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Qatar MotoGP test: Aleix Espargaro fastest on day one

Aleix Espargaro, Forward Yamaha, Qatar MotoGP test March 2014

Aleix Espargaro underlined the pace of Forward's Open class Yamaha as he led the 'non-factory' MotoGP test in Qatar on Friday.

Originally scheduled as the final pre-season test for the full field, the three days at Losail are taking place without the works Honda, Yamaha and Ducati teams as all took part in Bridgestone's tyre test at Phillip Island instead.

That left the way clear for the satellite and Open teams in Qatar.

Espargaro had come close to upstaging the works squads several times in the previous tests at Sepang, and he was nearly three tenths of a second clear of the field on day one at Losail.

His 1m55.386s put him ahead of early pacesetter Bradley Smith's Tech 3 Yamaha by 0.253 seconds.

Both Espargaro brothers were within the top three, as Aleix's younger brother Pol put the second Tech 3 bike third, narrowly ahead of satellite Honda men Alvaro Bautista and Stefan Bradl.

Pramac's Andrea Iannone was the top Ducati in sixth.

Ioda made its first appearance of the off-season with a single bike for Danilo Petrucci after the collapse of Leon Camier's deal. The Italian was 16th of the 17 bikes present.

Pos  Rider            Team/Bike             Time       Gap
 1.  Aleix Espargaro  Forward-Yamaha        1m55.386s
 2.  Bradley Smith    Tech 3 Yamaha         1m55.639s  +0.253s
 3.  Pol Espargaro    Tech 3 Yamaha         1m56.072s  +0.686s
 4.  Alvaro Bautista  Gresini Honda         1m56.081s  +0.695s
 5.  Stefan Bradl     LCR Honda             1m56.081s  +0.695s
 6.  Andrea Iannone   Pramac Ducati         1m56.780s  +1.394s
 7.  Colin Edwards    Forward-Yamaha        1m56.961s  +1.575s
 8.  Yonny Hernandez  Pramac Ducati         1m57.318s  +1.932s
 9.  Nicky Hayden     Aspar Honda           1m57.574s  +2.188s
10.  Scott Redding    Gresini Honda         1m57.922s  +2.536s
11.  Hiroshi Aoyama   Aspar Honda           1m58.151s  +2.765s
12.  Hector Barbera   Avintia FTR-Kawasaki  1m58.503s  +3.117s
13.  Karel Abraham    Cardion Honda         1m58.833s  +3.447s
14.  Broc Parkes      PBM Aprilia           1m59.121s  +3.735s
15.  Mike di Meglio   Avintia FTR-Kawasaki  1m59.294s  +3.908s
16.  Danilo Petrucci  Ioda Aprilia          1m59.358s  +3.972s
17.  Michael Laverty  PBM Aprilia           2m00.055s  +4.669s
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