MotoGP: Quartararo Takes Charge On Day Two Of Qatar Test (Updated)

MotoGP: Quartararo Takes Charge On Day Two Of Qatar Test (Updated)

© 2020, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc. By David Swarts.

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

Doha, Qatar

February 23, 2020

Day Two Test Results (all on Michelin tires):

  1. Fabio Quartararo, France (Yamaha), 1:54.038
  2. Alex Rins, Spain (Suzuki), 1:54.200
  3. Maverick Vinales, Spain (Yamaha), 1:54.264
  4. Franco Morbidelli, Italy (Yamaha), 1:54.481
  5. Francesco Bagnaia, Italy (Ducati), 1:54.520
  6. Johann Zarco, France (Ducati), 1:54.565
  7. Joan Mir, Spain (Suzuki), 1:54.612
  8. Andrea Dovizioso, Italy (Ducati), 1:54.662
  9. Valentino Rossi, Italy (Yamaha), 1:54.740
  10. Takaaki Nakagami, Japan (Honda), 1:54.759
  11. Aleix Espargaro, Spain (Aprilia), 1:54.762
  12. Danilo Petrucci, Italy (Ducati), 1:54.852
  13. Pol Espargaro, Spain (KTM), 1:54.890
  14. Marc Marquez, Spain (Honda), 1:55.093
  15. Jack Miller, Australia (Ducati), 1:55.194
  16. Tito Rabat, Spain (Ducati), 1:55.352
  17. Miguel Oliveira, Portugal (KTM), 1:55.600
  18. Iker Lecuona, Spain (KTM), 1:55.644
  19. Alex Marquez, Spain (Honda), 1:55.725
  20. Brad Binder, South Africa (KTM), 1:55.930
  21. Cal Crutchlow, UK (Honda), 1:56.178
  22. Bradley Smith, UK (Aprilia), 1:56.407



More, from a press release issued by Dorna:

Quartararo quickest on Day 2 in Qatar

Frenchman faster than 2019’s quickest lap in testing, with Rins in hot pursuit

Sunday, 23 February 2020

Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) set the fastest lap of the Qatar Test to top the timesheets on Day 2 with a 1:54.038, the Frenchman going a couple of tenths faster than the laptimes we saw at the event last season. Day 1 pacesetter Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) was 0.162 in arrears in second, with Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) completing a top trio split by 0.226 as Yamaha and Suzuki continue to look very strong.

In the Yamaha camp, the timesheets make for positive reading. Quartararo shot to the top with just over an hour and a half of Day 2 remaining with the best time of the test, with Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) claiming P4 and Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) sitting P9. Quartararo commented that he had a better day than he did on Saturday, despite the Iwata factory having a couple of issues with engine braking. But things seem positive from the likes of Viñales – tipped by a couple of riders as the man in the best shape as it stands – and all the Yamahas are inside the top 10. Rossi stated they’re ready, too.

At Team Suzuki Ecstar, meanwhile, Alex Rins and Joan Mir both had a bumpier ride on Day 2 after proving the men to beat on Saturday, with crashes for both, riders ok. Nevertheless, the two Spaniards looked in good shape on the whole as they continued to test the new GSX-RR chassis, as well as some electronic, rear shock and new Michelin tyre testing. Rins put it simply: “We are ready”, with the Hamamatsu factory sounding confident ahead of the Qatar GP. Mir was seventh, his fastest lap a 1:54.612.

In the red corner, there was a little more caution but some positivity too. Ducati Team rider Andrea Dovizioso said they were in better shape than Malaysia and teammate Danilo Petrucci said he’d also had a better day than Saturday as they continue to focus on their programs rather than chasing a laptime. Dovizioso was eighth with a 1:54.662, Petrucci P12 with a 1:54.852.

