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Qatar GP: superb win by Andrea Dovizioso at Losail with the Mission Winnow Ducati team

Andrea Dovizioso seized a spectacular win in the Qatar GP, the opening round of the 2019 MotoGP World Championship, on the Mission Winnow Ducati team's Desmosedici. The Italian thus repeated the result achieved last year, once again beating Marc Marquez to the finish line for just 23 thousandths of a second. For Dovizioso, who scored five consecutive podiums at the Losail track, it's the 12th win with Ducati.

Starting from first row, Dovizioso led the race from the very beginning, battling with Marquez and Rins, then tried to pull away from the pack in the last few laps. Marquez tried a move at the very last corner but the Italian once again managed to answer back to cross the finish line in first position. Danilo Petrucci also rode a solid race, recovering several positions after suffering a non-optimal start from third row. After climbing back to third, Petrucci faced a small drop and finished the race in sixth, only two seconds behind his teammate.

Andrea Dovizioso (#04 Mission Winnow Ducati) – 1st
"I'm super happy about this win, especially because after the tests I wouldn't have expected to be so fast. We stayed focused and we made progress in each session. Our strategy in the race was simply to preserve the tyre, and this made the difference, but it wasn't easy because I led for most of the race and I couldn't really study my opponents. Marquez gave it everything he could, as usual, and pushed me to the limit. We made the most of our strenghths, that is, acceleration and top speed, but we still need to improve our corner speed. This year there are plenty of quick riders and it'll be crucial not to lose too many points on less favorable tracks. We need to keep our feet on the ground and continue working in this direction."

Danilo Petrucci (#9 Mission Winnow Ducati) – 6th
"My sixth place is still positive because we scored important points for the championship. Unfortunately, I was hindered by a less than optimal start, but the race pace wasn't very fast and I was able to recover positions quite quickly. Still, I struggled to pass other riders and push hard in braking. In retrospect, choosing the soft tyre for both the front and rear was a gamble, but we expected the temperatures to drop further and we also weren't as fast as usual on the straight. That said, the championship has just begun and I'm confident we'll bounce back soon."

Claudio Domenicali, CEO of Ducati Motor Holding S.p.A.
"It's been a very exciting race. Dovizioso was simply brilliant, doubling up on the win scored here last year and keeping the streak open after taking the last round of 2018 in Valencia. This shows how hard the whole team worked during the winter break. The Desmosedici is even more competitive now but we've seen plenty of fast rivals and this was just the first race. We need to stay focused and keep working hard, but for sure we can say Ducati is competitive."

Luigi Dall'Igna, Ducati Corse General Manager
"We couldn't have started the season off in a better way. Hats off to Dovizioso, who rode a clever race, without making mistakes, preserving the tyres and managing the situation until the very last corner, where he played his cards wisely. Thanks also to the team, who worked hard all winter to make sure we were ready for Qatar. We'll keep putting in the same effort to allow both our riders to be protagonists in the next races."

The Mission Winnow Ducati team will resume action at the Termas de Rio Hondo track for the Grand Prix of Argentina, scheduled for March 31st.

Monday, 11 March 2019 18:10 Published in Rider and Team Releases


Winnowing the key stats: 10 things to know about the Grand Prix of Qatar

The Grand Prix of Qatar, as usual, marks the opening round of the MotoGP World Championship. Before the start of a new season, we selected 10 key stats about the Losail circuit and the Mission Winnow Ducati team:

• The upcoming race will be the 16th edition of the Qatar GP, and for the 13th time the Championship will begin at Losail

• Ducati won the opening race five times: with Loris Capirossi in 2006 (when the Championship started at Jerez), and both with Casey Stoner (in 2007, 2008, and 2009) and Andrea Dovizioso (2018) in Qatar.

• The first edition of the Grand Prix of Qatar took place in 2004, while 2007 marked the first race held at night
• The floodlights of Losail, the only permanent circuit in the world with artificial lighting, light an area as big as 70 soccer fields and require 5.4 million watts of power – enough electricity to supply 3,000 homes.

