24.02.2019

Second day of the Qatar IRTA test in the books with faster lap-times

MotoGP 2019 IRTA test Losail (QAT)
Johann Zarco KTM RC16 MotoGP Qatar test 2019 Day two

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More laps, more work and clearer solutions for Red Bull KTM and Red Bull KTM Tech3 teams in Qatar for the second day of testing in the cool Losail evening air. Pol Espargaro, quick out of the garage today and one of the first riders on track, posted 44 circulations of the fast layout and managed an effort just over half a second from the top of the final classification to sit 10th. Significantly #44 was almost a full second quicker than his chrono on Saturday.

Johann Zarco, 17th today, was the most prolific in terms of laps completed; the Frenchman managing 60 as he overcame some of the set-up obstacles he encountered yesterday and dipped into the high 1min 55s.

Over 90 laps in total today for Red Bull KTM Tech3 duo Miguel Oliveira (21st) and Hafizh Syahrin (23rd). The Portuguese dropped his best by more than a second and concentrated on race set-up, paying particular attention to tyre life. Syahrin continued to work on his feeling with the KTM RC16 under braking.

Tomorrow represents the final day of build-up to the 2019 MotoGP season.

Pol Espargaro: “A satisfying day. We knew we had a lot to try so we started early on. Traction is important on this track, especially from corners 9-12, but we have to be careful not to use the tyre. We were working on that - as well as the race pace - because we know it will be a hard GP for us. The race itself should be a bit earlier in the day, so it’ll be warmer and tyre wear at the end will be really important. Tomorrow will be a hard day and we want to try a long run as well. Michelin are doing a good job, they have brought a new softer rear compound so they are trying to make our work fun, which is nice, and the performance of the bike is good. Overall though we must work on the electronics and the overall set-up.”

Johann Zarco: “The second day has been better for me and straight away we were able to understand why I could not improve any more on the first day. It’s important to feel that on the bike, and the positive and negatives things of our work. We moved a few steps forward for my sensation when riding and it made me smile. We’re still one second away from the first guy but we made improvements. We made many laps here and while I’m not sure if we are fully set for this race yet we can do the best job we can. It is just about finding the right set-up for my riding style and when we put our finger on something I can immediately make progress. We are taking a while to find it…but this is just the beginning of our story. I would like to get inside a second tomorrow: that would be interesting. I want to get closer.”

Miguel Oliveira: “Today has been quite different to yesterday. We improved the lap time, which is a good point. We managed to do some decent work on the bike, we kept focused more on the long-runs and how the race should look like; tyre-wise and also setting-wise, we adapted the bike a lot – not to do a fast lap, but to have a fast pace. Overall, I felt quite strong. We have plenty of opportunities tomorrow to try to put in a fast lap.”

Hafizh Syahrin: “It has been a tough second day here. We tried to change many things to improve my feeling on the brake and especially on the front part of the bike. On the rear, we just tried the soft tyre. To be honest, I’m a bit disappointed of myself because I was expecting more. Anyway, we keep on working hard, try to understand more and I want to refresh for tomorrow as it is the last day before the start of the season.”

Qatar IRTA Test Day Two final times

1. Alex Rins (ESP), Suzuki 1:54.593
2. Maverick Viñales (ESP), Yamaha +0.057
3. Fabio Quartararo (FRA), Yamaha +0.315
4. Danilo Petrucci (ITA), Ducati +0.360
5. Marc Marquez (ESP), Honda +0.411
10. Pol Espargaro (ESP), Red Bull KTM +0.662
17. Johann Zarco (FRA), Red Bull KTM +1.123
21. Miguel Oliveira (POR), Red Bull KTM Tech3 +1.681
23. Hafizh Syarin (MYS), Red Bull KTM Tech3 +2.390

Press & PR Manager
Sebastian Kuhn
+43 676 599 0084
sebastian.kuhn@ktm.com

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Pol Espargaro KTM RC16 MotoGP Qatar test 2019 Day two
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Johann Zarco KTM RC16 MotoGP Qatar test 2019 Day two
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Hazifh Syahrin KTM RC16 MotoGP Qatar test 2019 Day two
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Miguel Oliveira KTM RC16 MotoGP Qatar test 2019 Day two
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Miguel Oliveira KTM RC16 MotoGP Qatar test 2019 Day two
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Hazifh Syahrin KTM RC16 MotoGP Qatar test 2019 Day two
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Pol Espargaro KTM RC16 MotoGP Qatar test 2019 Day two
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