Best Race Lap Record: 1:54.927, Jorge Lorenzo, 2016
All-Time Lap Record: 1:53.380, Marc Marquez, 2019
FIM MotoGP World Championship
Losail International Circuit
February 22, 2020
Day One Test Results (all on Michelin tires):
- Alex Rins, Spain (Suzuki), 1:54.462
- Joan Mir, Spain (Suzuki), 1:54.464
- Maverick Vinales, Spain (Yamaha), 1:54.494
- Danilo Petrucci, Italy (Ducati), 1:54.634
- Franco Morbidelli, Italy (Yamaha), 1:54.700
- Marc Marquez, Spain (Honda), 1:54.823
- Valentino Rossi, Italy (Yamaha), 1:54.876
- Fabio Quartararo, France (Yamaha), 1:55.074
- Francesco Bagnaia, Italy (Ducati), 1:55.204
- Aleix Espargaro, Spain (Aprilia), 1:55.268
- Andrea Dovizioso, Italy (Ducati), 1:55.308
- Johann Zarco, France (Ducati), 1:55.360
- Jack Miller, Australia (Ducati), 1:55.430
- Pol Espargaro, Spain (KTM), 1:55.449
- Takaaki Nakagami, Japan (Honda), 1:55.627
- Brad Binder, South Africa (KTM), 1:55.644
- Tito Rabat, Spain (Ducati), 1:55.707
- Miguel Oliveira, Portugal (KTM), 1:55.737
- Cal Crutchlow, UK (Honda), 1:55.757
- Iker Lecuona, Spain (KTM), 1:56.135
- Alex Marquez, Spain (Honda), 1:56.552
- Bradley Smith, UK (Aprilia), 1:57.027
More, from a press release issued by Red Bull KTM Tech3:
Oliveira and Lecuona resume testing in Qatar
Today saw the MotoGP World Championship field heading out again for the final preseason test of 2020 at the Losail International Circuit. Thereby, the Red Bull KTM Tech3 duo of Miguel Oliveira and Iker Lecuona could present their brand-new KTM RC16 colors for the first time on track. Yet, Oliveira lapped the dusty circuit 42 times to conclude day one of three in 18th position, while premier class rookie Lecuona was the first rider leaving the pits this morning, completing 47 laps and finishing Saturday just 0.398 seconds behind his teammate in P20.
“This first day has been a bit tough, to be honest. We have been struggling slightly, especially to find traction with the rear tyre. The first day is always a bit tricky regarding the track conditions, therefore we couldn’t really start that early. We have a long way to go, still and I’m convinced, that we can be much more competitive than what we have shown today. We already have a few ideas in mind to try for tomorrow in order to improve the place and the speed.”
“The feeling for the moment is very positive. I improved throughout the day and was quicker on the last laps of my last run with used tyres. I managed to go a bit quicker following Miguel, which helped me a lot. I also try to learn from other riders. Today, I’m happy about our work. I know that I need to continue to learn and to improve, but step by step we are getting there.”
More, from a press release issued by Dorna:
Rins leads Suzuki 1-2 on Day 1 in the desert
Suzuki rule on Saturday, with Viñales completing the top three
Saturday, 22 February 2020
After Yamaha topped all three days of the Sepang Test with Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT), Suzuki struck back in Qatar as Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) led teammate Joan Mir to lock out the top and the two Hamamatsu factory machines were split by just 0.002. Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) kept it close, ending the day just 0.032 in arrears, but it was Ducati who stole many a headline with what looks like a ride height adjuster…
Team Suzuki Ecstar Team Manager Davide Brivio confirmed that there’s nothing new to test in Qatar, but after success at Sepang – and a 1-2 on Day 1 in Qatar – it’s looking good for the Hamamatsu factory. Their engine choice is also clear as they switch their main focus to back-to-back chassis testing; the one tested in Sepang that was well-received. In addition, Rins has said a Suzuki holeshot device will arrive in time for the Qatar GP, if not here at the test, while Mir continues to work on his position on the GSX-RR. Can they keep setting the pace on Day 2?
