Felice Monteleone – FMPhotoSport MotoGP News
MotoGP Official Test Qatar – Sunday, 15 March 2015
Andrea Dovizioso set the fastest time on day 2 of the MotoGP™ test in Qatar, as less than 1 second separated the top 14 riders.
Overcast conditions greeted the teams as they arrived at the 5.4 km circuit in Losail, with most riders preferring to wait until the floodlights came on before heading out on track.
The dust on the circuit that had affected riders yesterday seemed to not be such an issue today thanks to all of the on-track activity, and it didn’t take long for Marc Marquez to lay down a marker early on in proceedings by setting a time faster than anyone had managed on day one.
Marquez traded fastest laps with the Ducati’s of Andrea Iannone and Andrea Dovizioso throughout the day, but it was the GP15 of Dovizioso that eventually claimed the top spot with a 1’54.907 as the evening wore on.
Not only was this the quickest time of the test so far, but it was 0.2s faster than Casey Stoner’s circuit record set in 2008, and he was the only rider to break the 1’55 mark.
The Ducati Team had brought a new exhaust for its riders to test and we also saw the reappearance of “winglets” on the Desmosedici for the first time since 2010. The Italian manufacturer just missed out on another 1-2, with Iannone finishing in third just 0.197s back from his teammate and only 0.013s behind the 2nd placed Marquez.
The reigning MotoGP™ Champion led the timesheets for most of the day on his Repsol Honda but had to settle for second place, 0.184s behind Dovizioso, with his teammate Dani Pedrosa in 6th on the other factory Repsol Honda. Marquez had been searching for his ideal race setup while Pedrosa evaluated a new set of front forks on his RC213V.
After a difficult first day of testing, where both riders complained of not getting a “good feeling” around the Losail circuit, Movistar Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo improved his time from day one by 3 tenths and finished in fourth place. His teammate Valentino Rossi set his quickest lap late on in the evening, improving by almost half a second from yesterday, and finishing in 5th (+0.674) just one-thousandth of a second faster than the Honda of Pedrosa.
Cal Crutchlow was once again the leading satellite rider and managed another impressive showing on his CWM LCR Honda as he ended the day in 7th (+0.717s), setting his best time late on, despite an earlier crash. His teammate, class rookie Jack Miller managed to improve today by almost half a second to finish in 21st place (+1.851).
In 8th place, just 0.024s behind his compatriot Crutchlow, was Bradley Smith on his Monster Tech 3 Yamaha. The British rider tried out a different swingarm as he once again outperformed his teammate Pol Espargaro in 9th, even if it was by just one-hundredth of a second.
Karel Abraham improved his best time from day one by almost a second to once again be the leading Open class rider, setting a 1’55.765, good enough for 10th place and just 0.674s behind Marquez.
Yonny Hernandez finished in 11th on the Pramac Ducati, almost a second quicker than his teammate Danilo Petrucci, as he continues to regain his confidence following his recovery from a shoulder injury.
The Team Suzuki Ecstar GSX-RR’s of Aleix Espargaro and Maverick Viñales were 12th and 14th respectively, with both riders struggling to improve on their times from day one as they continued work on the setup of their ECU.
Scott Redding on the Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Racing Honda again finished within a second of the leader in 13th place (+0.896s) as he was one of the busiest guys out on track completing over 50 laps. He was also one of the only riders to complete a full race simulation as he managed a 16-lap stint late on in the day.
The Avintia Racing Ducati of Hector Barbera was in 15th place, with Nicky Hayden on the Open class Drive M7 Aspar RC213V-RS in sixteenth. The American’s teammate Eugene Laverty was a further 0.238s back in 18th ahead with the Avintia Racing Ducati of Mike De Meglio between them.
Stefan Bradl crashed early on, but was unhurt as he ended the day in 20th ahead of the Pramac Ducati of Danilo Petrucci and his Athinà Forward Racing teammate Loris Baz in 23rd (+2.029s).
Octo Ioda Racing’s Alex De Angelis on the open class ART bike separated the two factory Aprilia Racing Team Gresini RS-GP’s of Alvaro Bautista (24th) and Marco Melandri (26th) respectively at the bottom of the timesheets.