• Ducati won four times in Qatar: in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2018. The most thrilling victory probably is the most recent one, as Andrea Dovizioso beat Marc Marquez to the finish line by only 0.027 seconds last year.

• Andrea Dovizioso has an open streak of four consecutive podiums in Qatar (three second places and one win), and already stepped on the rostrum eight times overall at Losail – a personal record in terms of podium finishes on a single track, tied with Le Mans. Dovizioso's best grid position in Qatar, on the other hand, dates back to 2015 when he clinched pole position – his only first-row start at Losail so far.

• In 2004, in the 250cc class, Dovizioso finished the race tied with Lorenzo, with exactly the same time, and the win was assigned to Lorenzo based on the fastest lap during the race.

• Danilo Petrucci started the 2018 Qatar GP from first row, a qualifying performance he subsequently repeated at Le Mans and Sachsenring. His best race result in Qatar is fifth (2018).

• Danilo Petrucci clocked the highest ever speed at Losail in 2018, reaching 351.9 km/h on the main straight onboard his Desmosedici.

• The braking at the end of the straight is the second hardest in the entire championship, requiring brake-lever pressures of 8 kg over 5.1 seconds crossing a distance of 290 meters.

Friday, 08 March 2019 07:01 Published in Rider and Team Releases


2019 MOTOGP: READY TO RACE?

The time for tests, talk and tentative speculation is over. MotoGP 2019 begins this weekend and will see KTM’s biggest and most ambitious assault on the FIM World Championship fire into life as the factory hopes to dazzle under the Losail lights.

For the fifteen year in a row the Losail International Circuit will welcome MotoGP. The Grand Prix paddock will gather again less than two weeks after the second IRTA test of the pre-season period took place at the same flat, pacey and demanding facility close to the ever-changing metropolis of Doha.

In those final rapid laps of experimentation and refinement of the Red Bull KTM RC16 Pol Espargaro got to within half a second of the best time while new teammate Johann Zarco – who will mark a notable career milestone after first gracing a Grand Prix circuit as a Red Bull Rookie in the 2007 inauguration of the series – continued his adaptation to the factory bike.

Red Bull KTM will tackle only their third year as part of the MotoGP grid and with memories of their maiden podium finish at Valencia for the final fixture of 2018 not yet faded. Espargaro boasts a best result of 7th at the Qatari circuit in five years of MotoGP competition while Zarco has a 8th: 2019 will be just his third term in the premier class.

KTM presented their full line-up in a comprehensive launch event in Austria last month, and will watch the first round of nineteen with interest through the categories. Like many race fans the ‘orange family’ and KTM followers will have their own questions: how far will Red Bull KTM Tech3 duo Miguel Oliveira and Hafizh Syahrin push into the pack? Will Brad Binder start the new Moto2 era with a trophy? Will Can Öncü make another immediate impression in Moto3?

2019 gets underway with the first Moto3 Free Practice sessions at 11.50 CET this Friday. The races themselves will occur at 15.00 (Moto3), 16.20 (Moto2) and 18.00 (MotoGP) CET on Sunday.

Pol Espargaro: “Losail is a strange track and pretty different to all the others; mainly because it is the first grand prix and everyone wants to start the season well. There is a lot of pressure. Racing in the night means the temperatures are usually quite low and the humidity is high, from one hour to the other or from the start of the race until the end the track can change a lot so you have to adapt fast. We’ll look to do our best and get the race set-up fixed as quickly as we can.”

Johann Zarco: “I first raced at Losail in 2009, so ten years ago. I remember leading race here in Moto2 and I had a mechanical problem and had to finish the race in third gear and missed the win! My first race in MotoGP was also nice. It is a fast track and of course what makes it special is to ride at night. It’s also the first race so it has a different kind of pressure: you start a long season here but then when you arrive to the end it always feels like it has passed so fast from this first moment.”

Miguel Oliveira: “I think the approach for the first GP is always quite simple, it’s to do my best and try to do my job as always, plus making the team happy with my performance. I feel it’s important for me to finish the race, to get experience and to get to know where to improve my riding. The most important thing is to gather this experience in my first race in MotoGP, I don’t think about any result in specific.”