At Yamaha, the 2020 engine also seems to be set in stone and the factory riders of Viñales and Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) have the holeshot devices fitted, with the quartet of Yamaha riders confirming parts and electronics work on a different circuit. Sepang Test pacesetter Fabio Quartararo tried the holeshot device on Saturday and was pretty positive about it, and he continued getting to grips with the 2020 YZR-M1, finishing P8 with a best time of 1:55.204 and working more on his race rhythm. Teammate Franco Morbidelli – who is on the YZR-M1 2020 A-spec – finished P5. The Yamahas look strong once again as all four finished inside the top eight, with Rossi slotting into P7.
And so… Ducati. Arguably the biggest talking point on Day 1 was the rumoured ride height adjuster that was predominantly seen on Jack Miller’s Pramac Racing GP20. Ducati Team Manager Davide Tardozzi admitted they have “something” new they are trying, but wouldn’t say much else. Both Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) and teammate Danilo Petrucci stonewalled…
Other than that, the goal for the Borgo Panigale factory was to work more on Michelin’s new tyre, something that both Dovizioso and teammate Petrucci put time into at the Sepang Test. Right at the end of the opening day, Petrux leapfrogged to P4 to sit just 0.172 off top spot, saying he feels quite positive but suffered a few issues and needs more track time. Pramac Racing’s Francesco Bagnaia was P9 after getting another 56 laps under his belt on the GP20, with Dovizioso (P11), Johann Zarco (Reale Avinita Racing) – another solid outing for the Frenchman in P12 – and Miller (P13) all within a second of the Suzukis. Both Dovizioso and Miller crashed unscathed, the Italian lamenting it was whilst trying focused on trying “something”. Was it the same something?
At Honda, fresh of the back of a new four-year HRC deal, Marc Marquez got a valuable 42 laps under his belt as he continued to recover from shoulder surgery, finishing P6 on the timesheets with a best of 1:54.823. He cited improvements in front graining compared to 2019 here, but lamented compromises in other areas – and that the track in Qatar is both physically tougher for his shoulder and “exploits” Honda’s weaknesses. Teammate Alex Marquez didn’t have the smoothest day as the reigning Moto2™ World Champion crashed – thankfully unhurt – twice at Turn 7 and Turn 10, but another 57 laps for the rookie was important after impressing at Sepang. The number 73 was on track with a new front fairing too.
Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) had another busy day of testing, the British rider completing 50 laps and finishing up in P19. Teammate Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) was P15 as he – like Marquez – comes back from shoulder surgery, and he confirmed he’s still struggling with endurance, as well as trying to find the limit and understand the 2019 RC213V. That’s his goal for Sunday: at least 15 laps in a row.
Aleix Espargaro and Aprilia Racing Team Gresini’s main target on Day 1, meanwhile, was to continue setting up the new RS-GP, and the Spaniard was joined on track by test rider Bradley Smith in the team’s 2020 colours. Espargaro – an early pacesetter in Qatar – was tenth with a best time of 1:55.268, with Smith putting 54 laps on the board for Aprilia. Although Espargaro admitted he didn’t feel “super good” when the temperature dropped in the evening, he said he tried a few things different things on Day 1, with everything still a voyage of discovery.
Finally, at KTM, chassis comparisons were ongoing in the factory camp, as well as a workout for the new swingarm we saw appear at Sepang. Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) was the leading orange machine on Day 1 in P14, 0.987 off Rins’ time, and at a track that’s “tough” for them. Espargaro also says the new package is an all-round improvement and they’re focused on not “getting lost” ahead of the race weekend by trying anything too drastic. New teammate Brad Binder was just a couple of tenths behind and the fastest rookie as he continued to adapt, and he said it was almost like learning a whole new track initially, with a marked difference between the intermediate and premier classes at Losail.
Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Tech 3), meanwhile, said he had a bit of a tough day, the Portuguese rider suffering with rear traction, but he and his team have ideas to improve the feeling on Day 2. Moreover, Oliveira said he’s feeling better physically than he did at Sepang with regards to his shoulder, as he’s another in recovery. His teammate Iker Lecuona was a few tenths behind him.
