MotoGP 2018

Qatar Round One Day One Rider Quotes

Andrea Dovizioso – P1

“Finishing both Friday sessions in first place in the opening GP of the season is always a great pleasure! Today we went really well but on this track I didn’t have many doubts. Now however we must continue to work hard, because we found conditions that were quite different to those of the tests, and it’s much warmer. We will now have to focus on managing tyre wear and on the small details that make all the difference in a 22-lap race. At any rate I’m very happy with the overall feeling with the Desmosedici GP18.”

Andrea Dovizioso
Andrea Dovizioso

Danilo Petrucci – P2

“I am very pleased with what we have done today. We had some very good feelings during the tests and I am happy to have confirmed that feeling. The position is very good but it is clear that we have not yet done anything: we will have to fight tomorrow”.

Danilo Petrucci
Danilo Petrucci

Alex Rins – P3

“It’s nice to come back here, and this time for the race! In the morning the track was differ-ent to how it was during the test; there was a lot of dust and not much grip. In the evening session, however, the track was fine and I had the same sensations as in the test we did here a few weeks ago. Tomorrow we have to keep working with some small details that I believe we can still improve.”

Alex Rins
Alex Rins

Jorge Lorenzo – P4

“All in all, as a first day of practice, things didn’t go badly and I’m quite satisfied because we managed to find a good pace. In the end I was missing an ‘explosive’ lap and for the moment Andrea and Danilo are quicker than me, but today my sensations were better than what I had during the tests. The aim for tomorrow is to work on some small changes on the bike that will allow me to improve even further, and I’m confident because my progress in any case has been positive.”

Jorge Lorenzo
Jorge Lorenzo

Andrea Iannone – P5

“We started this first day with a step in the right direction, with positive results and also a good feeling. Since we lost the last day of testing two weeks ago we had to finish off some of the work from there. But I have good feelings with the GSX-RR and we are going in the right direction. Today the track was a lot more slippery than in the test, so we need to find a better feeling with the grip. This is what we’ll focus on now to try and become even more competitive.”

Andrea Iannone
Andrea Iannone

Marc Marquez – P6

“We are happy enough with how this first day in Qatar went in general. We had the first contact with the track and had the chance to see if we were getting the same feeling we had during the test. Actually the track has changed compared to the test and we now have to adapt the setup of the bike in order to make the tyres working well. Tomorrow we will see if we can get closer to the riders that are ahead of us who, at the moment, seems to have something more.”

Marc Marquez
Marc Marquez

Dani Pedrosa – P7

“Conditions were a bit different from the test and consequently our feeling was different. Two weeks ago at the end of the three days the asphalt was in quite good conditions while today it was a bit dirty. At the beginning we were less comfortable but we improved over the day and that’s positive. We can see that our rivals are fast, but lap times are quite tight and there are many riders on almost the same time. We have to see tomorrow how conditions we’ll be.”

Dani Pedrosa
Dani Pedrosa

Cal Crutchlow – P8

“The day was positive enough, although I’m not positive that we’re five tenths off at the moment. I felt we were strong all day, but on my last lap I did not have a great feeling with the bike at all, I was stronger at the start and the middle of the session. So to be eighth is disappointing, but at least we’re in the top ten because I think it will be harder to make a good lap time tomorrow. I had some important chattering and we are now investigating. On the whole we’re happy and positive as we have been for most of the winter tests – I’m not happy to be eighth because I think my pace is better than that, but tomorrow hopefully we’ll have a better day and go faster.”

Cal Crutchlow
Cal Crutchlow

Valentino Rossi – P9

“The feeling during the day was quite positive because I feel good with the bike and also my pace is not so bad with the used tyres, that’s very important for the race. The level of performance is unbelievable, especially from fourth to tenth place – we’re very close. I didn’t ride in a perfect way and I lost some time during my lap, I made some small mistakes and I paid for them, because my position is not fantastic, I’m just ninth. It’s very important to stay in the top-10, because maybe tomorrow in FP3 it can be a little bit more difficult. We have to keep trying because I’m sure somebody will improve, and after that we’ll see. It’s always difficult with the front tyre, because we’re at the limit, so we need to make the right choice and we still have to work on the balance of the bike. I’m very happy to race at 7 o’ clock and not at 9, because the track is better. The only problem is that FP1, FP3 and Warm Up are not very important because you ride them in hotter conditions.”

