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Qatar Test: Binder Dominates in Moto2 as Arbolino tops Moto3 Session

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Brad Binder dominated the opening day of the Qatar Test
Brad Binder dominated the opening day of the Qatar Test (Credit: MotoGP.com)

Brad Binder sent out a warning to his Moto2 rivals as he dominated the opening day of the final pre-season test at Qatar.

The Red Bull KTM Ajo rider was the only man to post a lap-time under two minutes and ended the day +0.425s clear of the field – with a fastest lap-time of 1:59.776.

Sam Lowes picked up where he left off at the Jerez test to end the opening day in second, posting a lap-time of 2:00.178 on his Federal Oil Gresini machine. Lowes also spent plenty of time working on his bike’s setup with his mechanics.

Just like the test in Spain, Binder and Lowes were joined by Iker Lecuona in the top three – on what turned out to be a difficult day for all the riders due to the strong winds and dust.

Jorge Navarro was next in fourth, just ahead of Alex Marquez. The top five in the session were covered by +0.653s at the end of the day, with Tom Luthi only a further +0.015s behind in sixth.

Xavi Vierge would end day one in seventh, with Augusto Fernandez (eighth), Luca Marini (ninth) and Marcel Schrötter completing the top 10.

Britain’s Jake Dixon ended the day in 17th after spending his time learning the Losail Circuit for the first time.

Tony Arbolino Topped the Moto3 Session at Qatar

Tony Arbolino Topped the Moto3 Session at Qatar (Credit: MotoGP.com)

The Moto3 class was controlled by the Snipers Team, with Tony Arbolino topping the timing sheets ahead of his teammate, Romano Fenati.

Arbolino’s fastest time of 2:07.753 was +0.101s quicker than Fenati, and the duo were the only riders to post times under 2:08s.

Their nearest challenger was Lorenzo Dalla Porta on the Leopard Racing bike, however he was half-a-second slower than Arbolino. His teammate, Marcos Ramirez, was just behind him in fourth.

Honda Team Asia’s Kaito Toba completed the top five, ahead of 2016 Qatar race winner Niccolo Antonelli. The SIC58 Squadra Corse rider was the last man to get within a second of Arbolino.

Moto3 rookie, Ai Ogura ended the opening day in seventh, with less than a tenth separating him from Alonso Lopez in eighth. Kazuki Masaki (ninth) and Gabriel Rodrigo completed the top 10.

John McPhee finished just outside the top 10 after spending most of his session alone on the track to test new components for his Petronas SRT Honda.

Tom Booth Amos was down in 28th after taking his first day at the Losail Circuit steady, in order to get to grips with his CIP Moto KTM machine.

The final pre-season test for the Moto2 and Moto3 riders continues tomorrow.

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