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Competition for the top ten in Qatar intensifies

Competition for the top ten in Qatar intensifies

Teams were greeted by cloudy conditions as they arrived at the Losail International Circuit for day two of the final preseason MotoGP™ test.

Testing is taking place between 4pm and 11pm local time, although once again most riders didn't even leave the garage until after 6pm, when the conditions are more representative of what they will face at the opening round in two weeks.

After dominating proceedings on the opening day, with riders Andrea Iannone and Andrea Dovizioso completing a 1-2 for the Italian manufacturer, the Ducati Team has brought a new exhaust to try out today on the already impressive Desmosedici GP15.

Movistar Yamaha aim to continue to develop their seamless shift gearbox along with trying to find a race setup that Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi are comfortable with, after saying yesterday they did not have the feeling they expected around the 5.4 km circuit.

The Repsol Honda team did not manage to complete their testing schedule yesterday as they experienced some clutch issues, but today Marquez will continue to look for his perfect race setup, while Dani Pedrosa is going to try out a new set of front forks.

Team Suzuki Ecstar showed good pace during day one of the test, with Espargaro finishing in 4th and Maverick Viñales in 11th, despite a couple of minor crashes meaning the latter could not attempt a fast lap at the end of the day. Today the team will continue working on each individual riders race setup, as well as focusing on some tweaks to their ECU.

Monster Yamaha Tech3’s Bradley Smith, who was 9th fastest yesterday, has a new swingarm to try out under the floodlights while his compatriot and the fastest satellite rider from Day 1, CWM LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow, will mainly spend today working on his electronics package.

Aprilia Racing Team Gresini have brought a number of parts for Alvaro Bautista and Marco Melandri to try out as they attempt to make the RS-GP machine more competitive. Bautista will use a different fuel tank and seat, that the team originally tried at the Sepang test, as well as testing an evolution of the frame they first used in Valencia last year.

When the riders headed out on to the track in the cooler conditions of the evening, it was Marquez who posted the first flying lap with a 1’55.242, already quicker than Iannone’s time yesterday and less than a tenth off Casey Stoner's lap record at the circuit from 2008.  

Competition for the top ten appears to be intensifying as teams get closer to finding their race setups in Qatar, with less than 8 tenths of a second separating the top ten at 7pm local time.

Click here for live timing from Qatar.


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