The 2014 MotoGP World Championship finally got underway this evening under the floodlights of the Losail circuit in Qatar. Having launched their new livery just yesterday, the newly named Movistar Yamaha MotoGP riders were out feeling their way on the night track for the first time this year.
With little rubber down on the circuit and some sand blowing across from the desert, grip issues became the number one problem to solve for both Valentino Rossi and teammate Jorge Lorenzo. Just 15 minutes in the session was red flagged to allow a clean up of some of the debris on track left by rider Jonny Hernandez’s earlier crash.
Rossi returned to the track in thirteenth position after the clean up and began to work on his set up, gradually moving up the timesheets, running as high as fifth before dropping two places to seventh behind highest placed factory rider Dani Pedrosa in sixth at the end.
In true Lorenzo style, the Mallorcan was one of the first out of the pit lane as the session began, eager to get to work on his set up ahead of this weekend’s opening round of the championship. Unlike the satellite and open class riders who had the fortune to test in Qatar two weeks ago, Lorenzo had no data to go on and struggled to find a way round the lack of grip he encountered on the track. He ended the first practice of the weekend in ninth position, just under 1.5 seconds from the front.
Yamaha Factory Racing Press Release
|.||Aleix Espargaro (SPA)||NGM Mobile Forward Racing||1’55.201|
|2.||Alvaro Bautista (SPA)||Go&Fun Honda Gresini||1’55.667|
|3.||Bradley Smith (GBR)||Monster Yamaha Tech3||1’55.816|
|4.||Andrea Iannone (ITA)||Pramac Racing||1’55.996|
|5.||Pol Espargarò (SPA)||Monster Yamaha Tech3||1’56.020|
|6.||Dani Pedrosa (SPA)||Repsol Honda Team||1’56.332|
|7.||Valentino Rossi (ITA)||Yamaha Factory Racing||1’56.542|
|8.||Colin Edwards (USA)||NGM Mobile Forward Racing||1’56.626|
|9.||Jorge Lorenzo (SPA)||Yamaha Factory Racing||1’56.668|
|10.||Nicky Hayden (USA)||Drive M7 Aspar||1’56.670|
|11.||Marc Marquez (SPA)||Repsol Honda Team||1’56.682|
|12.||Stefan Bradl (GER)||LCR Honda MotoGP||1’56.726|
|13.||Cal Crutchlow (GBR)||Ducati Team||1’57.046|
|14.||Andrea Dovizioso (ITA)||Ducati Team||1’57.100|
|15.||Yonny Hernandez (COL)||Energy T.I. Pramac Racing||1’57.623|
|16.||Karel Abraham (CZE)||Cardion AB Motoracing||1’57.779|
|17.||Hiroshi Aoyama (JPN)||Drive M7 Aspar||1’58.182|
|18.||Hector Barbera (SPA)||Avintia Racing||1’58.394|
|19.||Scott Redding (GBR)||Go&Fun Honda Gresini||1’58.495|
|20.||Mike Di Meglio (FRA)||Avintia Racing||1’58.732|
|21.||Danilo Petrucci (ITA)||Came Iodaracing Project||1’59.321|
|22.||Brok Parkes (AUS)||Paul Bird Motorsport||1’59.328|