#QatarTest MotoGP Rider Quotes & Images

Johann Zarco tops #QatarTest by 1/4 of a second
Johann Zarco tops #QatarTest by 1/4 of a second

Johann Zarco – P1

“That was a very good third day, I’m delighted to finish with the top lap time. I think it was even possible to ride inside the high 53s, but we have to accept that we have to understand step by step how to ride at this speed. We did some great work with the team and with everything we did during these three days, I felt more confdence and I could work well on this. When I did a very long run to test the race, it was not too fast. I did 17 laps in a row, but probably a bit tired after this intense days here. Anyway, we are constant and I can relax a lot on the bike. I’m really happy about that and I need to keep this feeling in mind to start the race weekend well in a fortnight.”

Johann Zarco tops #QatarTest by 1/4 of a second
Johann Zarco tops #QatarTest by 1/4 of a second

Valentino Rossi – P2

“I’m quite happy after this test, especially after this afternoon, because I think we’ve worked hard in these last few days and also in the first part of today. This afternoon we put it all together and I was able to do a very good lap for second position and I also had a good rhythm, with a good pace. But, we are all still very close in the timesheets, there are a lot of riders that are strong. We continue to suffer with the tyres, front and rear, and I did just half a race distance. We have to try to understand what will happen from that point until the end of the race – we will see in two weeks.”

Valentino Rossi
Valentino Rossi

Andrea Dovizioso – P3

“I’m very happy with the work we did these three days, because we were able to try everything we had planned and also to prepare well for the race, even though here in Qatar the conditions of the circuit change easily and in a couple of weeks they could be different to what we have encountered in these three days. During the test the track had a lot of grip, something that is usually difficult to find here at Losail, and in the various simulations we were fast and consistent, and so I’m very satisfied with our performance.”

Andrea Dovizioso
Andrea Dovizioso

Cal Crutchlow – P4

“Today was the third day of testing and the final one before the season-opener in two weeks’ time, but we are quite positive about the feeling with the bike in the dry. We definitely still have to improve, but at least the team have the information to work with Honda over the next couple of weeks to evaluate the situation. Our front feeling is not perfect yet, but I was able to be consistently fast over the day which is important. Our problem is the front tyre specifications. None of them suit my riding style it seems, so we’ll have to look at this for the race weekend as it will be crucial. But overall we’re happy enough with today’s performance, I did a 12-lap run that I was happy with. In the wet weather test, I thought the vision was ok, but the track was really slippery and I’m sure we’ll discuss this in the safety commission for the first race in Qatar.”

Cal Crutchlow
Cal Crutchlow

Maverick Vinales – P5

“In the last 40 minutes I think we made a big step. I feel good on the bike, but not at 100% yet, so there’s still room for improvement. Anyway, we did three days of hard work, and we got a bit lost along the way. During those moments I couldn’t push and it shows we need to keep focused and pay attention when we make changes, because in the last 40 minutes it felt like a completely different bike. Like I said, we need to keep working. I think if I were to do a time attack right now, I could do a really good lap time. As soon as I got on the bike, after the changes, I felt comfortable and that I could keep a good rhythm – not as good as last year yet, but after today we came to some conclusions.”

Maverick Vinales
Maverick Vinales

Andrea Iannone  – P6

“I’m disappointed I couldn’t ride today, but I was feeling very bad. I tried but it was impossible to go out on track. I felt very sick and weak. Anyway, the progress we’ve done in this last test leaves me quite satisfied, we had two positive days and we have a good base. We missed out on the fine tuning work we were supposed to do today, but we will work hard in free practice before the race to recover the tasks we lost. Apart from my sickness, my feeling is good with the bike and the team.”

Andrea Iannone 
Andrea Iannone

Marc Marquez – P7

“I’m satisfied with how our pre-season went in general. We’ve worked a lot on our race pace, which is the most important thing in the end. It’s true that we’ve struggled a bit here in Qatar, but we’re happy anyway, as today in particular we took a step forward and I was able to lap consistently enough in the low-to-medium 1’55” range. Today we also tried the carbon swing arm in just one run, and I managed to ride quite fast, though we need to work more on that. For sure the championship will be very competitive starting at the first race, but I hope to enjoy it. Regarding the test in the wet, well, with the reflection of the light it’s a bit more difficult than usual to see the kerbs and the white line, and the track is a bit slippery, but for me it should be possible to do the race if it rains.”

Marc Marquez
Marc Marquez

Alex Rins – P8

“I think the three days riding here have been very good, and it’s been a very positive test because we tried many things and we confirmed all these things. We also tried a race simulation and the race pace was quite good, so I’m really excited to start this new season with a lot of confidence, and I think that we have a great package.”

