Zarco and Yamaha End Qatar Test on Top

Johann Zarco - Photo Credit: Tech 3

Johann Zarco lapped at near-record pace to finish the final day of winter testing on top at Losail. The Tech 3 rider was just a tenth of a second shy of the unofficial circuit record on Saturday evening as he led a Yamaha 1-2, a quarter of a second clear of factory rider Valentino Rossi.

Friday’s running had seen Andrea Iannone emerge as the surprise pacesetter for Suzuki but a stomach virus ruled the Italian out of the final day. In his absence, Zarco took over at the top with a sensational 1:54.029 that moved him four tenths clear of the competition, only for Rossi to close the gap with a time attack half an hour before the end of the night. The Doctor had earlier tumbled at turn 14 but escaped any injury.

Andrea Dovizioso also climbed up the leaderboard late on, taking third for Ducati, while Cal Crutchlow rounded off an exceptional winter for LCR Honda by finishing fourth. Thursday pacesetter Maverick Vinales was fifth overall, with Iannone’s Friday time enough to keep him sixth on combined times.

On Saturday alone, reigning champion Marc Marquez completed the top six ahead of the lone remaining Suzuki of Alex Rins with a trio of Suzukis rounding out the top ten, Danilo Petrucci edging out Jorge Lorenzo and Jack Miller.

The evening also saw wet-weather testing in Qatar as the riders explored the possibility of a night race taking place in the event of rain on March 18. Other than a near-highside for Marquez, the experiment appeared to pass off without cause for concern.


2018 MotoGP Pre-Season Testing: Losail (Day Three)

PosRiderConstructorTeamBest Time
15. Johann ZarcoYamahaMonster Yamaha Tech 31:54.029
246. Valentino RossiYamahaMovistar Yamaha MotoGP1:54.276
34. Andrea DoviziosoDucatiDucati Team1:54.331
435. Cal CrutchlowHondaLCR Honda Castrol1:54.457
525. Maverick VinalesYamahaMovistar Yamaha MotoGP1:54.471
693. Marc MarquezHondaRepsol Honda Team1:54.591
742. Alex RinsSuzukiTeam Suzuki ECSTAR1:54.650
89. Danilo PetrucciDucatiAlma Pramac Racing1:54.659
999. Jorge LorenzoDucatiDucati Team1:54.692
1043. Jack MillerDucatiAlma Pramac Racing1:54.749
1126. Dani PedrosaHondaRepsol Honda Team1:54.774
1221. Franco MorbidelliHondaEG 0,0 Marc VDS1:55.132
1338. Bradley SmithKTMRed Bull KTM Factory Racing1:55.179
1441. Aleix EspargaroApriliaAprilia Racing Team Gresini1:55.232
1555. Hafizh SyahrinYamahaMonster Yamaha Tech 31:55.273
1617. Karel AbrahamDucatiAngel Nieto Team1:55.300
1719. Alvaro BautistaDucatiAngel Nieto Team1:55.347
1853. Tito RabatDucatiReale Avintia Racing1:55.465
1944. Pol EspargaroKTMRed Bull KTM Factory Racing1:55.489
2045. Scott ReddingApriliaAprilia Racing Team Gresini1:55.595
2130. Takaaki NakagamiHondaLCR Honda IDEMITSU1:55.763
2210. Xavier SimeonDucatiReale Avintia Racing1:55.943
2312. Thomas LuthiHondaEG 0,0 Marc VDS1:56.122
2429. Andrea IannoneSuzukiTeam Suzuki ECSTARNo Time