Hafizh Syahrin: “I’m looking forward to the first race very much! We had some tough pre-season tests, where we tried to adapt to the bike step by step. It was pretty good and I felt better and better with the bike. So we keep on working hard, try to understand everything and keep the mind fresh to be ready for race day. Let’s see what we can do.”

Mike Leitner, Red Bull KTM Team Manager: “The target is to reach the top positions as much as possible but we have to be realistic and this is just the third year for us. We are still fighting against manufacturers with many more years in this business. We are pushing to improve our package on many different aspects and this will of course take some time but racing is racing and we will always look for good results. Doha has been a difficult track for us. We started our project here two years ago and that’s why we are really happy to see the test lap-times closer than they have ever been to the fastest. I think for the race we can be optimistic and find the good set-up in the four sessions. The challenge there is that the track conditions can change day-to-day. We just have to be open and adapt to what we find.”

Tuesday, 05 March 2019 15:47 Published in Rider and Team Releases


KTM CONCLUDE QATAR TEST WITH SIGNIFICANT PROGRESS MADE FOR 2019 MOTOGP

KTM ended a busy pre-season after three evenings of laps and testing at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar and can now set their sights on the first round of the 2019 MotoGP season at the same track on March 10th. Today Pol Espargaro further improved his pace to classify just half a second away from the fastest lap.

Day three of the second and last IRTA test of the 2019 MotoGP pre-season took place in windy and cool conditions at Losail. The climate permitted around four hours of work and laps as the grid took the final opportunities to try ideas and race set-up adjustments with one eye on the fifteenth Grand Prix of Qatar.

Red Bull KTM’s Pol Espargaro again made qualitative gains with the KTM RC16 and ran consistently among the leaders through the timed period. His 27th lap (of 37 in total) was his best of the test at 1min 54.770 and the former world champion capped a decent month of work by sitting just half a second away from countryman Maverick Viñales. Pol’s lap was also a second faster than his best at the same test twelve months earlier.

Teammate Johann Zarco’s evening was effectively halted by a crash at Turn 2. The Frenchman was one of many riders to slide into the Losail gravel as the temperatures dropped below 20 degrees. Zarco (who finished the session down in 19th) continues his quest to find more corner speed but was also pleased with his ability to post regular lap-times.

Red Bull KTM Tech3’s Miguel Oliveira (20th) was another to go even faster but also fell while Hafizh Syahrin posted 42 laps and tried a race simulation to further acclimatise to the RC16 for what will be just his second term in the premier class of Grand Prix.

Three days in Qatar completed 2019 tests that also included five days at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia earlier this month. In just over a week the KTM teams will be travelling back to Doha and to Losail to launch the 2019 season for the first race of nineteen.

Pol Espargaro: “I’m impressed by the potential of our bike and what we have done here. This is normally a track where we have struggled the last two years but to see us just half a second away is great. We did a good job, a good lap and a good rhythm. The conditions can change for the race but we can take a positive feeling from this test and have a good target for the GP. We still need to work carefully and concentrate on what we are doing. The conditions at the end were tough with the humidity going up and the temperatures dropping. There were a lot of crashes. Anyway, I think we can think big, and we have to do the best we can in the race but also be safe to not lose those first points of the season.”

Johann Zarco: “A bit sad with the crash. It was colder and the Medium tyre was not good enough for me so I could not improve my performance. It was a shame because it was then hard to make another step. Anyway, I got more information and experience and maybe we found a limit, so we need to work more and move that onwards. I’m too slow at the moment – for the final day here anyway – but in consistency I am not too bad and we’ll see where I can be for the race weekend. I’m quite impressed by Pol’s performance today and I’m happy for him.”

Miguel Oliveira: “Today we definitely found harder conditions than the two previous days because of the wind. We started a bit slow in terms of lap time but then I was picking up the pace and riding quite good. Unfortunately, a crash ended the test, but I felt I was coming stronger and also the team made quite a few changes to the bike, with which I was very satisfied.”