Alex Rins
Alex Rins

Danilo Petrucci – P9

“I’m really happy for the long run. I managed to make a very good race simulation with soft tyres both at the front and rear and this is a really positive fact also because we made very few changes to the bike. I didn’t look for lap time but that’s not important. Now we have to wait for two weeks but the confidence is very high”.

Danilo Petrucci
Danilo Petrucci

Jorge Lorenzo – P10

“Today went much better than yesterday, and we found a setting that allowed me to do several laps quite fast. However we once again suffered a bit when the temperature cooled down and the humidity increased. In these conditions we are still struggling to be competitive and keep a good pace. We should therefore focus on improving this aspect in view of the first round and we still have a lot of work to do to get the best out of our bike’s potential.”

Jorge Lorenzo
Jorge Lorenzo

Jack Miller – P11

“We have also managed to make further improvement today, and that is why I am very pleased. We worked on the set up with choices that gave us positive indications. If I have to be honest, I still have a bit of trouble finding the right grip but during the race simulation I had a good feeling and the race pace was good. I am sure that we can improve further”.

Jack Miller
Jack Miller

Dani Pedrosa – P12

“I’m quite happy with the pre-season overall, with the work we’ve done, and with our pace. We’ve been competitive in different conditions, which is positive. Unfortunately, the crash on the first day made things a bit difficult for us here, and the track itself is also a bit demanding for us, but we made some progress and improved our pace a little anyway. We’re not the fastest here at the moment, but we worked well and understood a lot about the conditions and how the track changes between having grip and not having it. We learned a lot about these things. Now we have to focus on ourselves, not looking at the others, and I think we can take another step for the race. I look forward to starting the championship! Regarding the wet test, I think that in case of rain for the race, we’ll have to speak and decide all together.”

Dani Pedrosa
Dani Pedrosa

Franco Morbidelli – P13

“We made a fairly big change to the bike for the last part of the test yesterday, but today was more about refining the set up with just a few small changes. Now we’ve had three days on this track and we’ve done a lot of laps, which has allowed us to improve our pace and this is the important thing. The three days here in Qatar have gone pretty well, we kept improving and I feel more confortable with the bike, so it’s been a good way to end preseason testing. Now testing is done and I’m looking forward to the first race of the season in two weeks time.”

Franco Morbidelli
Franco Morbidelli

 

Bradley Smith – P14

“It’s nice to finally finish the tests and iron out some of the details ready for the start of the season. It was good to also keep within that 1.1-1.2 gap to the front and, like Thailand, we were able to improve at the same rate as the other manufacturers and that means the Red Bull KTM team are reacting and doing a good job overnight. Getting under that last second is a nice little target for us but I think we are already 1.2 second faster than we were last year here, so we have to be very pleased. We’ve made good progress over the last twelve months and we can be proud. We’ll now see what the race weekend brings. We are as prepared as we can be. We rode in the wet here and the lights and visibility doesn’t seem to be too much of an issue for the riders but the drainage could be a problem. Aquaplaning is never fun! We’ll see what happens because I think it will be exceptional circumstances if we actually get out in the rain here.”

Bradley Smith
Bradley Smith

Aleix Espargaro’ – P15

“I can’t wait to be back here in two weeks to really get to work. The tests are important but I’m happier when it’s a race. This year things will be even more interesting because all the teams and riders will be at a very high level. I gave it my best during this pre-season to improve the 2018 RS-GP. It was a pity that a small problem kept me from finishing the race simulation. The truth is that the winter tests are often deceiving. There are a lot of riders who manage to do some fast laps but values will change in the race. I believe in our potential and I am confident that we will be battling for the top 8 straight away.”

Aleix Espargaro'
Aleix Espargaro’

Hafizh Syahrin – P16

“I’m very happy about this last day. I didn’t expect to be able to ride in the low 55s and keep this pace also consistently. A huge thank you to the Tech3 crew, they did a really good job. We are working hard in order to try to get closer to the top as much as we can. Honestly, this time today was surprising for me. I feel very confident, although I did a small mistake during the race simulation. But we quickly understood it and know what we have to do for race day. I’m very thrilled, thanks again to our team, all the sponsors and fans, they are fantastic!”

Hafizh Syahrin
Hafizh Syahrin

Karel Abraham – P17

“The race simulation we did today was very positive, we set some good times and I am happy with the way it went. In general it has been a good test, we have done a lot of work on the set-up and gathered lots of experience with the new bike. At the end of the day in the wet test I found that the track had much more grip than I expected but the visibility wasn’t the best, there were a lot of reflections.”

