Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) kept his top spot on the combined timesheets after FP3 at Losail International Circuit, with his Friday best unchallenged by the grid. The Spaniard also suffered his first crash on the Yamaha in an official session earlier in the day, escaping unscathed. Andrea Iannone (Team Suzuki Ecstar) was the late superstar of the session, moving up from P17 to second and just beating reigning Champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team).
Behind Marquez was an impressive dash from reigning Moto2™ Champion Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3), who took over from his teammate Jonas Folger as fastest rookie. Folger is eighth on combined times, and also goes safely through to the Q2 qualifying session.
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) completed the top five overall after the three sessions, ahead of FP2’s fastest man Scott Redding (Octo Pramac Racing). Redding also suffered two incidents in FP3 – with damage to his fairing followed by a late crash. Repsol Honda Team’s Dani Pedrosa was seventh fastest, only 0.028 off the Brit.
Behind Folger was fellow crasher LCR Honda rider Cal Crutchlow, who took ninth despite the late incident. Nine-time World Champion Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) just completed the top ten by 0.021 - the last of those graduating automatically to Q2.
Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team) had a tougher second day, ending twelfth on combined times and missing the cut by only half a tenth. The 'Spartan' will be a big threat in Q1 as he looks to fight at the front in his first weekend in red.
The grid head out for FP4 at 19:55 local time (GMT + 3) on Saturday evening, before Q1 chooses two more graduates for Q2 – and the first grid of the year gets decided.
Friday, 24 March 2017 19:05 Published in Reports, Results & Points
The 2017 racing season gets fully underway this weekend under the lights, in the desert at the Losail Circuit in Qatar, at the first of 18 scheduled MotoGP rounds. After a crazy 2016 season with an unprecedented nine race winners, attention at the top tier of motorcycle racing is steadily building.
Friday, 24 March 2017 11:51 Published in Feature Stories
(March 13, 2017)- Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) completed his royal flush of incredible preseason form by the end of the #QatarTest, taking to the top once again on the final day of testing ahead of lights out for the GP weekend.
Monday, 13 March 2017 12:35 Published in Reports, Results & Points
(February 20, 2017)- New kid on the Yamaha block Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) has done it again at Phillip Island, going even faster on Day 3 to top the timesheets once more.
Tuesday, 21 February 2017 11:48 Published in Reports, Results & Points
@MotoGP •@suzukimotogp •#ecstar •@PICircuit •(February 13, 2017)- Just a couple of days before the beginning of the second official MotoGP test of the season, Andrea Iannone and Alex Rins flew to the Phillip Island circuit in Australia to try out the brand new GSX-R1000R.
Monday, 13 February 2017 10:59 Published in Reports, Results & Points
@MotoGP •(February 1, 2017)- First it was Ducati test rider Casey Stoner, then Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Andrea Iannone – but it was the fastest man from the Valencia test, Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP), who hit back on Day 3 to head the timesheets.
Wednesday, 01 February 2017 09:46 Published in Reports, Results & Points
@MotoGP •@DucatiMotor •(January 30, 2017)- Ducati Team test rider and double MotoGP World Champion Casey Stoner led the way at the top of the timesheets on the first day of the first Official Test of 2017 – ahead of Ducati race rider and 2016 Malaysian GP winner Andrea Dovizioso as the Italian factory locked out the top.
Monday, 30 January 2017 11:19 Published in Reports, Results & Points
13-year-old Canadian road racer Jonathan Finn (Bushell Park, SK) is heading to Spain in 2017 to compete in the Spanish Royal Motorcycle Federation-sanctioned Spanish Speed Championship’s Challenge 85 series. Finn, a multi-time national and regional mini road racing champion, will be joining the XCTech team owned by Xavi Jimémez after competing in the Dodici Polici Italian Cup in 2016, where he finished 10th overall against 22 of the best mini Grand Prix riders in Europe.
"I'm very excited to be joining the XCTech Team in the RFME Campeonato de España de Velocidad,” said Finn, referencing the regional Spanish name of the series. “Competing in the Challenge 85 series at tracks like Valencia, Jerez and Motorland-Aragon is going to be a huge step in my career. I feel that this is at the right time, with an excellent team.