Hafizh Syahrin: “I’m very happy to improve my lap time and as well about the work on the last day with the team. We know, that we are still very far, although we were quicker. I started to understand a little bit how to adapt to the bike. We tried a race simulation, which was not really bad, but also not very fast, as we needed to understand the bike. At the same time, I did a race distance for the very first time with the KTM. We need to push harder during the race weekend, this is sure. Let’s see what we can do there.”

Mike Leitner, Red Bull KTM Team Manager: “I think we did a great job over these six test days in total. It was tough for the riders and also the company to deliver all the parts and suggestions we wanted but everyone was pushing hard and there were not many runs where we used the same bike spec! The last day was about focussing more on race set-up and looking for a good lap-time but Johann still wanted more from our bike so we looked at more ideas. He understands now what he will mix together for the GP. The Tech3 team also did a great job. Losail has not been an easy track for us but we started our project here two years ago and it is really good to see how much closer we are to the fastest lap: before we did not manage anything better than 1.2 or 1.3. It’s still hard for us here and especially for a single fast lap but this shows we made a great improvement. The goal now will be to make better results and to start the season strongly when we come back here.”

Qatar IRTA Test Day Three final times

1. Maverick Viñales (SPA), Yamaha 1:54.208
2. Fabio Quartararo (FRA), Yamaha +0.233
3. Alex Rins (SPA), Suzuki +0.385
4. Marc Marquez (SPA), Honda +0.405
5. Valentino Rossi (ITA), Yamaha +0.443
7. Pol Espargaro (SPA), Red Bull KTM +0.562
19. Johann Zarco (FRA), Red Bull KTM +1.508
20. Miguel Oliveira (POR), Red Bull KTM Tech3 +1.565
23. Hafizh Syarin (MYS), Red Bull KTM Tech3 +2.163

Monday, 25 February 2019 22:36 Published in Rider and Team Releases


SUCCESSFUL END TO PRESEASON TESTING FOR MONSTER ENERGY YAMAHA MOTOGP

Losail (Qatar), 25th February 2019 - Today the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team completed the third and final day of the last 2019 MotoGP preseason test. Despite less than desirable riding conditions, Maverick Viñales let his consistency shine again and set the fastest time of the day, also claiming top billing in the combined timesheets. Valentino Rossi likewise elevated his bike's performance level and finished his preseason campaign with a positive fourth place in today's ranking order, and a fifth in the combined times.

Viñales didn't let the strong wind get to him and was focused as ever on getting the job done. He successfully worked on acceleration and set a stunning 1'54.208s on lap 25/50. He went on to complete five further runs, until a little after 9pm local time, and wrapped up the test in first place, both in today's and in the combined standings, with a 0.233s margin over his closest rival.

Rossi found his strong form again during the third day of riding at the Losail International Circuit. He laid a final hand to the setting of his YZR-M1 and showed he is on the right track when he improved his fastest time to a 1'54.651s, set on lap 35/38. He finished in fourth place in today's rankings and in fifth in the combined, 0.443s from teammate.

Thanks to the progress made today, the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team find themselves in a strong place to start the 2019 MotoGP season at the first round in Qatar, held from 8 - 10 March.

MASSIMO MEREGALLI, TEAM DIRECTOR “In the end, this test has been very productive. We came here to confirm the good points we found in Sepang. The riders' feedback has been positive, even though the condition of the track has never been good during these three days. As this was an aspect that caused us to suffer in the past, we're satisfied with our performance. Maverick has been impressive throughout the test, both with his best flying lap, a 1'54.2s, and his consistency. Vale, however, suffered a problem on Day 2, but today they were able to solve the issue and we found a good improvement, resulting in a 1'54.6s. We were able to try different items, including a new rear seat with different aerodynamics. We weren't able to complete our entire schedule - due to the strong and bothersome wind – the race simulation included. Our engineers will use the coming break to analyse all the data in order to finalise the best set-up for FP1, that we are really looking forward to.”