Karel Abraham
Karel Abraham

Álvaro Bautista – P18

“Today we tried to work more on improving grip and feeling. We tried some things that didn’t work as well as we would have liked. We did improve the feeling but just not as much as we wanted. We also did another race simulation and I was able to go faster than yesterday, just not enough. I would have liked to make more progress today than we did and have a better feeling with the bike, but let’s see if we can improve for the race and be more competitive.”

Álvaro Bautista
Álvaro Bautista

Tito Rabat – P19

“It was a very good test, especially the race pace. I think we are very good in that sense, but honestly, in the fast lap we still have a few tenths to find out to get closer to the top ten. There are just three or four tenths but working more during the race weekend I’m sure that we will make it happen. We worked very well; we completed a good test and now we have to concentrate for the race. I really want to start the season. We haven’t race for a long time now and we want this to start the season and to do it good”.

Tito Rabat
Tito Rabat

Pol Espargaro – P20

“I’m tired…but super-happy as well that we could ride the last day. I tested several things and some of them worked; I don’t think I am that far from the top guys. My team, and Mika, did a good job. I’m perhaps not 100% for the race but I’m happy. My situation is not the best but to come back from a hernia after fourteen days and be able to ride two days is almost a miracle; I feel lucky. Without being 100% we were able to work and improve.”

Pol Espargaro
Pol Espargaro

Takaaki Nakagami – P21

“Unfortunately at the beginning of the session, I had a big crash at turn two. I’m really sorry for the team, we lost the one bike and we had to change the planning of everything. I only managed around 30 laps, so today was a bit tricky and not good for the team. But I’m ok, no injuries, no pain, I’m just really looking forward to the race weekend.”

Takaaki Nakagami
Takaaki Nakagami

Scott Redding – P22

“We made a nice step forward again today with a few changes that increased my confidence straight away. I did another long run today and I was fast. I felt good on the bike and with a used tyre I did the same time that I had done yesterday with a new tyre. The RS-GP continues to perform very well with the tyres and that is something that has always been a problem for me in the past, whereas even with the soft tyre and a lot of laps I am able to be incisive and that makes me confident for the race.”

Scott Redding
Scott Redding

Xavier Simeon – P23

“Today I’m very happy with the feeling, we improved my confidence with the bike and now I can feel better the bike. I’m very satisfied with my rhythm; at the end when we went out with a new tyre, I was not able to improve my lap because I crashed. Anyway compared with the rest of the riders, I still need to improve a lot in this sense, but very happy with the race pace. Now I ride in 56 lows, even with used tyres, and this is a very good sign. Today I really have fun on the bike. Now I start to understand more everything, to ride more naturally. In two weeks time the serious stuff starts. I don’t want to put more pressure than usual. I’ll try to follow the line of progression. If I can follow the same dynamic as in this test we can make a good weekend in the first GP”.

Xavier Simeon
Xavier Simeon

Tom Lüthi – P24

“We had some tyres left, which meant I could put in some laps today and more time on the bike is exactly what I need right now. We started today where we left off yesterday and we saw some improvement, but I’m definitely still looking for more. At the moment it’s the same each time for us; working on the bike, trying to understand and, above all else, trying to learn with each exit. What is important is that we’ve made progress every day of the preseason tests, even on the final day here in Qatar. The feeling is coming better and better and that’s exactly what I needed ahead of my first race in MotoGP.”

Tom Lüthi
Tom Lüthi

Massimo Meregalli – Yamaha MotoGP Team Director

“We worked really hard these last three days and it wasn’t all smooth sailing. We encountered some difficulties along the way that took some time to fix, but in the end we managed to get a lot of testing done and find some solutions. We tried many things, some were good, some weren’t, and we made an important step at the end of the dry session. We also had the opportunity to try the track in wet conditions. The most important thing is that the riders are feeling good on the bike and can carry a competitive and consistent pace, because the season will start in two weeks’ time, which is something we are really looking forward to.”

Valentino Rossi is starting to find some headway on the latest spec' YZR-M1
Valentino Rossi is starting to find some headway on the latest spec’ YZR-M1

Ken Kawauchi – Suzuki Technical Manager

“Overall it was a good test, except for the fact that Andrea was sick today and had to cancel his track time. But on the second day he did a race simulation and he could get some important information to prepare for the race. Alex did all three days of testing so we were able to define his settings for the race. I am confident that we have prepared well for the first race.”

