The final MotoGP preseason test gets under way this week under the floodlights of the Losail International Circuit in Qatar.
With teams having had time to digest and interpret all of the data they had recorded at the last Sepang test in Febuary, the MotoGP paddock heads to Losail for three days/nights from 14 to 16 March 2015, before the season kicks off in earnest at the same circuit on 29 March 2015.
The Repsol Honda Team will hope to repeat their domination of the previous two tests during which Marc Marquez managed to finish fastest overall. The reigning MotoGP Champion said he had found the set up he was looking on his RC213V at Sepang 2 and without any major new upgrades in Qatar, he will mostly be focusing on race prep and running simulations. Dani Pedrosa was with his performance at the last test after finishing 7th overall, although he has admitted that they have number of things to work on during the three days at Losail.
The factory Ducati Team seemed happy with the debut of the all new GP15 bike at the Sepang 2 test after it immediately seemed to solve the understeer issues caused by the old machine with Andrea Iannone and Andrea Dovizioso managing to finish in 4th and 9th place overall respectively. Iannone seemed to adapt to the physically smaller machine more easily than his teammate as they rode the new bike ‘back to back’ with the old GP14.3 version. Team Manager Luigi Dall’Igna has said they will use the time in Qatar to develop the GP15 further in an effort to settle on the best bike and set up for each rider before the start of the season.
Movistar Yamaha introduced their new ‘evolved” seamless shift gearbox at Sepang 2 after having announced they will use it during the 2015 season, with Valentino Rossi stating that while it wasn’t the huge breakthrough he had hoped for it was definitely an improvement. Rossi finished seven tenths behind Marquez and after the two tests in Malaysia is looking forward to trying out his YZF-M1 at a different track to see how it performs. Teammate Jorge Lorenzo finished the last test just three tenths behind Marquez in 2nd overall and while he feels the bike is still ‘a little bit slow’ he is happy with how far his team have managed to close the gap to the Honda’s, and would be looking for even more improvements in Qatar.
The schedule for the three days test from 4 pm to 11 pm and the grandstand of the circuit is open for all the spectators with free entrance.