“My ultimate goal is to get to MotoGP,” states young Finn rather bluntly. “The Challenge 85 is a great step to the CEV Junior World Moto3 Championship, which is a stepping stone to the world championships. I know that the level of competition is very high. I’m lucky to have this opportunity and look forward to working with XCTech team."
Xavi Jimémez, XCTech team manager:
“We feel very happy and proud to be able to have Jonathan Finn for the 2017 season in the 85 cc class. It is very important for our team to have young, potential and international riders because it opens our racing team brand to many other countries. We are confident that Jonathan will be able to adapt to world championship circuits and a new bike in order to accomplish our goals for 2017.”
Jose Albors (Riders Management), Jonathan's manager:
“Our agency sees this agreement as a good mix of a hungry rider, a good supporting family, an experienced team, and us. It’s not easy to commit to leaving everything behind to come to Europe to fight with the best of this sport, but Jonathan and his family were always super clear on this. This consistency on his goals made us believe that this could become a reality. We saw it in his eyes when he came here to meet us and the whole motorcycle racing circus in Spain. The best riders of his age are here. We know it may be a difficult challenge, but we feel confident that he will work and train hard to get there.
“This is only the start for a Canadian on the way to MotoGP; we hope that Canadian companies will support him and join him on this journey.”
Tuesday, 13 December 2016 10:14 Published in Reports, Results & Points
In his 250th Grand Prix start, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP rider Jorge Lorenzo said goodbye to that title in stunning style, as the ‘Spartan’ took a lights-to-flag signature victory in his final appearance in blue. A record-breaking pole saw the Spaniard then escape at the front, holding off a late charge from reigning World Champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team). An Italian battle royale decided the final podium place, with Andrea Iannone (Ducati Team) taking P3 on the penultimate lap.
Under the blue skies of a long-awaited dry race day, Lorenzo got the holeshot from pole, but it was Iannone who was the big winner into Turn 1 as the Italian blasted through on the inside to take second. With the ‘Spartan’ imperious at the front, Iannone led the chase as Maverick Viñales (Team Suzuki Ecstar), Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP), Marquez and Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) joined him in the battle behind the lead, after the number 93 suffered a bad start off the line.
After getting past Viñales, Rossi and Iannone fought it out at the head of the second group as the number 99 began to disappear into the distance, with Marquez and the number 25 in close company. As Rossi got to the head of the chasers, Iannone hit back again – and so began Round 2. It was the ‘Maniac’ who initially came out on top, before Marquez saw his shot and got through – gapping the fight to start a charge after Lorenzo at the front, eventually cutting more than three seconds off the number 99's lead.
The podium decider was left to a brutal, classic battle between Iannone and Rossi - with the rider from Tavullia seeming to have got the better of his younger compatriot, until Iannone hit back with an aggressive move that also gave him a gap he was able to hold onto over the line. Viñales completed his final weekend with Suzuki in P5.
Dovizioso eventually dropped slightly back from the front group into the clutches of Aleix Espargaro (Team Suzuki Ecstar) and brother Pol (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) to fight for P6 after grip issues - with the younger brother Pol finally taking the honours over the line in a photo-finish against Dovizioso, and Aleix seeing the flag in eighth.
Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) unfortunately suffered a crash to bid adieu to his fantastic latter half of 2016 – but he takes the title of Top Independent rider although bettered by Pol Espargaro on the day. Crutchlow’s compatriot Bradley Smith (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) had another impressive ride as he gets back to fitness following a crash ahead of the British GP and two knee surgeries, taking P9 in his final race with Tech 3 before he moves to Red Bull KTM Factory Racing.
Alvaro Bautista had a stunning ride in his final race with Aprilia Racing Team Gresini in their special “Red” livery, completing the top ten to round out a year of impressive progress.
Returning Repsol Honda Team rider Dani Pedrosa crashed out after an impressive weekend despite a recent collarbone break, and wildcard Mika Kallio, debuting the new KTM RC16, was sadly unable to see the flag after technical trouble - but the Austrian factory now head into the 2017 pre-season with vital information after lining up for the first time.
After a history-making 2016, MotoGP will return in pre-season testing on Tuesday - with Lorenzo in red at Ducati as the pack shuffles and prepares its hand for another incredible season of motorcycle racing.
Monday, 14 November 2016 10:29 Published in Reports, Results & Points