Testing is over and the final day of preseason saw some gauntlets thrown down
Federal Oil Gresini Moto2’s Sam Lowes has thrown down the gauntlet ahead of the opening race weekend of the season after ending the Moto2™ and Moto3™ Qatar Test quickest, his 1:58.439 on the final day enough to beat second place Tom Lüthi (Dynavolt Intact GP) by 0.224 seconds. The entire top ten on the combined standings set their quickest laps on Day 3 at Losail International Circuit, with Lowes’ time quick enough to put him on pole for the MotoGP™ race that took place at the venue in 2004!
The aforementioned Lüthi was the British rider’s closest rival, with Remy Gardner (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team) continuing his impressive preseason speed with third, 0.316 off P1. Fourth went the way of Augusto Fernandez (Flexbox HP 40), his 1:58.775 leaving him just 0.002 two from Gardner, with Marcel Schrötter (Dynavolt Intact GP) just another 0.030 back in fifth.
EG 0,0 Marc VDS’ Xavi Vierge ends the three-day test just ahead of Jorge Navarro (+Ego Speed Up) and Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) as the three Spaniards occupy sixth, seventh and eighth respectively. Ninth goes to Luca Marini (Sky Racing Team VR46), his 1:58.980 putting him 0.541 off Lowes, with Day 1’s fastest rider Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) completing the top ten.
In Moto3™, Romano Fenati (Snipers Team) ended the test at the top of the timesheets after going quickest on the final day, setting a best time of 2:05.285 to head teammate Tony Arbolino by 0.230. With many focusing on a fast lap – and some on trying to get a tow – it was a frantic final day of action.
All of the lightweight class riders, except the injured Gabriel Rodrigo (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3), went quicker on the third and final day of testing at Losail International Circuit. But it was the Snipers Team duo who locked out the top two positions at the end of play, just like they have done on the previous two days. Their closest challenger was Aron Canet (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team), with 0.368 splitting him from Fenati in third.
Fourth fastest was Leopard Racing’s Lorenzo Dalla Porta, the only other rider within half a second of Fenati, with Niccolo Antonelli (SIC58 Squadra Corse) completing a top five covered by 0.507 seconds.
John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing) ended the test in sixth place with a best time of 2:05.899, the British rider sitting 0.131 ahead of seventh-placed Marcos Ramirez (Leopard Racing). Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse) was eighth, just ahead of Sky Racing Team VR46 duo Dennis Foggia and rookie Celestino Vietti – it was ninth and tenth on the timesheets for the Italians respectively.