MAVERICK VIÑALES, MONSTER ENERGY YAMAHA MOTOGP RIDER “Honestly, I have been riding really good on the track, I felt like I was going very fast with the amount of grip that the track provided today. But we need to improve. I don't have really good grip on the edge, so we need to keep working, especially in that area. On the acceleration side we improved quite a lot since Sepang, and at the moment I'm quite satisfied with what we have in the braking area. My race pace is not bad, I tried ten laps just to understand how the bike is doing, but it was very cold for the medium tyres. Anyway, I rode quite well, with quite a good rhythm. Maybe I could have pushed a little more. However, we still need to improve for the race. I think we are going to be ready. The race will be very important for us. Our bike has really positive points, but also a few negatives, so we now need to come to a conclusion and see where we can improve.”

VALENTINO ROSSI, MONSTER ENERGY YAMAHA MOTOGP RIDER “Today was a good day, we worked in a good way and I was quite strong. Also, with the race tyres my pace is quite good, and in the time-attack I was also OK. I'm in P5 at the end of the three days, which is not so bad. For me, also the race pace is quite good, although I think we will need something more to be able to try to fight. But today we already closed the gap by a lot, as we put it all together, with all the staff. I think that, for this night, we're done, and we'll see in two weeks if it's enough.”

Monday, 25 February 2019 15:51 Published in Rider and Team Releases


Testing concludes for the Mission Winnow Ducati team

The Mission Winnow Ducati team concluded tonight the official MotoGP pre-season tests at Losail (Qatar). In the three-day test, which is crucial to define the technical base ahead of the opening round of the Championship, scheduled for March 8-10 on the track on the outskirts of Doha, both Danilo Petrucci and Andrea Dovizioso made the most of the available track time to work on the development of the Desmosedici GP19, completing 126 and 132 laps respectively.

Both riders tried first and foremost to optimize the setup for the race, a work that culminated today in another joint race simulation in light of the interesting data yielded by this method during the first tests of 2019 in Malaysia. With a personal best of 1:54.818, Petrucci finished the tests in 10th position in the combined rankings, which were characterized by narrow gaps as the first 15 riders finished within one second. Dovizioso closed in 15th position, +0.387 behind his teammate, with a personal best of 1:55.205.

Danilo Petrucci (#9 Mission Winnow Ducati) – 1:54.818 (10th)
"Today we faced a bit more difficulties than expected as the conditions were quite windy, which prompted us to change the setup of the bike. However, we reacted quite well because, once I put the soft tyre on, we were able to post the best provisional time right away. Then, we switched our focus back to the race, running a simulation together with Andrea and trading positions, like what we did in Malaysia. I'm happy with the feeling with the bike: despite the colder track temperatures, we managed to be fast and I'm confident we'll be ready come race time."

Andrea Dovizioso (#04 Mission Winnow Ducati) – 1:55.205 (15th)
"This closing day was complicated a bit by the wind, which didn't allow to completely follow our program. We focused on some aspects and, while we're not far from our rivals, there is still room for improvement. Honestly I can't say I'm completely satisfied, but I'm also convinced we have strong potential and I'm confident we can have a strong race. We collected plenty of interesting data and it will be important to make the most of it to make sure we're as ready and competitive as possible in two weeks' time."

The Mission Winnow Ducati team will resume action at Losail for the opening round of the 2019 MotoGP World Championship, scheduled for March 8-10.

Monday, 25 February 2019 15:42 Published in Rider and Team Releases


2019 MOTOGP IS GO! RED BULL KTM RACE TEAMS SHOW NEW COLOURS IN AUSTRIAN UNVEILING

KTM’s best, largest and most ambitious assault on MotoGP Grand Prix racing was unveiled a short distance from the factory in Mattighofen, Austria this afternoon. Riders and staff from Red bull KTM Factory Racing and Red Bull KTM Tech3 were introduced by KTM management as part of the company’s most comprehensive line-up to face the FIM World Championship.

Tuesday, 12 February 2019 12:38 Published in Rider and Team Releases


Marquez leaves Sepang Test feeling positive

While unable to complete as many laps over the three-day test as normal, Marc Marquez and the Repsol Honda Team leave pleased with progress made.

Finally the Sepang Test has come to a close, Marc Marquez completing a total of 105 laps while evaluating the various new parts for the 2019 Honda RC213V and his shoulder. With his recovery from shoulder surgery still continuing, his running over the three days was limited but the seven-time world champion remained able to set competitive times and completed his testing programme.