The revolutionary “ride height adjuster” was a talking point again, with Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) admitting that he’d been using the device for a number of races. The Australian also noted the GP20’s superior top speed, describing it as a “rocketship”. In terms of the timesheets, however, Francesco Bagnaia (Pramac Racing) was the leading Desmosedici, the sophomore briefly sitting P1 with two hours remaining and eventually finishing up P5. In terms of race pace though, ‘Pecco’ says he needs “five tenths” to stick with the lead guys and he’s looking for more grip on the exit.

Johann Zarco (Reale Avintia Racing) impressed again to sit as the second fastest Ducati on Day 2, in P6.

Over at Honda, reigning World Champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) suffered a crash at Turn 9 and ended the day in P14, a second off the top. Thankfully he was unhurt. Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) also crashed, going down at Turn 2 and heading to the medical centre afterwards. The fall ultimately ended Crutchlow’s day, the number 35 suffering swelling to his forearm. He and the team decided it was best to not ride again on Sunday, hopefully he will be on track on Monday for the final day of testing.

Front end feel for the two experienced riders is the main problem, with rookie Alex Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) also experiencing some issues. The reigning Moto2™ World Champion has been feeling under the weather at the Qatar Test but he was happier with how Day 2 went compared to Day 1. And it was Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) ended the second day as the fastest Honda rider in P10, the Japanese rider enjoying a decent day as he continues to recover from shoulder surgery, with the injury feeling better than it did on Day 1. All in all, a big Day 3 lies ahead for the HRC riders.

There was big news on Sunday for Aprilia as they confirmed Lorenzo Savadori as their new MotoGP™ test rider. And for Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini), Day 2 targets were working on electronics and setting up the engine, as well as trying to figure out why the new RS-GP started suffering in the cooler temperatures – vital for race day in Qatar. And by the sounds of it, Espargaro found something in the cooler temperatures, describing his feeling as “extremely good” at 7pm. The Spaniard did have a crash on Sunday at Turn 4 though, but thankfully he was ok.

At KTM, it seems the four riders are pretty much set on the new fairing they’ll be using. Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) admitted they haven’t been going for an outright lap time so far in Qatar, the Spaniard was P13 on the timesheets on Day 2 – 0.852 shy. Working on the new Michelin rear tyre was a must today for the Austrian factory and speaking after Day 2’s action, Red Bull KTM Tech 3 rookie Iker Lecuona said he was really happy after he completed a race simulation. His teammate Miguel Oliveira took a tumble, rider ok, and the two weren’t far apart on the timesheets. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) was another to crash, rider ok.

That’s it from Day 2 – tune in on Monday for more on After the Flag and follow Live Timing on!




More, from a press release issued by Red Bull KTM Tech3:

Red Bull KTM Tech3 pair continues preseason preparation in the desert
Miguel Oliveira and Iker Lecuona have been back in action today at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar to further work with their brand-new KTM RC16 machines. Thereby, both Red Bull KTM Tech3 riders improved their lap times from day one, whereas Lecuona managed to close up to his teammate, before they will be back tomorrow for the final day of testing ahead of the 2020 season kick-off at the same venue in less than a fortnight.

Miguel Oliveira

Position: 17th

Time: 1:55.600

Laps: 53

“We struggled a bit today, to be honest. Somehow, we didn’t manage to find the right speed with the soft tyre, as actually my fastest lap time today has been with the medium compound. I have the feeling, that we kind of lost the direction during the day, so the pace was not as great as we were wishing for, we’re still lacking half a second. It hasn’t been an easy day, therefore our mission now is to find these missing tenths for tomorrow.”

Iker Lecuona

Position: 18th

Time: 1:55.644

Laps: 53

“I’m truly happy about this second day. I improved my lap time a lot. I did a race simulation and it was really nice. For me it was the first time with this bike doing so many laps in a row, although it was not easy to manage the power as it’s obviously a lot different than the Moto2. For now, I’m satisfied. For sure, we aim to improve further tomorrow. I know, I need to work on many points, but I’m already better in the brakes and regarding banking. I hope we can do some more small steps tomorrow in order to gain an even quicker time.”




