Bagnaia tops the first day of 2024 MotoGP Qatar pre-season test

Bagnaia tops the first day of 2024 MotoGP Qatar pre-season test

Francesco Bagnaia easily led the first day of Qatar pre-season test, solidifying his place as the rider to beat in the lead-up to the 2024 MotoGP World Championship.

The majority of the day was spent with Aprilia riders in the lead, and the RS-GP demonstrating a well-known propensity for the low grip conditions of the dusty Lusail track. However, in the final, grippier and colder hours, the Ducatis gained the upper hand.

Towards the end of the day during the time attack runs, Francesco Bagnaia appeared to be in very good shape as he advanced to the top of the timesheets. This was made possible after the double World Champion equipped his factory Ducati with the 2024-specification aero.

While Bagnaia’s 1m 52.040secs was well short of Luca Marini’s lap record of the Lusail International Circuit, it was enough to command a 0.2-second advantage over his 2023 championship rival Jorge Martin.

Second place went to Martin, who maintained his strong form from Malaysia in the sister Pramac Ducati GP24. However, he will be disappointed to lose even two-tenths of a second to accomplish his season’s major target.

Aleix Espargaro emerged as the leading Aprilia after finishing third, only 0.3s behind the leader following a brief 1-2-3 run well into the evening. Brad Binder, representing KTM on an otherwise quiet evening for the Austrian brand, secured fourth place.

VR46 Ducati’s Fabio di Giannantonio, who won the November Qatar MotoGP race, surged back up the order in the closing stages to take fifth place, ahead of Maverick Vinales and Alex Marquez.

The Gresini rider performed better than his brother and teammate Marc Marquez, who was only able to finish down in 16th place.

Although the Ducati and Aprilia teams dominated the first test throughout the day, locking out the top spots for extended periods of time, late surges from other manufacturers helped mix things up a little.

See also  Espargaro dedicates Catalunya win to Bagnaia after horrific crash

Honda’s Johann Zarco and Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo squeezed into the top ten in ninth and tenth place, respectively, just behind 2022 Qatar MotoGP winner and Ducati Factory’s Enea Bastianini.

Meanwhile, Marco Bezzecchi’s apparent struggles to find his groove on the Ducati GP23 continued as he spent most of the day outside the top ten, eventually finishing in 11th.

Raul Fernandez made up for missing the Sepang test due to an injury by briefly leading the timesheets before dropping to 12th on the Trackhouse Racing Aprilia.

While it was a relatively uneventful day for some riders who suffered crashes, Jack Miller’s late tumble at Turn 6 and Augusto Fernandez’s terrible start to the year—two crashes and a technical issue that left him in 20th place—were not a comfort to KTM.

Honda will be disappointed that most of its riders—Joan Mir in 13th place, Takaaki Nakagami in 17th place, and Luca Marini in 18th place—are failing to close the gap following Zarco’s late break into the top ten, thanks to fresh tyres.

2024 MotoGP Qatar Pre-Season Testing Official Day 1 Results

Pos.NameNat.TeamMotorcycleLap Time
1Pecco Bagnaia🇮🇹Ducati Leonovo TeamDucati GP241m 52.040
2Jorge Martin🇪🇦Prima Pramac RacingDucati GP241m 52.260
3Aleix Espargaro🇪🇦Aprilia RacingAprilia RS-GP1m 52.332
4Brad Binder🇿🇦Red Bull KTM Factory RacingKTM RC161m 52.336
5Fabio di Giannantonio🇮🇹Pertamina Enduro VR46 RacingDucati GP231m 52.467
6Maverick Vinales🇪🇦Aprilia RacingAprilia RS-GP1m 52.495
7Alex Marquez🇪🇦Gresini RacingDucati GP231m 52.556
8Enea Bastianini🇮🇹Ducati Leonovo TeamDucati GP241m 52.589
9Johann Zarco🇫🇷LCR HondaHonda RC213V1m 52.632
10Fabio Quartararo🇫🇷Monster Energy YamahaYamaha M11m 52.637
11Marco Bezzecchi🇮🇹Pertamina Enduro VR46 RacingDucati GP231m 52.799
12Raul Fernandez 🇪🇦Trackhouse RacingAprilia RS-GP1m 52.814
13Joan Mir🇪🇦Repsol Honda TeamHonda RC213V1m 52.823
14Jack Miller🇦🇺Red Bull KTM Factory RacingKTM RC161m 52.896
15Pedro Acosta🇪🇦Red Bull GasGas Factory Tech3KTM RC161m 52.938
16Marc Marquez🇪🇦Gresini RacingDucati GP231m 52.959
17Takaaki Nakagami🇯🇵LCR HondaHonda RC213V1m 53.208
18Luca Marini🇮🇹Repsol Honda TeamHonda RC213V1m 53.433
19Alex Rins🇪🇦Monster Energy YamahaYamaha M11m 53.642
20Augusto Fernandez🇪🇦Red Bull GasGas Factory Tech3KTM RC161m 53.755
21Miguel Oliveira🇵🇹Trackhouse RacingAprilia RS-GP1m 53.943
22Michele Pirro🇮🇹Prima Pramac RacingDucati GP241m 54.509
23Cal Crutchlow🇬🇧YAMALUBE Yamaha RacingYamaha M11m 54.511

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