News 3 Mar 2018

Iannone rises on day two of MotoGP testing at Losail

Ninth at the conclusion of Friday's on-track action for Miller.

Image: Supplied.

Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Andrea Iannone went quickest on the second day of the final pre-season test at Losail International Circuit on Friday, blasting to the top late on to take over from compatriot Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team).

Despite some early rain in the desert, the field got in some good running on day two and it was Dovizioso and reigning champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) who ended the day closest to Iannone on the time-sheets.

Iannone has been within the top five much of the time in Qatar and set a 1m54.586s to pull just 0.041s clear of Dovizioso, largely now confirming data and then working on race set-up. Teammate Alex Rins, who has impressed so far in pre-season, also made it two Hamamatsu factory machines in the top five, taking P5.

Dovizioso ended his test slightly early after completing a program of 41 laps and having led for much of the latter part of the day. His teammate Jorge Lorenzo, who was toward the top on day one, was P14 on day two, but less than a second off Iannone.

Marquez, who was just 0.167s off Iannone, did make some headlines with a new aero update that was spotted on his Repsol Honda machine, as well as a crash. He put in a long run – as did many – and despite a more difficult day was fastest Honda. LCR Honda Castrol and HRC test rider Cal Crutchlow was the second quickest Honda in P6, a tenth and a half off Marquez, whose teammate Dani Pedrosa took it a little easier on Friday after a big crash on day one.

The fastest Yamaha was once again Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech3) after Maverick Vinales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) had taken back the honour on day two. The latter ended Friday in seventh, as teammate Valentino Rossi was 11th and only 0.034s off the top 10.

Alma Pramac Racing were the third Independent Team represented in the top 10 and their pairing of Danilo Petrucci and Jack Miller took eighth and P9 to end the day just behind Vinales. The two were split by less than a tenth and it made for another impressive test performance for Queenslander Miller as he settles into life on Ducati machinery. Both riders did also crash however, with tumbles into T1 happening almost in unison.

Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) was the top Aprilia rider on Friday in 12th, while his teammate Scott Redding was 15th after having headed the charge for the Noale factory on day one. The final man in the fastest 15 was early pace-setter in the battle for Rookie of the Year Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu), who slotted into 13th despite a small crash. He was around half a second quicker than fellow rookie and Moto2 champion Franco Morbidelli (EG 0,0 Marc VDS).

Hafizh Syahrin, jumping in at the deep end with Monster Yamaha Tech3 after getting signed up for the season after Buriram, was less than two tenths off Morbidelli and just ahead of both Tom Lüthi (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) and Xavier Simeon (Reale Avintia Racing), who also debut this year.

Detailed results