More, from a press release issued by LCR Honda Castrol:


The penultimate afternoon and evening of pre-season tests took place in Qatar on Saturday, as the LCR Honda Castrol Team prepare themselves for the MotoGP curtain-raiser in two weeks’ time at the Losail circuit.

Cal Crutchlow and his crew had been working tirelessly to improve his sensations with his factory RC213V Honda when he suffered a crash at the infamous turn two left-hander. His subsequent injuries and pain in his arms meant he and the team decided to call a halt to their work for the evening, with the aim of returning to the fray for the final session of testing on Sunday.

#35 Cal Crutchlow – 21st

(1’56.178 – lap 26 of 27)

“After 27 laps today, unfortunately I crashed at turn two and have a haematoma on my right forearm and abrasions to both arms. As such, we decided to stop the test today because I’m in a fair amount of pain. At the time I was unable to move my fingers because the swelling was so significant straight away. Since then we’ve been mainly trying to reduce the swelling in the right forearm and stop it from getting worse. Hopefully with some rest we can see if we are able to participate in the final day of testing tomorrow.

“Before the incident, we had been working hard to improve the setting of the bike and my feeling with it compared to yesterday. We didn’t really get a chance to finish that work, so hopefully I will be able to ride tomorrow because there are some things we know we can do to improve the feeling, and with it our lap time ahead of the first race.”




More, from a press release issued by PETRONAS Yamaha SRT:

Quartararo fastest on day two in Qatar

PETRONAS Yamaha SRT’s Fabio Quartararo ended day two of testing as the fastest rider at Losail International Circuit, with Franco Morbidelli fourth.

The second day of testing in Qatar saw Fabio Quartararo make the most of his time on track, setting the fastest lap of the day round the 5.4km long Losail International Circuit. On the other side of the PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team garage, Franco Morbidelli also ended the day at the sharp end of the field after setting the fourth fastest time.

After being the first rider out onto the circuit this morning, Fabio used the vastly differing track conditions between pre- and post-sunset to test different setups of his Yamaha YZR-M1, to find the best feeling for each scenario. The Frenchman was also able to test some different aerodynamic components for the front of his bike. Towards the end of the session, Fabio focused on some time-attack laps achieving from his 65 laps a best time of 1min 54.038secs, which placed him at the top of the timesheets.

Team-mate Morbidelli utilised the session today to cycle through different setup changes in order to find the optimum balance of his YZR-M1. The afternoon saw his lap times decrease on each run, achieving not only a great race pace but also some positive time-attack laps. Franco completed 70 laps of Losail International Circuit, the most of any rider today, the fastest of which was a 1min 54.481secs – only 0.443 seconds shy of Fabio – placing him fourth at the end of day two.

The final day of pre-season testing will once again commence at 1pm local time (11am CET and 10am GMT) tomorrow, after which the next action for PETRONAS Yamaha SRT will be the first race of the year, also in Qatar, next month (6-8 March).

Fabio Quartararo

1st (1:54.038)

Today has been a really positive test. We worked on the pace and, like yesterday, we just tested some different electronic settings, engine braking and of course we tried some settings on the bike – on the front and rear. I’m really happy because at the end of the day it was a better day than yesterday. I felt better on the bike and we still have one more day so I hope to improve but overall today was a really positive day. We still need to understand some more things on the bike because at the moment we have only done three days in Sepang, two days here so far. Tomorrow I can still learn many things from the bike and we will be ready to race.

Franco Morbidelli

4th (1:54.481)

Today we’ve been quite fast and we were able to have a good pace with the medium tyre, but we also tested both the hard and soft tyres. The medium and soft are very similar in performance so it’s going to be important to make the right choice on race day. Later in the night it was quite humid and more difficult to make a decent lap but overall today I felt a bit better, a bit more comfortable with the bike, a bit more consistent. We’ve been working this afternoon on my speed and it looked good but in the race we will have to see. I’m looking forward to tomorrow and I feel ready to go racing in two weeks.