That’s it from Day 1 – tune in on Sunday for more on After the Flag and follow Live Timing on motogp.com, with a lot of eyes up and down pitlane on Ducati as the Italian factory once again field some interesting innovations in the desert…
More, from a press release issued by Team Suzuki ECSTAR:
RINS AND MIR ONE-TWO ON OPENING DAY OF QATAR TEST
Alex Rins: 1st – 1:54.462
Joan Mir: 2nd – 1:54.464 (+ 0.002)
The final test before the MotoGP season opener is taking place at Losail International Circuit in Qatar, and the opening day went smoothly for Team SUZUKI ECSTAR as Alex Rins and Joan Mir showed great pace to finish first and second on the time sheets.
The plan for both riders was to initially confirm their findings from the Sepang Test which took place a couple of weeks ago. The focus then switched to the fairing and front forks, as well as beginning the planning for the race weekend, which is now just two weeks away.
Rins reported positivity after working hard on comparing settings and parts. Going for a time attack at the end of the day, he set the fastest time to top the session before the chequered flag came out.
Mir showed consistency throughout the day, topping the timesheets for a large portion of the day before closing the session in second place – just two-thousandths-of-a-second behind his team-mate. He felt pleased with his consistency and is ready to continue working hard tomorrow.
The riders will have two more days at Losail, and track action will continue at 13:00 local time tomorrow.
Davide Brivio – Team Manager:
“We continued where we left off in Sepang, confirming the items we chose there. So now we’re trying to decide exactly what we’ll homologate for the season. We did a time attack at the end of the day, which not everyone did, but it’s still positive to have both riders at the top. We collected good information and Alex and Joan both worked very well. So, overall, today was good and we’re ready for the next two days.”
“I did one time attack right at the end of the day just to see how it would go, I wasn’t very confident because the temperature and humidity were dropping a bit, but in the end it went well, and I was able to set the fastest time. We tried a lot of things today and did lots of back-to-back comparisons, so that leaves me with a good feeling. Tomorrow we’ll continue this type of work.”
“I’m quite happy with today’s test because I felt comfortable with the bike straight away and we’re working well, so it’s been positive. There are still two more days to go and we have to continue improving and working. The track is a bit slippery, but it’s not as bad as I expected, and I was happy to set a good time and spend so much of the day at the top of the timesheets – it’s important and a good feeling, the consistency is crucial and it’s a good result.”
More, from a press release issued by PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team:
Final pre-season test gets underway for PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team
The final pre-season test commenced for PETRONAS Yamaha SRT, and riders Franco Morbidelli and Fabio Quartararo, today in Qatar
The PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team pairing of Franco Morbidelli and Fabio Quartararo started the final pre-season test of the year at Losail International Circuit, Qatar, in the top-ten with the fifth and eighth fastest times of the day respectively.
Both riders waited for conditions to be more representative of those expected in the race at Qatar before heading out on track with their Yamaha YZR-M1 machinery, as the temperatures at lunchtime when testing commenced were too high for the planned testing programme. Due to the green nature of the circuit, both riders focused on laying down rubber whilst testing the base setting used earlier this month in Sepang.
Morbidelli ended the day fifth fastest with a time of 1min 54.700secs, 0.238 seconds shy of the fastest lap of the day, and racked up a total of 57 laps. Meanwhile, team-mate Quartararo completed 56 laps of the Qatari circuit with the fastest time of 1min 55.074secs, 0.374 seconds off the Italian’s time, placing him eighth.
The three day test will continue tomorrow with the track opening to riders at 1pm local time (11am CET and 10am GMT), however it is expected that action will commence later due to the high temperatures at that time.
I’m quite happy with the work we have done today. We focused on adapting to this track and trying to see what the conditions are like. We were quite surprised because the conditions were already good and the performance from the tyre was good also. I managed to do the race distance with the same tyres across my runs and there’s parts of the track where the used tyres are really good. We are doing small steps in different aspects like chassis components and aerodynamics but all are positive. The plan is tomorrow to continue with a similar plan than today and maybe do a race simulation on the third day.
