers, Iannone hit back again – and so began Round 2. It was the ‘Maniac’ who initially came out on top, before Marquez saw his shot and got through – gapping the fight to start a charge after Lorenzo at the front, eventually cutting more than three seconds off the number 99's lead.
The podium decider was left to a brutal, classic battle between Iannone and Rossi - with the rider from Tavullia seeming to have got the better of his younger compatriot, until Iannone hit back with an aggressive move that also gave him a gap he was able to hold onto over the line. Viñales completed his final weekend with Suzuki in P5.
Dovizioso eventually dropped slightly back from the front group into the clutches of Aleix Espargaro (Team Suzuki Ecstar) and brother Pol (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) to fight for P6 after grip issues - with the younger brother Pol finally taking the honours over the line in a photo-finish against Dovizioso, and Aleix seeing the flag in eighth.
Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) unfortunately suffered a crash to bid adieu to his fantastic latter half of 2016 – but he takes the title of Top Independent rider although bettered by Pol Espargaro on the day. Crutchlow’s compatriot Bradley Smith (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) had another impressive ride as he gets back to fitness following a crash ahead of the British GP and two knee surgeries, taking P9 in his final race with Tech 3 before he moves to Red Bull KTM Factory Racing.
Alvaro Bautista had a stunning ride in his final race with Aprilia Racing Team Gresini in their special “Red” livery, completing the top ten to round out a year of impressive progress.
Returning Repsol Honda Team rider Dani Pedrosa crashed out after an impressive weekend despite a recent collarbone break, and wildcard Mika Kallio, debuting the new KTM RC16, was sadly unable to see the flag after technical trouble - but the Austrian factory now head into the 2017 pre-season with vital information after lining up for the first time.
After a history-making 2016, MotoGP will return in pre-season testing on Tuesday - with Lorenzo in red at Ducati as the pack shuffles and prepares its hand for another incredible season of motorcycle racing.
Monday, 14 November 2016 10:29 Published in Reports, Results & Points
Anticipation for the MotoGP™ World Championship race at the circuit de Barcelona – Catalunya continued to grow as the riders sat on the grid, hiding from the scorching sun beneath their umbrellas. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) was on pole position, but both Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) and Jorge Lorenzo (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) seemed to have found something on the new layout in warm up.
Monday, 06 June 2016 12:59 Published in Reports, Results & Points
Jorge Lorenzo ran away with the French GP, taking a flag-to-flag victory as former championship leader Marc Marquez fell.
Monday, 09 May 2016 10:16 Published in Reports, Results & Points
With new Michelin tires and new unified electronics, the Commercial Bank Grand Prix of Qatar was set to not only start a new season of the MotoGP™ World Championship, but also begin a new era. Testing had given fans a preview of who was fast and what bikes were working well, but few had any idea what would happen as the lights went out on the first race of the 2016 season.
Monday, 21 March 2016 09:40 Published in Reports, Results & Points
We know that riding smoothly is one aspect of quicker lap times at the track and being safe on the street: Gentle, precise throttle inputs, fluid body movements and steady lean angles mid-turn are just some of the characteristics of what you'd consider a smooth rider. Jorge Lorenzo is a perfect example, with a glass-smooth riding style that looks like he is going much slower than he actually is.
Friday, 11 December 2015 12:16 Published in Andrew Trevitt
Movistar Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo led from lights off to the checkered flag to win both the battle and the war, earning his third career MotoGP World Championship and his fifth career world crown with victory at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia, Spain today. Lorenzo experienced almost race-long pressure from the Repsol Honda of outgoing two-time world champ Marc Marquez, as well as a late race push from on-form Dani Pedrosa on the second Honda, to earn his crown.
Sunday, 08 November 2015 13:12 Published in News