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Yamaha's Maverick Viñales sets MotoGP pace in Qatar test

Yamaha's Maverick Viñales sets MotoGP pace in Qatar test

Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha) has ended the Qatar preseason MotoGP test with the fastest laptime, with a 1min53.858 on the third and final day in Doha on Monday.

The Spaniard pipped Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) to top spot by just 0.033 after the three days, with the top 18 split by less than a second. Fellow Petronas Yamaha SRT rider Fabio Quartararo finished third fastest on the combined times.

SA’s Brad Binder, the former Moto3 champion making his MotoGP debut this year, posted the ninth fastest time on his Red Bull KTM, 0.425 off the fastest lap. He finished just two positions behind world champion Marc Marquez on a Repsol Honda and ahead of multiple champion Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha), who ended the three-day test 12th quickest.

Alex Marquez, who narrowly beat Binder to last year’s Moto2 championship, was 21st fastest on his Repsol Honda.

Though MotoGP world champions Honda struggled, it was a great test for Yamaha, which set the three fastest laptimes, but there will be slight worry that Quartararo suffered technical failures on Sunday and Monday, in addition to Rossi’s crash on day two. “The Doctor” was uninjured and ventured back out during the last hour of the test.

It was also a good test for Suzuki, which set the fourth and sixth quickest times.

Jack Miller on the Pramac Racing Ducati posted the fastest-ever top speed at the Losail International Circuit at a stunning 355km/h.

Andrea Dovizioso was the fastest of the factory Ducati riders in 10th place, and team manager Davide Tardozzi said the engine is working very well, but cornering speed still needs work.

The MotoGP season starts in Qatar on March 8.

Combined times:

  1. Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha) — 1:53.858
  2. Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) +0.033
  3. Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) + 0.180
  4. Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) +0.210
  5. Jack Miller (Pramac Racing Ducati) +0.247
  6. Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) +0.271
  7. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) +0.291
  8. Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) +0.381
  9. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory) +0.425
  10. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) +0.454
  11. Francesco Bagnaia (Pramac Racing Ducati) 1:54.326 +0.468
  12. Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha) 1:54.332 +0.474
  13. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Gresini) 1:54.432 +0.574
  14. Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factyory) 1:54.623 +0.765
  15. Tito Rabat (Avintia Ducati) 1:54.674 +0.816
  16. Danilo Petrucci (Ducati Team) 1:54.752 +0.894
  17. Johann Zarco (Avintia Ducati) 1:54.760 +0.902
  18. Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) 1:54.830 +0.972
  19. Miguel Oliveira (Tech3 KTM) 1:55.008 +1.150
  20. Iker Lecuona (Tech3 KTM) 1:55.301 +1.443
  21. Alex Marquez (Repsol Honda) 1:55.519 +1.661
  22. Bradley Smith (Aprilia Gresini) 1:55.916 +2.058