Pecco Bagnaia smashes Lusail lap record in the final Qatar pre-season test

Pecco Bagnaia smashes Lusail lap record in the final Qatar pre-season test

Pecco Bagnaia smashed the lap record with Ducati taking the top two spots as the 2024 MotoGP Qatar pre-season test came to an end at the Lusail circuit.

Ducati’s Pecco Bagnaia made it two from two at the Qatar pre-season test for 2024 MotoGP solidifying his status as a clear favourite for a third consecutive World Championship victory heading into the first round of competition.

With two hours remaining in the seven-hour session, the reigning world champion delivered a time of 1m50.952, which was eight tenths of a second faster than last year’s pole record set by Luca Marini.

Ten more riders shattered the aforementioned lap record indicating that the track conditions were clearly ideal. However, only his Ducati teammate Enea Bastianini came precisely close to Bagnaia, with a tenth off, finishing the preseason with a performance that belied his mediocre 2023 run.

Ultimately, Ducati and Aprilia appeared to have been best prepared for the first round, which takes place at the same circuit in just over two weeks, having locked out nine of the top ten spots over the two days.

Aleix Espargaro led the way at Aprilia once more in third place despite a crash that briefly triggered a red flag while fellow RS-GP riders Raul Fernandez and Maverick Vinales followed closely in fifth and sixth.

Fernandez is riding a 2023 spec Aprilia RS-GP for the new satellite team Trackhouse Racing this season after suffering hip and pelvic fractures in an early crash that essentially held him back from participating in the Sepang test.

Six-time MotoGP champion Marc Marquez improved significantly in terms of single-lap speed an eventually ranked fourth, splitting Espargaro and his Aprilia colleagues after turning the quickest lap on a 2023-spec Ducati.

However, Marquez concluded the day with his first Ducati crash after he tumbled at Turn 4 despite finishing 0.383s behind the leader. The Spaniard was unfazed as proceeded to his pit box with dented leathers.

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Jorge Martin finished in seventh place on the Ducati GP24, as he ended up half a tenth behind the leaders following a challenging test for the Italian. However, he finished ahead of 2023 Qatar MotoGP winner Fabio di Giannantonio in eighth place, while his VR46 Racing Ducati teammate Marco Bezzecchi advanced to tenth.

The only non-Ducati or Aprilia rider between the VR46 pair was South African Brad Binder, who showed a late improvement after crashing his KTM RC16 in the evening.

As former Yamaha and Suzuki team manager Davide Brivio assumes leadership at Trackhouse Racing, Miguel Oliveira, who spent a rough two days mostly at the bottom of the timesheets, made significant progress in the closing stages to finish in 12th place.

There will be some worried looks down at Yamaha as well as Honda following a performance slump with Ducati and Aprilia leading the proceedings. Both Yamaha’s Alex Rins and Fabio Quartararo finished in a respectable 14th and 16th place, respectively, despite their blistering laps.

Honda will be disappointed with its four riders, Takaaki Nakagami, Johann Zarco, Joan Mir, and Luca Marini, who placed 17th, 18th, 19th, and 20th, respectively. However, Mir’s test concluded early following his illness.

The 2024 MotoGP season will get underway at the same venue in Lusail starting on March 9 with a sprint race to March 10 with the grand prix.

2024 MotoGP Qatar Pre-Season Test Official Day 2 Testing Results

Pos.NameNat.TeamMotorcycleLap Time
1Pecco Bagnaia🇮🇹Ducati Leonovo TeamDucati GP241m 50.952
2Enea Bastianini🇮🇹Ducati Leonovo TeamDucati GP241m 51.072
3Aleix Espargaro🇪🇦Aprilia RacingAprilia RS-GP1m 51.260
4Marc Marquez🇪🇦Gresini RacingDucati GP231m 51.335
5Raul Fernandez 🇪🇦Trackhouse RacingAprilia RS-GP1m 51.341
6Maverick Vinales🇪🇦Aprilia RacingAprilia RS-GP1m 51.387
7Jorge Martin🇪🇦Prima Pramac RacingDucati GP241m 51.466
8Fabio di Giannantonio🇮🇹Pertamina Enduro VR46 RacingDucati GP231m 51.489
9Brad Binder🇿🇦Red Bull KTM Factory RacingKTM RC161m 51.583
10Marco Bezzecchi🇮🇹Pertamina Enduro VR46 RacingDucati GP231m 51.678
11Jack Miller🇦🇺Red Bull KTM Factory RacingKTM RC161m 51.720
12Miguel Oliveira🇵🇹Trackhouse RacingAprilia RS-GP1m 51.836
13Alex Marquez🇪🇦Gresini RacingDucati GP231m 51.944
14Fabio Quartararo🇫🇷Monster Energy YamahaYamaha M11m 51.965
15Pedro Acosta🇪🇦Red Bull GasGas Factory Tech3KTM RC161m 52.046
16Alex Rins🇪🇦Monster Energy YamahaYamaha M11m 52.103
17Johann Zarco🇫🇷LCR HondaHonda RC213V1m 52.162
18Takaaki Nakagami🇯🇵LCR HondaHonda RC213V1m 52.384
19Joan Mir🇪🇦Repsol Honda TeamHonda RC213V1m 52.457
20Luca Marini🇮🇹Repsol Honda TeamHonda RC213V1m 52.677
21Augusto Fernandez🇪🇦Red Bull GasGas Factory Tech3KTM RC161m 52.770
22Cal Crutchlow🇬🇧YAMALUBE Yamaha RacingYamaha M11m 53.012
23Michele Pirro🇮🇹Prima Pramac RacingDucati GP241m 53.655
24Lorenzo Savadori🇮🇹Aprilia RacingAprilia RS-GP2m 01.400

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