We worked on the pace today and tomorrow we will aim to make a step forward. I’m already feeling good on the bike and this is really good because we know that the first race will be here and we are making some progress. In Malaysia we made some time attack laps but our goal was to work on the pace, it’s the same here. At the end of last year we achieved pole positions but no wins, so the goal for this year will be some victories! Finally, I tried the holeshot device and it was something different to get used to, I only did two starts and already it feels good.
More, from a press release issued by Monster Energy Yamaha:
GOOD PACE FOR MONSTER ENERGY YAMAHA MOTOGP ON QATAR TEST DAY 1
Losail (Qatar), 22nd February 2020
QATAR MOTOGP TEST
The Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team have set up camp at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar to conduct the final three-day official IRTA preseason test before the start of the 2020 MotoGP season.
3rd MAVERICK VIÑALES 1‘54.494 / 50 LAPS
7th VALENTINO ROSSI 1’54.876 / 51 LAPS
Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team‘s Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi resumed their preseason testing plan today at the MotoGP Official Test Losail, securing third and seventh place respectively.
The pair started their first runs a little before 16h00 local time (GMT+3), with four hours left on the clock, to begin their final preparation for the first round of the 2020 MotoGP season, that will be held at the same circuit in Qatar in two weeks‘ time.
Viñales needed just a few laps to get up to speed, slotting into second place on his sixth try, and three runs later took over the top spot. His good feeling with his YZR-M1 remained throughout the session whilst establishing his race set-up. He went on to set a fastest time of 1‘54.494s on lap 31/50, which remained unchallenged until the final half hour of testing when some rivals put in a time attack. He concluded the day in third place, 0.032s from first.
Rossi also had a productive outing under the Qatar floodlights. His plan was to stick to confirming the findings the team had gained at the Sepang Test to make sure they would also work at the dustier Losail track. He completed 51 laps in total, and once he got into the rhythm he remained inside the top 10 for the entire session. He focused on his race set-up and consistently improved his times as well as the feeling with his bike, giving positive feedback. He set a best lap of 1‘54.876s and took seventh position in the standings, 0.414s from P1.
Tomorrow‘s session will again be held from 13h00 – 20h00 local track time.
We always come to the Qatar Test with great motivation because once the team starts this test, we know the first race and the start of the season is near. Our goal for these three days is to confirm the progress we made at the Sepang Test, making sure the improvements we made for riding that track are also beneficial here, and to create a good set-up for the race. We received positive rider feedback so far, both see improvements compared to last year and the previous test. Losail is a very different track compared to Sepang, but both Maverick and Vale were immediately feeling comfortable today. Of course there are still some areas we would like to work on. We will continue our testing schedule tomorrow with the main intention to do a race simulation here at 18h00.
I felt comfortable on the bike straight away. I think, compared to Malaysia, I feel much better on the bike. We were trying many things today which were important to clarify for the race here in Qatar. Actually, I‘m very happy about the work we did today. I need more laps to understand the bike better, find ways to push the bike with new or used tyres. But I think we’re on the right path. With the new bike we are faster in top speed, in some areas I can be faster than last year, so that is very positive. With just a few laps on this track we are already close to the level we were at last year. The rhythm is much better. During the race is when you can finally see everything, but I feel positive and I feel confident about the bike. It‘s a good sign that we are doing a good job, not only on the track but also in the box.
It is a positive day because we confirmed what we saw in Sepang. At the end I finished in P7 but throughout the day I was quite constant and had a good pace. So, we are very happy because it looks like the bike is improving compared to last year and the first test. We work well in the box, and we were able to improve. For the fight for the victory I need a little bit more, two or three tenths in the hot lap, but also in terms of pace. Some riders are a little bit faster than me, so we have to work. But it‘s just the first day, and we are already faster than last year. We have a positive feeling with the bike.