Suzuki MotoGP
Suzuki MotoGP

Davide Brivio – Suzuki Team Manager

“We have finished our testing. Today was good and bad; bad because unfortunately Andrea couldn’t ride due to his sickness, so that was a pity. But it’s OK, we’ll just have to finalise things with him during the race weekend. And Alex ended these winter tests with a long run and good pace, so I think we are ready for the GP weekend. Everybody wants to get to the race now, we’re all tired of testing, and we want to know the answers to our questions!”

Losail International Circuit wet under floodlighting
Losail International Circuit wet under floodlighting

Michael Bartholemy – MarcVDS Team Principal

“I think Franco has shown that he’s now ready for the first race. He had an issue with getting the best from the soft tyre in Thailand, and crashed a few times as he tried to figure out the process, but that’s a scenario common to new riders in MotoGP. But today he mastered the soft tyre, posting a good lap time that compares favourably with the race times from last season, so we’re happy with this. On Tom’s side there has been constant improvement, even if his position on the timesheet doesn’t reflect this, but his lap time is similar to our times from the race last year, the difference is not so big, but everybody is improving and that’s how it is in racing. I think that soon we will see Tom make the same step that Franco made today, but we lost some time due to him missing the tests last year. I’m confident that in just one or two races Tom will at the same level as Franco is now.”

Tom Luthi
Tom Luthi

Mike Leitner – KTM Team Manager MotoGP

“We had many ideas for these nine days of testing in total and we went to three very different tracks, one of which was completely new to us. To make a bike better it helps to have stable conditions and we had rain in Malaysia and then Pol’s crash and we really missed him in Thailand. However we were really happy that he could come back on the bike and although he wasn’t 100% I think it was good for his head that he was able to ride again before the first race. Bradley and Mika did a great job for us and Bradley is performing very well. I think we have found a good package but of course we will continue to improve this bike during the year. The team on the race track have worked well but so have the guys in the factory and it is not always easy for them because we are pushing and requesting things. Time is a big factor in racing and it can sometimes be tough but I think everyone can be proud and we can look ahead to our second season.”

KTM MotoGP
KTM MotoGP

Sebastian Risse – KTM Technical Director MotoGP

“It is hard when you have two months without testing and a lot of things in your mind! I think we worked through it well and brought things together. To have Pol back was really important and although he wasn’t 100% the results showed he was not that far away. We sorted out the configuration of the bike, which means when it comes to the race weekend we can focus on standard work of settings, tyres and the conditions and it will help us to move forward a lot.”

Pol Espargaro is still struggling with injury
Pol Espargaro is still struggling with injury

MotoGP #QatarTest Results

Day 1-2-3 Combined Results

  1. J. ZARCO MONSTER YAMAHA TECH3 1’54.029
  2. V. ROSSI MOVISTAR YAMAHA MOTOGP 1’54.276
  3. A. DOVIZIOSO DUCATI TEAM 1’54.331
  4. C. CRUTCHLOW LCR HONDA CASTROL 1’54.457
  5. M. VIÑALES MOVISTAR YAMAHA MOTOGP 1’54.471
  6. A. IANNONE TEAM SUZUKI ECSTAR 1’54.586
  7. M. MARQUEZ REPSOL HONDA TEAM 1’54.591
  8. A. RINS TEAM SUZUKI ECSTAR 1’54.650
  9. D. PETRUCCI ALMA PRAMAC RACING 1’54.659
  10. J. LORENZO DUCATI TEAM 1’54.692
  11. J. MILLER ALMA PRAMAC RACING 1’54.749
  12. D. PEDROSA REPSOL HONDA TEAM 1’54.774
  13. F. MORBIDELLI EG 0,0 MARC VDS 1’55.132
  14. B. SMITH RED BULL KTM FACTORY RACING 1’55.179
  15. A. ESPARGARÒ APRILIA RACING TEAM GRESINI 1’55.232
  16. H. SYAHRIN MONSTER YAMAHA TECH3 1’55.273
  17. K. ABRAHAM ANGEL NIETO TEAM 1’55.300
  18. A. BAUTISTA ANGEL NIETO TEAM 1’55.347
  19. T. RABAT REALE AVINTIA RACING 1’55.465
  20. P. ESPARGARÒ RED BULL KTM FACTORY RACING 1’55.489
  21. T. NAKAGAMI LCR HONDA IDEMITSU 1’55.539
  22. S. REDDING APRILIA RACING TEAM GRESINI 1’55.595
  23. X. SIMEON REALE AVINTIA RACING 1’55.943
  24. T. LUTHI EG 0,0 MARC VDS 1’56.122
  25. M. KALLIO KTM TEST TEAM 1’57.218

Qatar GP gets underway on the 16th March.