2020 MotoGP preseason testing has officially come to an end and the results at Qatar Test might just be an indicator to a super competitive upcoming season. Six factories were split by just three-tenths at Sepang and only half a second covered them at Qatar Test with under a second splitting Maverick Vinales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) at P1 and 19th fastest Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol).
The most experienced rider Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) on the grid was 12th fastest. The nine-time world champion describes the competitiveness of the 2020 premier class in his own way: “First of all it’s incredible because we are 15 riders in about half a second, it’s like Moto2! This is very good for the Championship and for the fans that will follow the races because there looks to be a lot of balance between different riders and different bikes.”
Based on the last few days of the winter testing, Suzuki and Yamaha seem to have an edge over the rest. But all this could change on race day. Honda have had a difficult preseason, Ducati looked strong on their race simulation runs, KTM and Aprilia have put up great packages. So, we could have a six factory fight for race wins and podiums coming right up.
The first race weekend begins 6th March before the first GP race of the year takes place in Qatar on 8th March.
2020 preseason Qatar Test
Vinales ended the Qatar Test on the top crossing the line in 1:53.858 on the final day in Doha. The second spot was reserved by Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) behind by just 0.033 seconds and Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) took third place.
It was a busy and intriguing day for reigning Champions Honda as Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) started with three bikes in his garage, one of those being Takaaki Nakagami’s (LCR Honda Idemitsu) 2019 RC213V. Later on Day 3 Nakagami’s teammate Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) completed 70 laps as HRC went in search of finding improvements on the final day in Qatar, with the Japanese giants testing things “from two or three years ago” according to Repsol Honda Team Manager Alberto Puig.
Premier class rookie Alex Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) completed another 47 laps as the Spaniard admitted it was a difficult test for himself and the team, but the reigning Moto2™ World Champion was reasonably confident that he has a decent pace for the race weekend.
One of the riders of the test based on timesheets alone has to be Red Bull KTM Factory Racing rookie Brad Binder. The South African slammed in a mighty impressive 1:54.283 on Day 3 to leave him ninth on the combined times, just 0.425 from Viñales’ pace-setting lap.
1. Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) – 1:53.858
2. Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) +0.033
3. Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) + 0.180
4. Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) +0.210
5. Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) +0.247
6. Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) +0.271
7. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) +0.291
8. Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) +0.381
9. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory) +0.425
10. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) +0.454
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