MotoGP Qatar test: Ducati's Dovizioso starts final running on top

Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso topped the timesheets in a crash-filled first day of the final pre-season MotoGP test in Qatar

MotoGP Qatar test: Ducati's Dovizioso starts final running on top

Dovizioso lapped the Losail circuit, widely recognised as a happy hunting ground for Ducati, in 1m54.818s, coming up just 0.008 seconds short of the benchmark time from last year's pre-season test.

That was set by Jorge Lorenzo on his Yamaha, and it was the Spaniard - now a Ducati rider - who Dovizioso deposed with a little over two hours left on the clock.

The Ducati one-two was not to last as Yamaha's Maverick Vinales, who topped testing at Sepang and Phillip Island, moved up to second place, ending the session 0.361s adrift of Dovizioso.

With an hour to go, Lorenzo was then demoted to fifth by LCR Honda's Cal Crutchlow and Karel Abraham on Aspar's GP15 Ducati.

Tech3 Yamaha's Jonas Folger maintained his strong form from Phillip Island to take sixth, the rookie heading works rider Valentino Rossi, Honda man Dani Pedrosa and his own team-mate Johann Zarco.

Reigning champion Marc Marquez was only 12th, 1.081s off the pace, his day punctuated by two crashes.

The Spaniard first fell midway through the session shortly after heading out with Honda's new fairing and then crashed at Turn 2 in the final hour.

Moto2 graduates Alex Rins (Suzuki) and Sam Lowes (Aprilia) also fell at that spot in quick succession, as did Pol Espargaro (KTM), for whom it was the second crash of the day.

Rins and Lowes' more experienced team-mates Andrea Iannone and Aleix Espargaro had earlier falls of their own, Iannone finishing the session in 10th place as the last rider within a second of Dovizioso.

Pol Espargaro was the best of the KTMs in 19th place, with test rider Mika Kallio starting his week of running with the 22nd-fastest time and Bradley Smith rounding out the order, 3.936s off Dovizioso's pace.

DAY ONE TEST TIMES:

Pos Rider Team Time Gap Laps
1 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati 1m54.819s - 36
2 Maverick Vinales Yamaha 1m55.179s 0.360s 60
3 Cal Crutchlow LCR Honda 1m55.420s 0.601s 28
4 Karel Abraham Aspar Ducati 1m55.613s 0.794s 42
5 Jorge Lorenzo Ducati 1m55.616s 0.797s 46
6 Jonas Folger Tech3 Yamaha 1m55.640s 0.821s 37
7 Valentino Rossi Yamaha 1m55.679s 0.860s 48
8 Dani Pedrosa Honda 1m55.692s 0.873s 38
9 Johann Zarco Tech3 Yamaha 1m55.705s 0.886s 54
10 Andrea Iannone Suzuki 1m55.751s 0.932s 41
11 Danilo Petrucci Pramac Ducati 1m55.830s 1.011s 41
12 Marc Marquez Honda 1m55.899s 1.080s 39
13 Aleix Espargaro Aprilia 1m55.916s 1.097s 43
14 Jack Miller MVDS Honda 1m56.017s 1.198s 59
15 Scott Redding Pramac Ducati 1m56.085s 1.266s 37
16 Alvaro Bautista Aspar Ducati 1m56.116s 1.297s 43
17 Loris Baz Avintia Ducati 1m56.193s 1.374s 31
18 Alex Rins Suzuki 1m56.589s 1.770s 48
19 Pol Espargaro KTM 1m56.665s 1.846s 46
20 Sam Lowes Aprilia 1m57.090s 2.271s 38
21 Tito Rabat MVDS Honda 1m57.455s 2.636s 46
22 Mika Kallio KTM 1m58.039s 3.220s 32
23 Bradley Smith KTM 1m58.755s 3.936s 46

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