More, from a press release issued by Repsol Honda:
Floodlights on as testing begins in Qatar for the Repsol Honda Team
With the first race of the 2020 MotoGP World Championship just over a week away, the Repsol Honda Team arrived at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar for the final official MotoGP Test of the pre-season. The opening day of running allowed both riders, Marc Marquez and Alex Marquez, to confirm what they and their respective teams had found in Sepang.
It was a rapid start to testing for the reigning MotoGP World Champion, the first rider to drop into the 1’54s as action began. As the track condition improved throughout the course of the evening, Marc was able to continue gathering more data on the 2020 Honda RC213V for HRC engineers. Ending the ‘day’ with a best time of 1’54.823 left Marc as the sixth fastest rider and as just one of seven riders below the 1’55 barrier. Focusing on the next two days, Marc ended his running an hour early.
Although feeling under the weather, Alex diligently went about learning the Losail International Circuit aboard his Honda RC213V – his fourth different track since joining the Repsol Honda Team. Completing a total of 57 laps, Alex was able to improve his time over the course of running and finished with a 1’56.552 as his best time. The MotoGP rookie is now aiming for a restful night to be ready for running tomorrow. Alex suffered a fall at Turn 10 but sustained no injuries.
The penultimate day of pre-season testing begins on Sunday, February 23 at 13:00 Local Time.
“Today we started well but I am struggling a bit more than in Malaysia with my shoulder. In the long corners here, especially the long right handers, I feel my shoulder. I was able to ride how I needed to but we kept calm and did what we needed to. As always, Qatar is not an easy circuit for us and we’re aiming to be as strong as possible. It’s just the first day of testing so I am not looking at the timing screens and instead I’m looking at our garage and working how we need to.”
“Unfortunately I arrived in Qatar and I have been feeling a little sick. It’s nothing serious but I do not have my full power and in MotoGP you need to be at your best. Even like this we were able to get a good amount of work done and we started to work more with the setup of the bike. I had a crash today; this is how you find the limit as a rookie so I’m not focusing on it. We have tomorrow to work again so we are looking forward to that and hopefully working to our maximum.”
More, from a press release issued by Ducati:
The first day of testing in Qatar for the Ducati Team ends with Petrucci fourth and Dovizioso eleventh
Completed the first official 2020 MotoGP test at Sepang in Malaysia two weeks ago, the Ducati Team riders were back in action today at Losail for the last three days of testing ahead of the start of the Championship, at the same race venue in Qatar in fifteen days.
The opening day of the last pre-season test that featured bright skies and temperatures around 25 degrees allowed the Italian squad to resume the development program of the Desmosedici GP20 focusing mainly on testing new components and improving the bike setup for the race.
The first Ducati Team rider to hit the track, right a few minutes after the opening of the pit line at 1 PM local time, has been Danilo Petrucci, the fourth fastest today. The rider from Terni put in a total of 41 laps and clocked his fastest lap time in 1:54.634 on the last minutes of the day using a soft tyre.
Andrea Dovizioso closed in 11th position with a fastest lap in 1:55.308, only 0.654 seconds off his teammate. The rider from Forlì, who suffered a small crash at Turn 8 towards the end of the day, has declared to be satisfied with his first day of testing in Qatar, as he was able to find a good feeling with his Desmosedici GP20 and a solid base to continue his preparations for the opening MotoGP Grand Prix of the year.
Tomorrow Petrucci and Dovizioso will be back out on track for the second day of Qatar Test with other seven hours of free practices available from 1 PM till 8 PM local time (CET +2.00).
Danilo Petrucci (#9 Ducati Team) – 1:54.634 (4º)
“It has been a first complicated day of testing. Unfortunately, some small issues prevented us from taking full advantage of the track time available today. Despite that, the feeling with the bike is good, and now we only need to run constantly to get further confirmations on our work. I am quite happy with the behaviour of the Desmosedici even if there are still a few aspects that we need to improve, but I hope tomorrow we will be able to take a further step forward”.
