Jorge Martin riding “in good shape” as Qatar practice gets underway
The thirty-three riders that will make up the 2016 Moto3 World Championship completed their first two sessions of the new season this evening at Losail, where they only completed their preseason testing schedule last Sunday.
Livio Loi continued his impressive pace from the test, clocking the fastest time in both sessions tonight. Loi was the only rider to break the 2’06 barrier as he edged close to the fastest lap set in the test last week. Once again there was very little to split the top twenty riders – just over a second – suggesting that Sunday’s race will be one to watch.
After the opening session of the evening nobody expected to see the Aspar Mahindra riders smiling as they left the track tonight but Jorge Martín and teammate Pecco Bagnaia were beaming as brightly as the Losail floodlights after unleashing something like their full potential in the second session.
Jorge pulled out the stops in the second session, stopping the clock at 2’06.507 to also improve on his best effort from the test. His only headache came from the soft rear tyre, which he hopes to fix tomorrow.
11th Jorge Martín 2.06.507 (28 laps):
“In general it has been a satisfactory day. The first session was difficult because the track was dirty. I didn’t change tyres and in the second session I was able to use the same ones to go faster. After that we put race tyres in and I was able to set a 2’06, which is a reasonable time. I felt very comfortable and we decided to try the soft tyre at the end of the session. Like at the test I encountered some chatter from the front and couldn’t make a lower 2’06. Anyway, I have improved my best time from the test so I am happy. My team-mate and I have set a good lap time and found some consistency. We are in good shape and I hope we can stay near the front.”