More, from a press release issued by Repsol Honda:

Repsol Honda Team maintain focus on second day of Qatar testing

The Repsol Honda Team worked diligently throughout the penultimate day of pre-season running as both riders continued refining their respective setups.

Testing in Qatar continued as the sun beat down on the Losail International Circuit, the second day beginning at 13:00 Local Time. While the opening round of the 2020 MotoGP World Championship will take place under Qatar’s famous floodlights, lapping during the day allowed both sides of the Repsol Honda Team garage to continue assessing the various aspects of the 2020 Honda RC213V MotoGP machine. Working steady from mid-afternoon, Alex Marquez and Marc Marquez completed a total of 94 laps between them.

Entering the circuit at 15:00 Local Time, Marc Marquez enjoyed a productive start to the day. A fall with just over three hours of the test to go at Turn 8 saw Marc escape injury and return to the circuit soon after, then improving on his lap time from before the fall. Finishing the day in 14th, the World Champion’s 1’54.823 from day one remains his best lap of the test so far.

Continuing to battle through a head cold, Alex Marquez improved his day one lap time by eight tenths and wrapped up the second day seventh tenths behind his Repsol Honda Team team-mate. Each lap has awarded Alex and his team more data as they continue to refine the Honda MotoGP machine for the rookie. The reigning Moto2 World Champion is aiming to make the most of his final day of testing before making his MotoGP debut early next month.

Now just a single day of testing remains before the MotoGP grid returns to Qatar for the opening round of action on March 08.

Marc Marquez

14TH  1’55.093

“Today I had a crash at Turn 8 in the change of direction, I’m having to use my legs more with my shoulder still recovering and I pushed a bit too much and lost the front and wasn’t able to save it. Fortunately, I am OK after this. We are trying to find the best way but it is always difficult here in Qatar. At the moment we’re looking at why we are struggling a little bit more here than in Malaysia. Tomorrow we will keep working and also start to look towards the race.”

Alex Marquez

19TH  1’55.725

“I was feeling better today physically, and I was able to achieve more than yesterday so I am pleased with how today went compared to yesterday. Towards the end of the day I was lacking a little bit of power but in general it was a better day for us. We still need to work more with the bike, so the final day will be important for us. There’s still a chance to improve before I go in to my first race weekend so this will be the focus.”




More, from a press release issued by LCR Honda Idemitsu:


LCR Honda Idemitsu rider Takaaki Nakagami continued to make progress on the penultimate day of pre-season testing in Qatar on Saturday evening. The Japanese rider is still on the comeback trail following shoulder surgery towards the end of last season, but will be encouraged by ending the second of three days in Doha as the fastest Honda rider on track.

Like on Friday, Taka gave his recovering shoulder a real workout, completing over 40 laps of the Losail International Circuit, with the test starting in daylight before the floodlights took over as night fell. He set his best lap on his 30th of 43, stopping the clock in a time of 1’54.759, the 10th fastest rider on the night, and top Honda performer.

The final day of tests ahead of the 2020 MotoGP World Championship takes place on Sunday in Qatar, with the race exactly two weeks later on the 8th of March.

#30 Takaaki Nakagami – 10th

(1’54.759 – lap 30 of 43)

“We are quite happy to have made another step forward. I feel like I’m improving in myself as well as making a clear improvement in the feeling with the bike. We did many laps today at a high level – lots in the 1’55 bracket and a few also in the 1’54s.

“I’m really happy with the work we have done as a team at LCR Honda Idemitsu. They have understood my situation, which is not 100 per cent fit physically, but also team boss Lucio Cecchinello has made sure that I am looking after my right shoulder. Slowly we are getting back towards full fitness, and in tomorrow’s last day of official testing I hope we can make another step.

“We will aim for a good long-distance run and try to prepare the race weekend well. This is our target for Sunday.”




