Nakagami and Fenati reign in Qatar

2017-03-20 08:53
On Day 1 it was rain, on Day 2 it was good running, and Day 3 ended in a sandstorm and thunder and lightning. High winds throughout the day gave way to rain and sand by the third Moto3™ session, with the final outing for Moto2™ preseason then cancelled.

Takaaki Nakagami (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) was therefore top overall after his 2:00.187 on Day 2, with EG0,0 Marc VDS rider Franco Morbidelli only 0.053 back. 2014 Moto3™ World Champion Alex Marquez (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS) ended his preseason in P3 after topping Jerez, 0.240 off P1.

Hafizh Syahrin (Petronas Raceline Malaysia) was an impressive P4 only half a second back, with Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) keeping the new KTM chassis in the top five on a 2:00.861. His teammate - reigning Moto3™ World Champion Brad Binder - was 1.6 seconds off P1 as he returns from injury.

2016 contender Tom Lüthi (CarXpert Interwetten) was sixth, with rookie Fabio Quartararo (Pons HP 40) impressing in seventh. Xavi Vierge (Tech 3 Racing) added to the diverse chassis competition on the Tech 3 machine in P8, just ahead of the first Suter on the timesheets of 2015 Moto3™ World Champion Danny Kent (Kiefer Racing) with a 2:01.236. RW Racing GP rider Axel Pons debuted with his new team in P10, only 0.016 off Kent.

Moto2™ will next be on track for FP1 at Losail on Thursday as the first race weekend of the year gets into gear.
Fenati remains on top after shortened final day in Qatar

After a Day 1 that fell victim to rain followed by a more useful Day 2, the third and final outing for the Moto3™ grid at Losail International Circuit saw the weather return as a key protagonist. High winds throughout most of the day culminated in a sandstorm and a Red Flag in the third Moto3™ session, before thunder and lightning brought a definitive close to the preseason for the lightweight class.

That left the big names from combined times on Day 2 holding on to their places on the timesheets. Returning Romano Fenati (Marinelli Rivacold Snipers) keeps his throne, ahead of Jorge Martin (Del Conca Gresini Moto3) by a tiny 0.039 margin. Martin suffered a crash at T15 on Saturday but escaped with only a small contusion to his hand. Third on the timesheets remained Aron Canet (Estrella Galicia 0,0), again incredibly close and only a further 0.020 in arrears.

Gabriel Rodrigo (RBA Boe Racing Team) impressed to take fourth overall with a 2:06.957, with Belgian Leopard Racing rider Livio Loi locking out the top five. Nicolo Bulega (Sky Racing Team VR46) took sixth on combined to complete an impressive preseason, just in front of lightning rookie Ayumu Sasaki (SIC Racing Team). Sasaki has also raced at the track in the Asia Talent Cup on the Road to MotoGP™.

Niccolo Antonelli (Red Bull KTM Ajo), Juanfran Guevara (RBA BOE Racing Team) and Philipp Oettl (Südmetall Schedl GP Racing) completed the top ten, with Jakub Kornfeil (Peugeot MC Saxoprint) in P11 and British Talent Team rider John McPhee debuting the new outfit in P12.

That’s now a wrap on testing for the lightweight class, with the next time on track Thursday at Losail as FP1 gets underway at 18:00 local time (GMT +3) - and we prepare to go racing.

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