Ángel Nieto Team MotoGP - Qatar Test 32018-03-04 17:34
NEXT CHALLENGE: GRAND PRIX OF QATAR
Ángel Nieto Team complete MotoGP preseason with race simulations for both Álvaro Bautista and Karel Abraham
Johann Zarco announced his arrival as a MotoGP rider on his debut in Qatar last season, when he led the race for several laps, and he will start his second year at the top level as the man in form after finishing the final preseason test at the Losail circuit with the fastest lap (1'54.029). Zarco finished just a tenth off the best ever lap of Losail, which was set by Jorge Lorenzo in 2008 (1'53.927), with Valentino Rossi, Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow closely behind him as up to twelve riders dipped under the 1'55 mark. Current World Champion Marc Márquez will start his title defence after finishing seventh fastest tonight.
For the Ángel Nieto Team, Karel Abraham finished with a best lap of 1'55.300, which left him sixteenth overall on the final day. The Czech rider completed a sixteen-lap run (the race here on 18th March will be 22 laps), maintaining a pace between 1'55.8 and 1'56.9. Abraham leaves Qatar feeling satisfied with the work done and with the experience gathered on the Ducati GP16. His team-mate Álvaro Bautista, meanwhile, was just 0.047 seconds behind Abraham after himself completing a full race simulation. The Spaniard improved his pace from yesterday but not enough to leave him completely happy as he targets further improvement during the Grand Prix weekend in a fortnight's time.
16th Karel Abraham 1:55.300 (50 laps): “The race simulation we did today was very positive, we set some good times and I am happy with the way it went. In general it has been a good test, we have done a lot of work on the set-up and gathered lots of experience with the new bike. At the end of the day in the wet test I found that the track had much more grip than I expected but the visibility wasn't the best, there were a lot of reflections.”
17th Álvaro Bautista 1:55.347 (58 laps): “Today we tried to work more on improving grip and feeling. We tried some things that didn't work as well as we would have liked. We did improve the feeling but just not as much as we wanted. We also did another race simulation and I was able to go faster than yesterday, just not enough. I would have liked to make more progress today than we did and have a better feeling with the bike, but let's see if we can improve for the race and be more competitive.”
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