Movistar Yamaha’s Maverick Vinales has taken charge of the Qatar MotoGP test timesheets today and is well inside the existing lap record with a 1’54.455 as he was chased down by team-mate Valentino Rossi who shot into second place with his final lap after admitting he was unhappy with his performance yesterday and had to bounce back from a crash.
Vinales was a little under four-tenths faster than yesterday’s fastest man Andrea Dovizioso while third place went to Monster Yamaha’s Jonas Folger - a rookie who is adapting brilliantly to the big class. The youngster posted a 1’54.917 - also inside Lorenzo’s record - on his 28th lap of 41 to be the quickest privateer rider.
Britain’s Cal Crutchlow, who made up for yesterday’s lack of track time with 46 laps today, stuck in a 1’55.032 on his 43rd lap to nick fourth place, one ahead of a very fast Gresini Aprilia in the hands of Spaniard Aleix Espargaro, who also bounced back from a spill as did the LCR Honda man.
Reigning champion Marc Marquez has seen a significant improvement from yesterday, setting a 1’55.196 for sixth compared to his 1’55.899 yesterday but he wasn’t equipped with the new fairings today that contributed to one of his two crashes yesterday.
Alvaro Bautista is the lead Ducati today, seventh on a 1’55.245, one ahead of Jorge Lorenzo who crashed his factory GP17. The former champion set a 1’55.344 to secure eighth place. Scott Redding has found some pace on the GP16 today, sliding into ninth with a 1’55.353 - three-quarters of a second faster than yesterday.
Moto2 king Johann Zarco completed the top ten on his Monster Yamaha and he had Karel Abraham one place behind. Andrea Iannone is the leading Suzuki in 12th with Dovizioso - who debuted the new Ducati aero package today - in 13th with that being the reason. Danilo Petrucci and Dani Pedrosa, who was slower than yesterday, complete the top 15.