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Feeling and Lap Times Improve in #QatarTest

ASPAR Team riders continue to work with electronics as they adapt to their Ducatis, gaining speed and confidence.

The countdown to the start of the MotoGP World Championship is getting closer, with just one more night of preseason action to come in Qatar before the season starts for real in two weeks’ time. The second of three nights’ testing took place at the Losail circuit tonight, with the track again open from 4pm to 11pm although there was little action in the early or late stages, when the conditions were unsuitable. Jorge Lorenzo set the pace yesterday but tonight it was the turn of Maverick Viñales, who overcame his fellow Spaniard as he rounds off an impressive preseason that marks him out as a man to watch in 2016. Viñales went slightly quicker than Lorenzo managed yesterday but once again the times were tight, with up to twelve riders separated by less than a second.

It was a particularly productive night’s work for the ASPAR Team, with both riders completing a number of laps on used tyres as they continue to work towards the opening race of the season at Losail in two weeks. Yonny Hernández and Eugene Laverty both improved their best lap time from yesterday, the Colombian finding almost four tenths and the Irishman around half a second. The pair again worked hard on their electronics packages and gradually improved their feeling with the Ducati. At the end of play tonight Yonny was fourteenth fastest, 1.2 seconds off Viñales, with Eugene a second further back in seventeenth place.

14th Yonny Hernández 1.56.667 (38 laps): “We worked on the electronics again today and I am happy because we have taken another step forward. We have improved our lap times from the first day and we are getting closer and closer to the top. We also tested the second bike, which we had a little problem with because it was cutting out but thankfully we managed to fix it at the end of the night. We’ll go out with the second bike again tomorrow night to make sure everything is okay and to do a little work with the chassis. We have done a lot of work with the electronics during testing but we need to improve a little more. I am satisfied though because we have done a lot of laps on used tyres and the bike responded well.”

17th Eugene Laverty 1.57.670 (41 laps): “”We’ve made some progress today and we’ve been able to find out a little bit more about how the bike reacts with the changes we make to it, although we have been a little restricted by the tyre allocation here. We’ll do a longer run tomorrow – I’m not sure it will be possible to do a full race simulation because of the numbers of tyres available but I certainly want to find out how my body feels. The race here is 24 laps and I am still not sure how my hand will react so we need to be ready.”

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