2019 preseason: what do the numbers tell us?

Take a look at four pieces of data extracted from winter testing ahead of the Qatar GP

Preseason has officially come to an end for the premier class as all eyes turn to FP1 on Friday 8th March at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar. But before you do, take a look at some of the numbers behind 2019 winter testing below. 

Honda had the highest top speed at the Qatar Test

A surprising stat to some, but it was in fact the reigning World Champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) who set the highest number through the speed traps in Losail. His 348.4km/h was slightly quicker than Jack Miller’s (Alma Pramac Racing) Desmosedici, that clocked in at 347.2. Proof that HRC has managed to improve their engine for the 2019 campaign.

“During the winter, we tried to remedy our weak points, namely acceleration and top speed. We continue to work on this, but it looks like we have made a big step forward in this area,” commented Marquez’ chief engineer Santi Hernandez.

This was also reiterated by Honda newcomer Jorge Lorenzo (Repsol Honda Team): “Marc was the fastest in a straight line this Saturday, which is rather encouraging, as the Honda lost a bit of speed compared to the Ducati last year.”

The absolute top speed attained at the Losail International Circuit is still held by a Ducati, with Danilo Petrucci’s effort of 351.9km/h from 2018 the best we’ve seen so far. Will that be topped during the Grand Prix?

Viñales completed the most laps

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP’s Maverick Viñales was the rider who notched up the highest total number of laps during preseason testing. Over the ten days, the Spaniard lapped 589 times, the equivalent of 2940.1km.

In terms of manufacturer numbers, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini was the team lapped the least, with fellow Italian factory Ducati totalling the most:

Ducati: Danilo Petrucci, Andrea Dovizioso, Jack Miller, Francesco Bagnaia, Karel Abraham, Tito Rabat = 2910 laps
: Maverick Viñales, Valentino Rossi, Fabio Quartararo, Franco Morbidelli = 2263 laps
: Pol Espargaro, Johann Zarco, Miguel Oliveira, Hafizh Syahrin = 1919 laps
: Marc Marquez, Jorge Lorenzo, Cal Crutchlow, Takaaki Nakagami = 1574 laps
: Joan Mir, Alex Rins = 1116 laps
: Andrea Iannone, Aleix Espargaro = 696 laps

Viñales never finished outside the top five

This didn’t happen to anyone last year and it has been Viñales who has – arguably – been the most impressive rider during preseason. A similar thing happened during Viñales’ first season with Yamaha, in which he dominated the 2017 preseason before going on to claim victory in Qatar. Let’s wait and see if he is to repeat that on 10th March.

For the rookies, reigning Moto2™ World Champion Francesco Bagnaia (Alma Pramac Racing) comes out on top in terms of average finishing positions in the tests. His 11.7 average is slightly better than Fabio Quartararo’s (Petronas Yamaha SIC) 12.7.

Iannone suffered the greatest number of crashes

In terms of crashes, Andrea Iannone (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) was the rider to suffer the most during preseason testing (4). Behind the Italian with three falls each are Johann Zarco (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing), Miller and LCR Honda Castrol’s Cal Crutchlow. 

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