Starting early each day, Marquez diligently assessed the most important parts developed over the winter by Honda. Improving his overall time by half a second, Marquez finished the Sepang Test with a 1’59.170. Although he ended the test as the 11th fastest rider, Marquez and the entire Repsol Honda Team remain pleased with the progress made over the three days.

Official Test Rider Stefan Bradl ended the final day in 13th place with a fastest time of 1’59.368.

The Reigning World Champion will now visit Indonesia. Marc Marquez and the Repsol Honda Team will next be on track for the Qatar Test, February 23 – 25, where Jorge Lorenzo is scheduled to return from injury.

Friday, 08 February 2019 18:31 Published in Rider and Team Releases


MONSTER ENERGY YAMAHA MOTOGP CONCLUDE SUCCESSFUL SEPANG TEST

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team’s Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi have completed their testing programme at the Sepang International Circuit today. The third and last eight-hour session was crucial to collect some final data, as the team-mates tried new aero parts. They rode until the very end of the session, not letting any time go to waste. They ultimately took fifth and tenth place respectively in today’s timesheets as well as in the overall 2019 Sepang MotoGP Official Test results.

This morning Viñales picked up where he left off, working on the race spec of his YZR-M1 and the acceleration. He was quick to show the bike’s nimble character again, dropping a 1’58.644s on lap 8, to slot into provisional fourth place in the rankings.

As the session progressed, the order changed slightly with the Spaniard being pushed to fifth in the second hour of riding. However, Viñales was more concerned with finalising his testing programme than putting in a time attack. He completed a 20-lap race simulation and kept riding until the very end when the chequered flag came out. The no. 12 rider completed 79 laps in total and held his fifth position in both today’s and the overall results.

Rossi filled the final day of riding in Malaysia with further evaluating new tyres for Michelin and continued working on the stability in braking and the smoothness of the acceleration, and in the process he also improved on his best time from Day 2 by nearly half a second.

Similar to team-mate Viñales, the Doctor was solely putting his attention towards enhancing his bike’s setting. His fastest lap was a 1’59.155s, set on lap 9, putting him in tenth place for the majority of the day, 0.916s from the top. With a little more than 14 minutes on the clock, the Italian was committed to improving his position in the timesheets but was unable to do so and stayed in tenth place in today’s and the combined timesheets.

The team will now return to Europe whilst the engineers return to Japan to process the data and take their 2019 MotoGP preparation another step further. The Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team will regroup in Qatar from 23 – 25 February for the second preseason test of 2019.

Friday, 08 February 2019 18:27 Published in Rider and Team Releases


FIRST STEP TO 2019 MOTOGP COMPLETE AS LONG MALAYSIAN TEST STINT FINISHES IN SEPANG

The opening chapter of the 2019 MotoGP year closed today as three days of official IRTA testing at the hot Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia introduced a sizzling early pace into the pre-season period. Red Bull KTM Factory Racing and Red Bull KTM Tech3 as well as test rider Mika Kallio completed a busy and comprehensive programme during the IRTA sessions as well as two days of private work to make pleasing progress in their preparation for the Grand Prix campaign ahead.

Continued high temperatures and improving grip around the long Sepang layout saw lap-times tumble into new record territory on the third and final day of work in Malaysia. Pol Espargaro, Johann Zarco and Miguel Oliveira were able to increase their pace to find lap-time in the 1min 59 bracket as the riders wearily notched almost 200 laps between them in what was their fifth day circulating Sepang.

Espargaro - entering his third year with the KTM RC16 - signed-off a hectic agenda of experimentation and successfully banished memories of his heavy crash twelve months earlier at the same venue that caused a setback to his 2018 season. Zarco continued his adaption to his new racebike – only his second for his third term in the premier class – and was satisfied with the gains he could make for front-end feeling and confidence. Oliveira was the surprise package of the day among the ‘orange’ group and his time attack showed real promise from the MotoGP rookie. Mika Kallio forged ahead with his testing regime while Hafizh Syahrin struggled a little with fatigue today but was still able to grasp a feeling of progress once the eight-hour period was chequered flagged. 