More, from a press release issued by Ducati:

Work continues for the Ducati Team at Losail: Dovizioso eighth and Petrucci twelfth in the second day of testing in Qatar

The Ducati Team were back in action again today at Losail in Qatar for the second of three days of the last Official MotoGP Test ahead of the 2020 season opener scheduled in less than two weeks at night at the same race venue.

Following the first positive feedback from yesterday, Andrea Dovizioso and Danilo Petrucci got back at work this afternoon resuming the respective development programs of their Desmosedici GP20 bikes. Thanks to the favourable weather conditions, both the Ducati Team riders were able to take full advantage from the track time available as they found also good track conditions.

With a total of 60 laps on his tally, Dovizioso ended the day in eighth position thanks to a fastest lap in 1:54.662, half a second faster than his personal best of yesterday. The rider from Forlì has declared to be satisfied with the progress made today as he was faster and closer to the top of the timesheets in a test day featured with a quick pace and no less than 13 riders closed in less than a second.

It has been a busy day of work also for his teammate Petrucci. The rider from Terni, who was the fastest on track at the midpoint of the day, was able to find a good race pace using a rear medium compound tyre. Petrucci ended the day in the twelfth position overall with a fastest lap in 1:54.852, 0.814 seconds behind today’s pacesetter.

The Ducati Team riders will still have tomorrow to complete the development of their Desmosedici bikes in the final day of pre-season testing in Qatar.

Andrea Dovizioso (#04 Ducati Team) – 1:54.662 (8°)

“I am happier compared to yesterday because we were able to move forward with a huge part of our testing program, and now we have a clearer idea about the situation. We are fast, and our pace is good, but so are our opponents. For sure there are details that we will be able to understand only during a race weekend, while in a test, as we are riding alone, we can only get an idea of on which area we need to focus in order to improve. Today we did a few consecutive laps to understand the effects on the tyre life. In general, I am satisfied, and now we will continue with our program also tomorrow”.

Danilo Petrucci (#9 Ducati Team) – 1:54.852 (12º)

“Today, we were able to take better advantage of the track time available, and I am delighted with the work we have done. We did a few tests with a rear medium tyre compound, and we were able to keep a good pace for several laps. Compared to fastest riders we are still missing a few tenths of a second, but today we didn’t focus on the lap times, and I am confident that we have the potential to battle at the front with them. Unfortunately, we had some small issues that didn’t allow us to continue until the end of the session. But despite that, I am happy, and I hope we will able to make a further step forward, as the program sees a race simulation also scheduled for tomorrow”.




More, from a press release issued by Monster Energy Yamaha:


Losail (Qatar), 23rd February 2020


Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP’s Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi concluded the second consecutive day of preseason testing at the Losail International Circuit, setting the third and ninth fastest time respectively.

3rd MAVERICK VIÑALES 1’54.264 / 68 LAPS

9th VALENTINO ROSSI 1’54.740 / 52 LAPS

The Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team were back on track for the second day of the MotoGP Official Test Losail. Though the session was not without its challenges, with the humid early evening conditions catching out various riders, the Factory Yamaha crew soldiered on. Maverick Viñales was quick to get up to pace and earned third place in the Day-2 timesheets. Valentino Rossi also had a full-on workload and ended in ninth.

A carefully planned testing strategy paved the way for a further positive outcome for Viñales. He continued his mission to be fully prepared for the real test, the upcoming Qatar GP, covering all the bases. Clearly in his element, the Spaniard spent most of the day fine-tuning his YZR-M1 and gaining experience on the new Michelin tyres. He concluded the second day with a total of 68 laps and a fastest time of 1’54.264s, earning him third place in today‘s timesheets, 0.226s from first.

Rossi also worked on his feeling with the Michelin tyres and the YZR-M1. He tried various setting modifications to get a clear sense of which direction he will further work on tomorrow. The Italian signed off with a few extra laps at the very end of the session, bringing his total up to 52. His best time of 1’54.740s, set on lap 22, put him in ninth place in the Day-2 standings, 0.702s from the top.

