Ángel Nieto Team MotoGP - Qatar Test 22018-03-02 13:49
Ángel Nieto Team ready to squeeze the most out of final test day
Four riders from four different factories occupied the top four positions on the second day of testing in Qatar, where the final preparations are taking place for the MotoGP World Championship 2018. The top four, all of whom lapped under 1'55, were topped by Andrea Iannone (1'54.586), followed by his Italian compatriot and last year's championship runner-up Andrea Dovizioso, with Marc Márquez third fastest and Johann Zarco, the top independent rider, fourth on a day that saw the top fourteen riders lap within the same second.
Karel Abraham was the faster of the two Ángel Nieto Team representatives on track today in Qatar, taking four tenths off his best lap from yesterday early in the session. After that the Czech rider was forced to switch to his second bike but did not have the same feeling and was unable to improve his lap time further. Álvaro Bautista was the busiest rider on track today, racking up 70 laps as he strived but struggled to replicate the feeling he had yesterday on medium tyres, clocking a best effort of 1'56.104 but at least managing to complete a valuable race simulation of 22 laps. Bautista's long run featured consistent laps between 1'56.172 and 1'57.137, although he believes that pace was still some way short of his and the bike's potential.
18th Karel Abraham 1:55.876 (37 laps): “Today wasn't bad, especially in the beginning, but unfortunately later on we had some little problem with the first bike and I had to jump on the second one and to be honest I wasn't really happy with it, even though the set-up was the same. I couldn't improve my lap time on it but overall we have gone a little bit faster, so the goal is to go faster again tomorrow and improve the lap time. Today we were supposed to complete a race simulation but we didn't manage to do that so that's moved to tomorrow's schedule.”
20th Álvaro Bautista 1:56.104 (70 laps): “I finished up quite happy yesterday but today we had less grip on both the front and the rear and the feeling was not the same. Yesterday the medium tyres were working well but today we struggled and we switched to the soft. We are missing something with the base set-up of the bike and its performance depends a lot on the conditions. I did a race simulation of more than twenty laps and the pace wasn't bad, but it wasn't as good as it could have been. We still have tomorrow left and we have a few ideas to try. We think that in trying to fix the rear grip issue we have compromised in other areas and now we have to spend more time in the corner with the bike at full lean. We need to find the right balance for this bike.”
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