Qatar Testing MotoGP – Day 3

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As the MotoGP Official Night Test came to a conclusion at midnight in Qatar on Tuesday, it was Casey Stoner who sat proudly at the head of the time sheet. This was the last day for the MotoGP field to get practice in the desert night before the season starts, and is the second of three tests planned for the 2009 season. The next outing for the MotoGP riders is the Official MotoGP Test at the Jerez circuit in southern Spain which takes place on 28th & 29th March. MotoGP will then return to Qatar for the first Grand Prix of the year on 10th-12th April.


Stoner’s best effort of 1’55.744 was recorded shortly after 9pm on the 22nd of his 31 turns under the floodlights, the Australian completed far fewer laps than any of his rivals. Casey did crash without consequence on turn two around ten minutes after setting his best time, but was back out on track within an hour. Stoner had been testing electronics settings to match the new carbon fiber swingarm Ducati is using on the GP9, and decided to call it a day at 11pm, after the track began to lose grip as it cooled.

Jorge Lorenzo was the closest man behind Stoner, but was still almost a full second off the pace, with his best time registered late in the evening. Valentino Rossi completed the top three with a 1’56.972 effort as the only other rider to go round under the 1’57 mark, the Italian satisfied with a new electronics system on the Yamaha M1.

The night was eventful with crashes for Capirossi on turn 6, Niccolo Canepa at turn 13 and Yuki Takahasi at turn 3, but all three riders were reportedly unhurt.

Nicky Hayden fans will be relieved to see that Hayden’s hard work is starting to pay off, as he closed the gap on the front runners. Hayden’s fastest lap was just 0.001 off Vermeulen’s time, and a quarter of a second slower than Valentino Rossi. More importantly, he improved his own times by over a second, leapfrogging over a bunch of riders who had been ahead of him. Nicky could finally be getting to grips with the difficult but fast Ducati.


Results of Day 3 at the MotoGP Qatar Test:

Pos. Rider Bike Time Fast Lap Total Laps
1 Casey Stoner Ducati 1’55.744 22 31
2 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 1’56.733 64 82
3 Valentino Rossi Yamaha 1’56.972 30 75
4 Chris Vermeulen Suzuki 1’57.224 70 70
5 Nicky Hayden Ducati 1’57.225 35 53
6 Loris Capirossi Suzuki 1’57.253 21 42
7 Randy de Puniet Honda 1’57.401 44 77
8 Andrea Dovizioso Honda 1’57.449 74 74
9 Colin Edwards Yamaha 1’57.515 22 46
10 Alex de Angelis Honda 1’57.591 57 61
11 Toni Elias Honda 1’57.804 64 66
12 Mika Kallio Ducati 1’57.938 28 54
13 Niccolo Canepa Ducati 1’57.946 16 50
14 Yuki Takahashi Honda 1’58.412 29 29
15 James Toseland Yamaha 1’58.786 35 51
16 Marco Melandri Hayate 1’58.851 73 73


Current lap record is held by Casey Stoner who set it in the 2008 race, with a lap of 1′55.153

Jensen Beeler

The Boss Man, the Big Cheese. Think of Jensen as an industry consultant for the top motorcycle brands, regardless of whether they have solicited his services or not.