Andrea Dovizioso (#04 Ducati Team) – 1:55.308 (11º)
“I am quite satisfied with today because we were able to find a good feeling with the bike, which was better than the one I had in Malaysia. We did a few tests, and all of them were positives. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to complete the program that we had for today, but in general, we had a good pace, and we were able to set the fastest lap time with a medium compound tyre that had already done seventeen laps. Shame only, that I had a small crash towards the end of the session, that didn’t allow us to complete an interesting test”.
More, from a press release issued by Pramac Racing:
Qatar Test – Today begins the three days of the Qatar test that precedes the first GP of the season.
A positive first testing day confirms the good work done during the Sepang test. It was a productive day, both riders worked hard and felt satisfied, trying out different set-up and making some important changes, also thanks to the fact that they made more than 50 laps each. Pecco Bagnaia ended his first day of testing in 9th position and his best chrono was 1’55.204, while Jack Miller, just a step away from the top 10, finished the first day in Qatar in 13th position with 1’55.430.
It was a pretty positive day, we worked mainly on my feeling, and we found a solution that I liked, I think we are following the right way. This is a bit of a special track for the set-up but we are getting closer and closer to the solution.
Today we tried different set-up looking for the right one to face the race because the set up at this circuit is very different from Sepang. In the afternoon the wind limited us a little bit, unfortunately I had a small crash on the out-lap but I had a good feeling with the bike and I feel satisfied, ready to go back to work tomorrow.
More, from a press release issued by LCR Honda Castrol:
CRUTCHLOW LOOKING TO IMPROVE HIS PACE AT QATAR TEST
LCR Honda Castrol rider Cal Crutchlow was unable to make the progress he was hoping for on day one of the final pre-season MotoGP test session in Qatar. The Briton was amongst the top performers throughout the previous test at Sepang a fortnight ago, but couldn’t rediscover that rhythm at the Losail International Circuit on Saturday.
Although unperturbed by his early struggles in Doha, Crutchlow is determined to improve over the next two days as he finetunes his preparations for the opening race of the season at the same venue. The 34-year-old was 19th fastest overall – posting a best time of 1’55.757 – as he clocked up a total of 50 laps during a busy opening session.
#35 Cal Crutchlow – 19th
(1’55.757 – lap 31 of 50)
“Today was another long testing schedule, we didn’t have so many parts to test today, but we had some things we needed to try with electronics to try and improve the stopping of the bike and the corner entry. I don’t think we improved that much today and judging by the lap time and pace we need to improve for tomorrow, the next day and also the race weekend. But we’re trying our best and we’ll have a look tonight with all the engineers from my team and HRC to improve the feeling for me to be able to go faster tomorrow.”
More, from a press release issued by LCR Honda Idemitsu:
NAKAGAMI MAKES ENCOURAGING STRIDES ON OPENING DAY IN DOHA
LCR Honda Idemitsu rider Takaaki Nakagami enjoyed a positive first day as the second and final pre-season MotoGP test started in Qatar on Saturday. The Japanese rider is continuing to feel his way back to full fitness after shoulder surgery at the end of last year, but coped well as the action got underway at the Losail International Circuit.
By his own admission, Taka struggled at the Sepang test two weeks ago, but looked much more comfortable this time out. He finished the day in 15th position on the timesheets with his quickest effort coming on the 30th of his 41 completed laps. The 28-year-old was encouraged by his performance and is now aiming to up his workload on day two of the three-day meeting.
Takaaki Nakagami – 15th
(1’55.627 – lap 30 of 41)
“We are definitely improving the physical condition because the last test in Sepang was really tough and not what we wanted. But now, two weeks later we are here and the potential is improving and I’m quite happy about the feeling with the bike. Of course we need to improve some areas, but for the first day we are quite happy. The shoulder was beginning to hurt at the end of the day, but during the day it was much better than during the Sepang test. I’m really happy about this as it’s the most important thing and I’m looking forward to the second day. If the shoulder is ok, tomorrow we are planning to do race distance, which is really important for the race weekend, that’s our target anyway.”