Aleix Espargaro leads Qatar test

Speedcafe.com

Saturday 8th March, 2014 - 8:56am

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Aleix Espargaro quickest in night testing Qatar

Aleix Espargaro quickest in night testing at Qatar

Aleix Espargaro has set the fastest time in the first day of MotoGP testing in the cool of the night at Qatar.

The Spaniard set a time of 1:55.386 in a session that did not include the main factory teams (Honda, Yamaha and Ducati) and riders who earlier this week took part in the tyre testing at Phillip Island.

With just under two weeks before the season opening Grand Prix of Qatar, 17 premier class riders are taking part in this test.

The NGM Mobile Forward Racing man was over two tenths ahead of his nearest rival on the Open entry Yamaha, with a time less than a second off Jorge Lorenzo’s 2013 Qatar pole lap – on a track which should produce even faster times over the next two days.

With the racing line cleared of any sand and with further rubber laid down on the track the pace is likely to increase as this test progresses.

A slower start was made on Friday with Danilo Petrucci the IodaRacing Project rider the only man to circulate in the first hour in hot temperatures and in the daylight, before 5pm.

The faster times came in the last two hours of the outing as the temperature dropped and the floodlights came into full effect.

Behind the older Espargaro brother were Monster Yamaha Tech 3 pair Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaro, Aleix’s younger sibling – the YZR-M1 equipped duo lapping within 0.253s and 0.686s of P1 respectively.

Completing the top five were GO&FUN Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista and LCR Honda’s Stefan Bradl with identical 1’56.081 best laps. Both riders ran with ‘Sepang 2’ test settings on Friday and will look to adapt their machines to Qatar configuration over the coming 48 hours.

TIMES: Qatar Test – Day 1

Pos

Rider

Team

Fastest lap

Lead. Gap

Laps

1 ESPARGARO, Aleix NGM Mobile Forward Racing 1:55.386 38 / 43
2 SMITH, Bradley Monster Yamaha Tech 3 1:55.639 0.253 48 / 53
3 ESPARGARO, Pol Monster Yamaha Tech 3 1:56.072 0.686 55 / 62
4 BAUTISTA, Alvaro GO&FUN Honda Gresini 1:56.081 0.695 48 / 52
5 BRADL, Stefan LCR Honda MotoGP 1:56.081 0.695 43 / 49
6 IANNONE, Andrea Pramac Racing 1:56.780 1.394 52 / 63
7 EDWARDS, Colin NGM Mobile Forward Racing 1:56.961 1.575 31 / 34
8 HERNANDEZ, Yonny Energy T.I. Pramac Racing 1:57.318 1.932 28 / 63
9 HAYDEN, Nicky Drive M7 Aspar 1:57.574 2.188 26 / 48
10 REDDING, Scott GO&FUN Honda Gresini 1:57.922 2.536 30 / 38
11 AOYAMA, Hiroshi Drive M7 Aspar 1:58.151 2.765 53 / 55
12 BARBERA, Hector Avintia Racing 1:58.503 3.117 29 / 34
13 ABRAHAM, Karel Cardion AB Motoracing 1:58.833 3.447 49 / 49
14 PARKES, Broc Paul Bird Motorport 1:59.121 3.735 27 / 30
15 DI MEGLIO, Mike Avintia Racing 1:59.294 3.908 52 / 52
16 PETRUCCI, Danilo IodaRacing Project 1:59.358 3.972 57 / 57
17 LAVERTY, Michael Paul Bird Motorsport 2:00.055 4.669 23 / 35

 

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