Valentino Rossi
Valentino Rossi

Johann Zarco – P10

“For the first day in Qatar it is quite ok to be inside the top 10. I experienced some issues, which made it difficult to find the same great feeling like I had during the test here. I tried to keep calm and work. It’s just small details, because the balance of the bike is good, but to be as fast as the top guys, we need to understand better how the grip level is changing. We’re working on it and I know that we need to improve tomorrow to be competitive and ready for Q2.”

Johann Zarco
Johann Zarco

Maverick Vinales – P11

“Honestly, I don’t feel like this is my best moment. As I said during the test, we’re having some trouble. I didn’t feel good on the bike, but we are working to solve the problems. We tried something different, which – with the hot temperatures – I was liking quite a lot, but this evening it wasn’t working. I did two time-attacks, but I wasn‘t feeling comfortable, so we have to continue tomorrow to find a better set-up.”

Maverick Vinales
Maverick Vinales

Aleix Espargaro’ – P12

“I am very happy with the day. After a winter of ups and downs, the initial feedback here in Qatar was good. The evolution of the engine, which has not been revolutionised, proved to work well all around. It lets me ride with a style very close to my needs, whereas before I had to open up the throttle with the bike still very much leaned over. As for the race configuration, we are rather close to the leaders. We lost a few positions in the final attempt with a soft tyre. In the time attack, even pushing to the limit, we are still struggling to get as much out of the tyre compared to the other riders. We’ll work especially on this in the technical debriefing today, because even though our pace is promising, we still cannot sacrifice qualifying.”

Aleix Espargaro’
Aleix Espargaro’

Tito Rabat – P13

“I felt very good today and I was immediately faster. We made several changes to the set-up of the bike that I liked a lot and I think that considering it was just the first day, we can’t ask for more. We missed Q2 by just a few tenths, but tomorrow we’ll have another chance and we’ll push hard to use it. To be honest, I think that we are doing a good job and I’m confident about tomorrow. The team is helping me a lot and I have a great feeling with the bike”.

Tito Rabat
Tito Rabat

Jack Miller – P14

“I am not happy with my position but I am positive because the pace is encouraging. We had some problems with this circuit during the last official tests and we are working to improve day by day. We are all very close so there is confidence for tomorrow”.

Jack Miller
Jack Miller

Takaaki Nakagami – P15

“I’m really happy to start the new season, the three tests were quite positive, but now it’s completely different as it’s a race weekend. I was a lot more nervous today. FP1 took place during the day, so the track temperature was high and the condition was not so good as it was quite dirty and a lot of riders said there was no grip. But I knew the lap times would get faster in FP2 and my feeling was quite positive. I had a crash here on the last day of the test, but my feeling is getting better and better now. We still need to adapt to the conditions, but I will try my best in FP3 and will see where we are.”

Takaaki Nakagami
Takaaki Nakagami

Scott Redding – P16

“The sessions today once again confirmed how close the times are this year. It really takes very little to make a big difference. I am satisfied with our first day. The evolved engine works well, but overall I feel like we can still improve quite a bit. Compared to the tests, I have less feeling with the front, even testing different compounds, and I feel the dips on the track more, so much that I risked locking up the front a couple of times. If I can increase my confidence in braking, I’m sure that we can take a step forward.”

Scott Redding
Scott Redding

Franco Morbidelli – P18

“Today was a little bit unlucky for me after some problems in FP1 and then late in FP2 when we put new tyres on bike but I’m sure we can find a better feeling tomorrow. Everyone has started the weekend very strong but I’m confident we can improve. We have done a lot of testing and have plenty of data but now I just want to go racing.”

Franco Morbidelli
Franco Morbidelli

Thomas Lüthi – P19

“We made an important step in FP2 with the feeling from the front-end and this is a very positive step for me because this will allow me make other improvements, it is a like a chain reaction for the set-up.  There is a big gap to the front guys but that is not my focus right now, it is understanding the bike and having a good feeling for the race.”

Thomas Lüthi
Thomas Lüthi

Karel Abraham – P21

“We have room for improvement to go faster and I think I can get there tomorrow, but today’s result is not bad in any case. It’s not where I wanted to be, because we have difficulties with grip and I don’t have a good feeling with the front end either. Today was difficult because in the first session the bike stopped when we left pit lane and we had to go back in, losing some time. In the end I went out with the other bike. In the second session I was able to solve a lot of what prevented us from improving and now we have to work to solve the rest of the issues.”

