Maverick Vinales tops first day at Qatar test
Maverick Vinales topped the timing sheets on the first day of the MotoGP Qatar Test. Find out what happened throughout the day.
Day one of the Qatar Test has come to an end and Maverick Vinales finished at the top of the time sheets on his Yamaha machine with a time of 1.55.051.
The Spaniard topped the six-hour session by +0.108 from Suzuki rider Alex Rins.
At the start of the test, it took a while to get going, with only a couple riders making their way onto the track. Franco Morbidelli, on his A-Spec Yamaha, topped the time sheets in the first hour over Cal Crutchlow as both of their lap times were at the two-minute mark.
After ten laps, Morbidelli brought his lap times down to 1.58s as he continued to improve on his lap times.
More riders were coming out and an hour and a half in World Champion Marc Marquez set the fastest time which was half a second clear of Morbidelli’s best time.
Shortly after Marquez set the fastest time, his teammate Jorge Lorenzo took to the track for the first time in 2019 and in full Repsol Honda colours.
Then it was the turn of the Ducati’s to come join the party out on track. New boy Danilo Petrucci set the bar with a 1.56.679 which was +0.8 ahead of the rest of the field coming up to the two-hour mark. Last year's race winner Andrea Dovizioso edged his teammate off top spot by +0.034 in the second hour of the test.
Marquez had a small crash, rider ok and he was able to bring the bike back to the garage.
Alex Rins continued to show his pace like he did in the Sepang Test and slotted his Suzuki into second place.
But it wasn’t long until Vinales put his M1 in top spot. After a strong performance at the Sepang test, Vinales is confident that Qatar can give the team another boost.
Heading into 7pm local time, which is prime time for race conditions, the lead kept changing with Petrucci going back on top and then Rins improving even further.
Rookie Fabio Quartararo got his Yamaha into fifth place with just under three hours to go and Pol Espargaro put his KTM in P4.
Both Aprilia’s of Aleix Espargaro and Andrea Iannone fell in quick succession of each other, but both were unhurt.
The track was clearly starting to get slippery as it hit a certain temperature, Morbidelli was the next victim of the slippery track.
As the checkered flag came out it was Vinales who had set the fastest time, with Rins in second and Dovizioso in third.
Petrucci finished fourth with Valentino Rossi finishing the day in fifth place.
Tito Rabat finished in sixth place on the Avintia Ducati. Top rookie for the day was Quartararo in seventh and top Honda for the day was Takaaki Nakagami who has the 2018 Honda and he finished in eighth place.
Pol Espargaro was ninth on the KTM and Marquez finished inside the top 10.
Day two of the Qatar test starts at 16.00 local time.