Qatar MotoGP test: Vinales fastest as Marquez fractures foot

Maverick Vinales led a Yamaha 1-2 on the penultimate day of MotoGP pre-season testing in Qatar, while Alex Marquez suffered a fractured foot after a crash.

Qatar MotoGP test: Vinales fastest as Marquez fractures foot

Marquez has had a bruising test so far, crashing four times across the first four days before having a fifth during Thursday’s running.

The LCR rider highsided at the Turn 9 right-hander, which brought out a brief red flag period and resulted in him suffering a small fracture in his foot that ended his day early.

By the end of the first hour of track action, only two riders had set lap times, while Yamaha’s Vinales travelled back and forth from the pitlane to do practice starts.

Ducati test rider Michele Pirro led the timesheets after hour one with a 1m57.345s, with Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro taking over by the end of the second hour with a 1m54.942s as he carried out the set-up work he couldn’t on Wednesday due to a technical problem.

Petronas SRT’s Franco Morbidelli edged ahead of Espargaro with a 1m54.588s to take over top spot by the end of hour three before Honda’s Pol Espargaro went quicker with a 1m54.103s just over 30 minutes into hour four.

The Honda rider suffered his first crash on the RC213V earlier in the day, but this didn’t stop him from registering over 50 laps as his adaptation to the bike continued.

His brother Aleix returned to top spot about an hour later with the first sub-1m54s lap of the day – the Aprilia rider firing in a 1m53.869s, which he improved shortly afterwards to a 1m53.640s.

With just under two hours of running left, Francesco Bagnaia continued to display Ducati’s Qatar form with a 1m53.444s to go fastest of all.

His time was beaten by Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo 22 minutes from the chequered flag, the Frenchman moving ahead with a 1m53.398s as he continued working on the 2021 M1 chassis.

With eight minutes to go, Quartararo’s factory Yamaha team-mate Vinales fired in the second-best time of the test with a 1m53.244s, which would go unchallenged to the end of the session.

Vinales – who tried three M1s on Thursday – ended the day 0.079 seconds clear of Morbidelli, who leaped ahead of former team-mate Quartararo in the final few minutes.

Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team

Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Bagnaia was top Ducati runner having put in a race simulation on the Italian marque’s new aerodynamic fairing, with Aprilia’s Espargaro completing the top five.

The Suzuki duo of reigning world champion Joan Mir and Alex Rins were the last to take to the circuit on Thursday, with the pair completing 37 and 44 laps respectively in sixth and seventh.

SRT’s Valentino Rossi closed the gap to the leaders on Thursday as he tested various things, ending the day 0.759s off the pace in eighth ahead of Pramac’s Johann Zarco, Honda’s Espargaro and overall test pacesetter so far Jack Miller on the factory Ducati.

Pramac’s Jorge Martin – who had a crash while trying the medium front tyre - was top rookie in 14th having done a time attack for the first time, with the Spaniard also putting in a long run.

He headed fellow rookie Enea Bastianini (Avintia), with KTM once again low-key down in 16th with Brad Binder and 18th with Miguel Oliveira, Marquez sandwiching between them.

 

shares
comments
Binder "killing time" in corners on 2021 KTM MotoGP bike
Previous article

Binder "killing time" in corners on 2021 KTM MotoGP bike

Next article

Marquez not cleared to finish Qatar MotoGP test, but will "push" doctor

Marquez not cleared to finish Qatar MotoGP test, but will "push" doctor
The signs Quartararo’s 2022 MotoGP title is slipping away from him Plus

The signs Quartararo’s 2022 MotoGP title is slipping away from him

Prior to the summer break, the 2022 MotoGP title looked like it was Fabio Quartararo’s to lose. But a crash at Assen and the consequential penalty he had to serve last weekend at Silverstone stopped him from capitalising on a main rival’s injury woes, while a resurgence from another, plus the rise of a former team-mate, look set to conspire against the Yamaha rider

MotoGP
Aug 8, 2022
Why Marquez’s toughest MotoGP foe is stopping at the right time Plus

Why Marquez’s toughest MotoGP foe is stopping at the right time

On the eve of the British Grand Prix, Andrea Dovizioso announced that he will be retiring from MotoGP after September’s San Marino GP. The timing of his departure raised eyebrows, but his reasoning remains sensible and what has happened this year should not diminish a hard-built legacy

MotoGP
Aug 6, 2022
Why a Suzuki refugee feels he deserves MotoGP's toughest challenge Plus

Why a Suzuki refugee feels he deserves MotoGP's toughest challenge

Alex Rins’ MotoGP future was plunged into sudden doubt when Suzuki elected to quit the series at the end of 2022. Securing a deal with Honda to join LCR, he will now tread a path that many have fallen off from. But it was a move he felt his status deserved, and it’s a challenge – he tells Autosport - he faces with his eyes wide open…

MotoGP
Jul 27, 2022
How Formula 1 has driven MotoGP's changing nature Plus

How Formula 1 has driven MotoGP's changing nature

The hiring of technicians from Formula 1 has clearly contributed to a recent change in the MotoGP landscape, with the role of engineers gaining greater significance relative to the riders. Here's how this shift has come about

MotoGP
Jul 19, 2022
The revolution behind Aprilia's rise from MotoGP tail-ender to pack-leader Plus

The revolution behind Aprilia's rise from MotoGP tail-ender to pack-leader

Coinciding with the arrival of Massimo Rivola as head of its MotoGP division, Aprilia has undergone an internal revolution that has spurred it from occupying last place in the team standings to leading the table in the space of just two years. Those entrenched in the project reveal how the ex-Ferrari F1 chief has achieved the dramatic turnaround

MotoGP
Jul 15, 2022
The battle Yamaha's wayward son is fighting to be fast again in MotoGP Plus

The battle Yamaha's wayward son is fighting to be fast again in MotoGP

Franco Morbidelli was long overdue a promotion to factory machinery when it finally came late last year, having finished runner-up in the 2020 standings on an old Yamaha package. But since then the Italian has been a shadow of his former self as he toils to adapt to the 2022 M1, and recognises that he needs to change his style to be quick on it

MotoGP
Jul 13, 2022
Why Honda and Yamaha have been left behind in MotoGP's new era Plus

Why Honda and Yamaha have been left behind in MotoGP's new era

The once all-conquering Japanese manufacturers are going through a difficult period in MotoGP this season. With Suzuki quitting, Honda struggling to get near the podium and Yamaha only enjoying success courtesy of Fabio Quartararo, Japanese manufacturers have been left in the dust by their European counterparts. Key paddock figures explain why.

MotoGP
Jun 28, 2022
Who is Valentino Rossi’s newest MotoGP star? Plus

Who is Valentino Rossi’s newest MotoGP star?

Valentino Rossi’s protégés stole the show at Assen as Francesco Bagnaia stormed to victory to arrest a recent barren run. But it was the rider in second, on Bagnaia’s old bike, who had all eyes on him. Securing his and the VR46 team’s first MotoGP podium, Marco Bezzecchi has all the characteristics that made his mentor special

MotoGP
Jun 27, 2022