Karel Abraham
Karel Abraham

Hafizh Syahrin – P22

“In the first Free Practice, I had a lot of confidence and felt really comfortable on the bike. I’m not sure why my feeling was not as good as in FP1 in the second session. We used the soft tyre for the first time, but couldn’t improve a lot. In the end, we went one tenth of a second faster than in the first session. Now, we try to understand the situation, I know, that I have to stay calm and that I have to try to understand the telemetry, therefore I’ll speak with my guys tonight. Anyway, I’m very positive. For tomorrow, I aim to improve further.”

Hafizh Syahrin
Hafizh Syahrin

Álvaro Bautista – P23

“Throughout the day we worked on getting more rear grip, which is the biggest obstacle that we have encountered since the first day I got on the bike. We tried a couple of things that didn’t work, and at the end of the day I couldn’t lower my lap times because with new tyres we were also trying some other modifications. We hope tomorrow will go better, because I don’t have the best feeling. Without rear grip it is difficult to handle cornering. From the first day I got on the bike we have had this feeling.”

Álvaro Bautista
Álvaro Bautista

Xavier Simeon – P24

“Today I didn’t have the same feelings that I had during the test, but this doesn’t worry me too much sine we know what we have to do next. It was the first day in real Grand Prix conditions and we could see that with just two 45-minute sessions, I have to be on the pace much faster and that’s what cost me the most today. We need to improve braking and the point where lean the bike into the corner, but above all I have to concentrate on going out and go fast from the start. That’s what we will try tomorrow”.

Álvaro Bautista

Massimo Meregalli – Yamaha MotoGP Team Director

“It’s great to be back in action, even though it was a bit of a challenging start to the season today. The grip level of the track wasn‘t perfect and under these circumstances we usually suffer. We expect that the circuit will provide a better grip session by session, which will help us exploit the strong points of our bike. Most of the problems that we‘re facing are caused by a lack of grip. The new schedule is a bit tricky, it has some up and downsides. The format has made FP1, FP3 and the Warm Up session somewhat useless, because the track conditions in the afternoon and evening sessions are quite different, and these aspects need to be carefully considered whilst making set-up changes. Even though we don‘t want to completely turn the bike upside down, we have some ideas that we will try tomorrow with both riders.”

Danilo Petrucci and Valentino Rossi
Danilo Petrucci and Valentino Rossi

Davide Brivio – Suzuki Team Manager

“I would say it was a good start, of course it’s only Friday, but I feel we’re approaching these days with a different mood. I’m happy because the riders were quite quick during the sessions, not only in the fast laps at the end of FP2; this is what makes us happy about today, we’re aware it’s only Friday, but we know we just need to continue like this to be ready for the race.”

MotoGP 2018 Machines
MotoGP 2018 Machines

MotoGP 2018 – Round One – Qatar – Day One Practice Times

  1. A. DOVIZIOSO DUCATI TEAM 1’54.361
  2. D. PETRUCCI ALMA PRAMAC RACING 1’54.367
  3. A. RINS TEAM SUZUKI ECSTAR 1’54.458
  4. J. LORENZO DUCATI TEAM 1’54.831
  5. A. IANNONE TEAM SUZUKI ECSTAR 1’54.841
  6. M. MARQUEZ REPSOL HONDA TEAM 1’54.850
  7. D. PEDROSA REPSOL HONDA TEAM 1’54.851
  8. C. CRUTCHLOW LCR HONDA CASTROL 1’54.852
  9. V. ROSSI MOVISTAR YAMAHA MOTOGP 1’54.853
  10. ZARCO MONSTER YAMAHA TECH3 1’54.912
  11. M. VIÑALES MOVISTAR YAMAHA MOTOGP 1’55.195
  12. A. ESPARGARÒ APRILIA RACING TEAM GRESINI 1’55.236
  13. T. RABAT REALE AVINTIA RACING 1’55.308
  14. J. MILLER ALMA PRAMAC RACING 1’55.360
  15. T. NAKAGAMI LCR HONDA IDEMITSU 1’55.694
  16. S. REDDING APRILIA RACING TEAM GRESINI 1’55.718
  17. P. ESPARGARÒ RED BULL KTM FACTORY RACING 1’55.919
  18. F. MORBIDELLI EG 0,0 MARC VDS 1’55.965
  19. T. LUTHI EG 0,0 MARC VDS 1’56.242
  20. B. SMITH RED BULL KTM FACTORY RACING 1’56.260
  21. K. ABRAHAM ANGEL NIETO TEAM 1’56.394
  22. H. SYAHRIN MONSTER YAMAHA TECH3 1’56.454
  23. A. BAUTISTA ANGEL NIETO TEAM 1’56.528
  24. X. SIMEON REALE AVINTIA RACING 1’57.765

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