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Qatar Test race simulations: who impressed?

Three riders completed full or near to full race distance runs and there was one rider who caught the eye

The Official MotoGP™ Qatar Test saw four riders complete a full or near to full race distance run on the final day of testing. Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT), Danilo Petrucci (Ducati Team) and Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) and gave us a little insight into what we might come to expect at the Qatar GP.

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Let’s start with the most impressive of the quartet: Quartararo. On his long run the 2019 Rookie of the Year completed 22 laps – the full race distance. During this run the Frenchman’s best time was a 1:54.717, with Quartararo posting a further three 1:54.7s. The Yamaha man was comfortably lapping in the late 1:54s as he posted four 1:54.8s and five 1:54.9s, with just four of his laps dipping into the 1:55s. And even then, his worst was a 1:55.297 – a mighty race simulation to say the least and hearing Quartararo say there’s margin for more after Day 3 could spell trouble for his competitors.

The difference a year makes: Quartararo set to impress

What about Quartararo’s teammate Morbidelli? Well, the Italian finished ahead of Quartararo on the overall timesheets as only he and Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) set 1:53 lap times. However, on the race run, Morbidelli didn’t seem to be as comfortable as Quartararo. Morbidelli’s best lap during his 20-lap sequence was a 1:54.924 – his only lap in the 1:54s. But the pace definitely wasn’t bad, not by any stretch. Morbidelli clocked 10 laps in the 1:55.0 or 1:55.1 bracket, with his worst lap coming in the form of a 1:55.540.

"We were completely lost but today we found the way"

Taking a closer look at Petrucci’s 22-lap effort shows us that the Italian is looking in very decent shape for the opening Grand Prix, despite his and Ducati’s struggles to get their one-lap pace on the money. The 2019 Mugello winner’s best time was right at the start of his run – a 1:54.752, one of three 1:54 laps. After a 1:54.755 on his fourth lap, Petrucci strung together 18 consecutive 1:55s, 12 of those under the 1:55.3 bracket. Both he and teammate Andrea Dovizioso sounded pretty confident with their race pace, so expect some Bologna bullets to be up the sharp end.

If you fancy taking an even deeper dive into the lap time analysis of the riders from the Qatar Test, head over to!

Maverick Viñales, Qatar Test King

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