Tomorrow‘s session will again be held from 13h00 – 20h00 local track time (GMT+3).



Today was another productive day for us. We got a lot of work done and this provides us with a good understanding of what final things to work on tomorrow. We had planned to do a race simulation today in the late afternoon. While we didn‘t complete a full race distance, we did some longer stints and made promising steps working on the race set-up in relation to the possible race tyres. Maverick is feeling confident and comfortable on his bike. He‘s looking competitive, posting quick and consistent times, so now it‘s just a matter of getting in a lot of laps. Vale, on the other hand, had a more difficult day. He tried something but, though it was positive in some areas, it didn’t help his overall performance. That said, it’s good we tried it, because now we know, so it gives us further clarity. Our testing schedule is almost completed. Tomorrow we aim to tweak the final bits of our race package, so we‘re ready for the first GP weekend.


We did the same work as yesterday. We‘re trying to understand the bike and the tyres really well. We concentrated a lot on the rhythm. We‘ve made good steps forward, but there are still some things to improve. My confidence is really good, but I need some more laps on the track. I did a couple of longer runs on the soft tyre to try to understand how it works and how it could work during the race. We are trying to cover all the things and all the doubts that we could have during the race weekend, just so during that weekend we can focus on riding and pushing a little bit more than we are doing now. I‘m riding well, I think we‘re getting a lot of information on the bike, and all the things we’re doing are going well. I‘m actually quite confident and happy.


Today was also not so bad. I feel good and I had a good pace, but today was a bit more difficult compared to yesterday because we tried something to improve in some areas like braking. Unfortunately, we paid in other areas. Also yesterday it looked like the tyres would last for the whole distance of the race, but today we have more problems, so at the end of the day it was a bit more difficult for me. Also my position is a bit worse, but we are all close together. Tomorrow will be important, it will be the last day of winter testing, so we need to make a summary. I think we did a good job, we tried everything, so tomorrow we will see.




More, from a press release issued by Team Suzuki ECSTAR:

Alex Rins: 2nd place – 1:54.200 (+0.162)

Joan Mir: 4th place – 1:54.464 (+0.426)

The second day of the 2020 Qatar Test went smoothly for Team SUZUKI ECSTAR’s riders, with both Alex Rins and Joan Mir setting strong times once again.

The main plan for Rins involved continuing the work done yesterday with fairings, as well as finalising settings. The Spaniard got into a good rhythm and he completed 53 laps in total, with a best time of 1:54.200.

Meanwhile, Mir continued on with his Day 1 plans, including front forks and fairing configurations. He also put in a long run of 12 laps in order to test the tyres and get a feel for race conditions ahead of the first round of the season. He felt satisfied with his pace and managed to build on his consistency.

Both riders worked towards finalising the race set-up which will be used during the opening round in two weeks’ time.

The third and final day of testing in Qatar will take place tomorrow, Monday 24th February.

Davide Brivio – Team Manager:

“We worked well, we continued with our plan and managed to do what we wanted to do today. Both Alex and Joan worked to confirm the package that we’ll use for the first race and now things are clearer. It was a good day in terms of lap times and pace, so we’re feeling happy and positive about how everything has gone. One more day of testing tomorrow and then it’s time to go racing!”

Alex Rins:

“Today I’ve finished the session feeling happy. We’re becoming more and more sure about the chassis for this season. My rhythm was nice today and everything went very well; tomorrow we will try to do a race simulation. I had a small crash this morning, but it didn’t impact on the overall plan and we’ve still managed to do a lot of work today.”

Joan Mir:

“I’m so happy about today, we improved our consistency and pace, and this is something very important and also interesting to see. I’m a bit disappointed because I was aiming to do a time attack during the last hour of the session, but unfortunately I crashed at Turn 6. Anyway, I’m not hurt, and I’m pleased with the work we managed to do today. I’m ready to continue tomorrow and make even more progress.”

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