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Navarro leads Moto3™ charge in Qatar

Navarro leads Moto3™ charge in Qatar

The Moto3™ World Championship took to the Qatar circuit for their second official test of 2016, Jorge Navarro seizing control.

It was a slow start to testing for the Moto3™ World Championship in Qatar, their first session on track run with the sun still in the sky and the track quite dirty. As a result, not all riders went out on track but those who did went out to test a new hard rear tyre for Dunlop. This tyre will be used for Argentina and will only be used at the Qatar Test for non-night sessions; the tyre allocation for the Qatar race will be soft and medium compounds as in 2015.

With the track cleaned after the first session, riders and teams focused on shorter runs to perfect their set-up before looking towards race simulations later in the test. The early sessions were especially important for KTM who have a new engine, Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) topping the first session. Although Honda continues to use the same engine as in Jerez and earlier private tests, Jorge Navarro (Estrella Galicia 0,0) was able to lead the second session.

The third and final session of the day saw Livio Loi (RW Racing GP), Niccolo Antonelli (Ongetta-Rivacold) and Fabio Quartararo (Leopard Racing) all trade fast laps towards the end of the session. With just over three minutes remaining, there was a red flag brining the day to an early end.

However, it was Jorge Navarro’s 2’06.176 from the second session which stood as the fastest lap of the day. This was a miniscule 0.006s slower than Alexis Masbou’s pole time from 2015.

Loi’s 2’06.462 saw him top the final session and slot into second overall. After a difficult start in the lightweight class in 2013 and 2014, the young Belgian rider has looked strong during the build up to 2016. Just 0.160s behind Loi in the second session was Quartararo, the Frenchman still several tenths off his qualifying time from the 2015 race.

Showing well yet again was Niccolo Antonelli, the Italian making it three Hondas in the top five. Much like Loi, after several difficult seasons Antonelli is now asserting himself as a bona fide front-runner and podium challenger. Fifth was Romano Fenati (SKY Racing Team VR46), the Italian again showing well after leading testing in Jerez. His aim for this final test is to improve his consistency. All of the top seven were able to get below the 2’07 barrier.

Jakub Kornfeil (Drive M7 SIC Racing Team), Andrea Migno (SKY Racing Team VR46), Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo), Enea Bastianini (Gresini Racing Moto3) and rookie Bo Bendsneyder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) completed the top ten. In classic Moto3™ style, the top 21 riders were within two seconds of each other.

Danny Aldridge, MotoGP™ Technical Director, also made a statement in regards to recent allegations of a manufacturer exceeding the 13,500 rpm rev limit in 2015. After deeper investigation Aldridge and his team found nothing unusual or unexpected about how the rev limiter was working and that the cut point was, and is, consistent across all engines. The Moto3™ Class Working Group, with delegates from each manufacturer, will have a meeting during the Qatar GP to discuss rules and further regulations.

Full times can be viewed here.

Moto3, 2016, QATAR MOTO2™ - MOTO3™ OFFICIAL TEST, FP, Jorge Navarro, Fabio Quartararo, Livio Loi

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