MotoGP COTA Practice Cancelled

With large storms hitting the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) on Saturday morning, all three classes have had their Free Practice 3 session canceled.

The lightning and heavy rain have simply left the track too dangerous to venture out on. This meant that several delays culminated in canceled sessions.

However, this weather had been predicted and resulted in a heavier focus than usual placed on Fridays Free Practice 1 and 2.

As a result, it was Maverick Viñales who came out on top, marginally ahead of Marc Marquez. The reigning champion is chasing his seventh COTA win. Moto2 saw Marcel Schrotter and his Dynavolt Intact GP bike lead the way in both Friday session. Romano Fenati dominated both Mot2 sessions on the VNE Snipers machine.

Qualifying is still due to go ahead as normal, however this is subject to the conditions at the time. They are scheduled to kick off at 20:10 (UK time) for Qualifying 1 and 20:35 for Qualifying 2.

Feature Image Credit: MotoGP.com


Posted on 13th April, 2019 for The Checkered Flag

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Moto2 and Moto3 Testing Ends with Lowes and Fenati on Top Again

As the final day of pre-season testing kicked off, some might be forgiven for having a sense of deja vu. However, the previous fastest lap times were smashed as riders seek to make a statement ahead of the first race.

Moto2

Sam Lowes and his Federal Oil Gresini bike enjoyed another day at the top of the timing sheets after his fastest lap time on Saturday. Sunday saw him beat this with a 1:58.439, putting him firmly at the head of the pack ahead of the first race of the season.

Just 0.224s behind the Brit was Tom Lüthi on the Dynavolt Intact GP bike, who also hit a test quickest on the final day in Qatar.

Remy Gardner and Augusto Fernandez, in third and fourth respectively, were split by a mere 0.002s. Marcel Schrötter was just another 0.030s behind the pair, taking fifth quickest for the day.

Three Spaniards followed in sixth, seventh and eighth places. These were Xavi Vierge on the Marc VDS machine, ahead of Jorge Navarroand Vierge’s team-mate, Alex Marquez.

Sunday’s top ten all set their quickest laps across the combined testing sessions, showing the desire to lay down the gauntlet ahead of the season opener at the Losail track in Qatar.

Moto3

With much of the grid eager to lay down a fast lap, the day was certainly full of action. All riders, except Gabriel Rodrigo, managed to better their previous lap times on the final day of testing. Rodrigo is still recovering after his Saturday crash left him with a broken collar bone.

But it was team-mates, Romano Fenati and Tony Arbolino, who topped the timesheets for the final day in Qatar. Fenati set a time of 2:05.285 to pip his teammate to the top spot by 0.230s. The pair have been at the top for every day of testing in Qatar.

Aron Canet came in 0.368s behind the pair in third, with Leopard Racing’s Lorenzo Dalla Porta in fourth. Niccolo Antonelli rounded out the top five, who were all covered by just over half a second.

Briton, John McPhee set a time of 2.05.899 to secure himself sixth, just 0.131s ahead of Marcos Ramirez in seventh. Tatsuki Suzuki, Dennis Foggia and his rookie team-mate, Celestino Vietti came in eighth, ninth and tenth respectively.

With all testing now complete, we have just seven days to wait until they set off on their first race of the season. This will take place at the Losail track in Qatar on the 10th of March.

Feature Image Credit: MotoGP.com


Posted on 3rd March, 2019 for The Checkered Flag

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Lowes & Fenati on Top for Penultimate Day of Moto2 and Moto3 Testing

The penultimate day of pre-season testing got underway with much improved conditions at the Losail track in Qatar, after the blustery start to Friday.

Moto2

The day ended with Sam Lowes and his Federal Oil Gresini bike fastest. He set a time of 1:58.824, placing him just 0.055s ahead of Remy Gardner. They were the only two riders to dip below the 1:59 mark.

Third fastest for the day was reigning Moto3 champion,  Jorge Martin on the Red Bull KTM. He finished with a time of 1:59.039, which was 0.215s slower than Lowes.

The top five riders of the day were split by less than 0.4s, with the Marc VDS team-mates of Alex Marquez and Xavi Vierge in fourth and fifth respectively.

Two riders faced a tricker day on track, with Marco Bezzecchiand Xavi Cardelus both crashing. However, both riders were okay and went on to finish in 28th and 31st respectively.

 

Moto3

Day two on Moto3 testing saw the results from the previous day flipped on their head. Romano Fenati set the fastest time of the day, a 2:05.989. His team-mate, Tony Abolino was just 0.126s behind on the second Snipers Team bike.

Aron Canet and his Sterilgarda Max Racing bike came in third, ahead of Lorenzo Dalla Porta on the Leopard Racing machine. Both riders set times within 0.4s of Fenati’s benchmark lap.

However, testing for the lightweight class saw some big incidents. Gabriel Rodrigo will struggle to be on the grid for the first race of the season after an incident with Niccolo Antonelli left him with a fractured collar bone. At the time, he was sitting in ninth, just 0.794s behind Fenati.

Filip Salac and Marcos Ramirez, who finished the day in seventh, also suffered crashes, albeit less severe than Rodrigo’s.

We have one day left of testing for Moto2 and Moto3 before their first races of the season kick off on Sunday 10th of March at the Losail track in Qatar.

Feature Image Credit: MotoGP.com


Posted on 3rd March, 2019 for The Checkered Flag

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