The MotoGP quartet will now travel back to Europe and to the KTM factory in Mattighofen for the 2019 Grand Prix presentation on Tuesday 12th February. The second and final pre-season test will take place at Losail in Qatar from 23rd-25th February.

Pol Espargaro“We made an amazing rhythm today. On the first day we couldn’t, and then yesterday I was half a second slower than today. The pace was very, very nice and I was comfortable doing it. The fast lap was not what I expected – I found [Franco] Morbidelli in the way in the morning and could not improve – but this is a test and we go home with the knowledge we have done a good job. It is the first time we felt this big improvement from just one test. We have had five hot and hard days here but I think the whole team and factory did an amazing job: all the guys were super-focussed.”

Johann Zarco“I tried this morning to improve further but I did not expect all the others to be going that fast! It was quite incredible. I’m pretty happy to be able to do many laps under two-minutes. We are happy with what we did, but we still have a lot of work. Overall I have improved my feeling and my control of the bike over five hard days. We will see what I can do in Losail. It will be interesting to see if we can adapt quicker in Qatar than we did here. The lap-time was better than I expected and we reached good points in our plan.”

Mike Leitner, Team Manager“We have been testing so many things these days, from chassis to suspension to aerodynamics and we had three riders in the 1min 59s by the end. We could not really manage the super-fast single lap but on the longer runs people are quite happy and we are very consistent. We have a good feeling about the test. It was super-important. We worked many days and made steps that were very big. We took the time to make ‘basic’ work on our bikes where the focus is not always the lap-time. We will go to Doha now and hope to use this good information. A big thanks to all our five riders here in these demanding conditions: they worked through many ideas that came up in the factory during the winter and the guys in Austria have been pushing hard. We still need to fine-tune some things but we are going in the right direction.”

Sebastian Risse, Technical Director“All-in-all it was a long test for us and a lot of things have piled up in all areas of the bike over the winter. So it was an intense test, also with Tech3 structure here now also that allowed us to get even more information. I think we can be very happy with our progress and we made huge steps with our new riders in terms of getting confidence in the bike and setting and development. Looking at what we have done and the pace compared to previous years we are happy. The speed was quite incredible today and our positions are not quite what we were looking for. We know our competitors are strong and are developing their motorcycles quickly but we have to be even quicker! That was the challenge here. I think we did it…but we also have a long way to go. We will have to prepare our priorities well now for the last test and make sure we make another step forward in performance.”

Miguel Oliveira“The lap time was ok. It was not as fast as I expected because I couldn’t match the best configuration of the bike with the best tyres in the best moment, but in any case, I’m very close to the two KTM factory riders, closer than everybody expected. We have been really competitive with used tyres, which is good for the race. At the moment, I can see a clear step forward, so I think it’s about going to the Qatar test, taking the experiences from these three days and just trying to be another step better.”

Hafizh Syahrin“We improved a lot compared to yesterday. The lap time is significantly faster than before, but still a bit far from the top. During this last day, I felt really good with the bike, but my physical condition was not ideal. After four full days of riding, the muscles in my arms were too hard and I was lacking some power. To be honest, I am a bit disappointed about myself for this, as the bike was truly great for this last day and I couldn’t fully use it. Anyway, I’ll try to do my best during the Qatar test before the start of the season, we are on a positive way and for sure we can be better.”

IRTA test overall standings after Day 3

1. Danilo Petrucci (ITA), Ducati 1:58.239
2. Francesco Bagnaia (ITA), Ducati +0.063
3. Jack Miller (AUS), Ducati +0.127
4. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA), Ducati +0.299
5. Maverick Viñales (SPA), Yamaha +0.405
KTM
17. Johann Zarco (FRA), KTM +1.401
18. Pol Espargaro (SPA), KTM +1.512
19. Miguel Oliveira (POR), KTM +1.710
22. Mika Kallio (FIN), KTM +2.284
23. Hafizh Syahrin (MYS), KTM +2.527

Friday, 08 February 2019 18:22 Published in Rider and Team Releases


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