FLAG-QATAR-2014Commercial Bank Grand Prix Of Qatar
Friday, 21 March

An exciting FP3 session at the Commercial Bank Grand Prix of Qatar saw Aleix Espargaro (NGM Forward Racing) on top again, outpacing Andrea Iannone (Pramac Racing) and Alvaro Bautista (GO&FUN Honda Gresini) in the top three


Aleix Espargarò - NGM Mobile
Aleix Espargarò – NGM Mobile

he revelation of the winter and of the Qatar weekend so far, Espargaro posted a 1’54.773 best time on the ‘Open’ Forward Yamaha, with Iannone and Bautista trailing him by 0.413s and 0.467s respectively. The non-Factory riders who tested at Losail two weeks ago are enjoying this Grand Prix so far, as the usual order has been upset in the desert.

Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso and World Champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) completed the top five, neither of them having attended the test visit.

There was a big crash for Monster Yamaha Tech3’s Bradley Smith at turn 5, but the Englishman limped away from the huge highside and was able to post the sixth best time of the evening.

Former World title winner Jorge Lorenzo’s woes continued as he looked uncomfortable outside the top ten for most of the session and he was potentially heading for Q1 participation before pulling out a 1’55.495 to go seventh.

Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda) was eighth on Friday courtesy of his best FP2 time, whilst Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda) and Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) squeezed into the top ten, Rossi with a late best time in the final minutes.

Pol Espargaro (Monster Yamaha Tech3) and the man he replaced on the Tech3 Yamaha, Cal Crutchlow (Ducati Team), were the two big names to miss out on automatic Q2 participation. Crutchlow walked away from a crash at turn 10 and will look to improve on Saturday.


 Moto2™: Friday pacesetter Cortese ahead of rivals


Sandro Cortese (Dynavolt Intact GP) was the man on the pace in FP3 for Moto2™ at the Commercial Bank Grand Prix of Qatar, leading Dominique Aegerter (Technomag carXpert) and Esteve Rabat (Marc VDS Racing Team)

Sandro Cortese - Dynavolt Intact GP
Sandro Cortese – Dynavolt Intact GP

Cortese set down a 2’00.579s marker towards the end of the only outing for the intermediate class on Friday, but Takaaki Nakagami (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia) stays fastest on combined times by 0.057s from the German.

Behind Cortese, Aegerter was just 0.016s off P1 whilst third placed Rabat provisionally led the session and finished 0.067s off the top.

Both in the top five, meanwhile, were impressive rookie Maverick Viñales (Pons HP 40) and the quickest Thursday rider Nakagami.
Completing the top ten were Thomas Luthi (Interwetten Paddock Moto2), Xavier Simeon (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2), Johann Zarco (AirAsia Caterham Moto Racing), Mattia Pasini (NGM Forward Racing) and Mika Kallio Marc (VDS Racing Team).

There was a crash for Gino Rea (AGT REA Racing) at turn 6 but he walked away unhurt and ended up 26th.


Moto3™: Fenati quickest again in lightweight class on day two


Romano Fenati (SKY Racing Team VR46) led FP3 for in Qatar with the best ever lap of Losail on a Moto3™ machine, with Alex Rins (Estrella Galicia 0,0) and his teammate Alex Marquez also in the top three

Romano Fenati - SKY Racing VR46
Romano Fenati – SKY Racing VR46

Fenati battled for the top spot with the Spanish pair as they pushed their Honda bikes towards the business end of the timesheet and ultimately the Italian KTM-equipped rider prevailed with a 2’06.121 hot lap.

In fourth place another KTM rider Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Ajo) was on a fast lap at the end of the session but missed out by 0.159s, slowing in the final sector.

Behind the Australian on the timesheet were provisional pacesetter Jakub Kornfeil (Calvo Team), John McPhee (SAXOPRINT RTG) and Alexis Masbou (Ongetta-Rivacold) in fifth to seventh respectively. Kornfeil remained third overall in the combined times, but was unable to match his Thursday best.

The top ten was completed by Fenati’s teammate Francesco Bagnaia (SKY Racing Team VR46), rookie Karel Hanika (Red Bull KTM Ajo) and Niccolo Antonelli (Junior Team GO&FUN).

There was a big crash for Efren Vazquez (SAXOPRINT RTG) towards the end of the session but he walked away without serious injury.


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