The third day of pre-season testing at Losail track, in Qatar, has ended for all the MotoGP riders and teams and from now on all development in engines of the bikes is frozen due to regulations. Under the lights, it was the Frenchman from Monster Tech3 Yamaha, Johann Zarco, that decided to up his pace and set the fastest time of the day, which was also the fastest of combined practices.
Zarco managed to achieve a best lap of 1m54.029s, just 0.102s slower than the Losail lap record from Jorge Lorenzo, set in 2008.
Second fastest rider around the track was Valentino Rossi, the Italian veteran of Movistar Yamaha. Rossi showed a good pace, and the second position in the timetable seems to have convinced the Yamaha rider to continue to ride for two more years, until 2020. Even though there’s still no official word of Rossi’s renewal with Yamaha, the 9-time World Champion has hinted that he still wants to continue racing, so we should expect an official announcement very soon.
Ducati Factory rider Andrea Dovizioso was once again on pace, and the third fastest time, three tents of a second slower than Johann Zarco, shows that 2017 runner up in MotoGP will start this season very strong, and he is a name to count for as a title contender.
The best Honda rider was Cal Crutchlow, LCR Honda team, while Marc Marquez and the Repsol Honda factory team didn’t manage to get better than the sixth fastest time, focusing in completing a busy test program to make the Honda RC213V prototype as ready as it can be for the start of the season.
As for Malaysian rider Hafizh Syahrin, completing his second test aboard the Yamaha M1 of Tech3 team, he impressed everyone during the last day in Losail.
Even if Zarco is the main rider in the Tech3 garage, the MotoGP rookie Hafizh Syahrin is making a name for himself in the top category of the World Championship, showing a very good potential and a fast evolution on MotoGP prototype machinery.
Hafizh Syahrin concluded the test with a personal best time of 1m55.213s, shaving off nearly 1.5 seconds from his time in the first day. Not only that, but Syahrin managed to climb his way up to Top 15 in the rankings, an impressive feat for the Malaysian rookie.
Here’s what Hafizh Syahrin had to say about this last day of MotoGP testing in Qatar
“I’m very happy about this last day. I didn’t expect to be able to ride in the low 55s and keep this pace also consistently. A huge thank you to the Tech3 crew, they did a really good job. We are working hard in order to try to get closer to the top as much as we can. Honestly, this time today was surprising for me. I feel very confident, although I did a small mistake during the race simulation. But we quickly understood it and know what we have to do for race day. I’m very thrilled, thanks again to our team, all the sponsors and fans, they are fantastic!”.
Two weeks from now, MotoGP riders will once again meet at Losail for what will be the first of 19 rounds of the 2018 MotoGP season.