Lorenzo clears off on opening day at Losail

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Reigning world champion Jorge Lorenzo has cleared off from the rest of the field on the opening day of the final pre-season test at Qatar’s Losail circuit, topping the day’s session by nearly half a second.

Running in the leading pack all day, Lorenzo eventually set an ultra-fast lap time in the closing stages of the day to smash the previous fastest time of Suzuki racer Maverick Viñales.

However, it was nonetheless yet another impressive day for Viñales, leading much of the day on the Suzuki as the Hamamatsu manufacturer continues to look strong, even at a ultra fast track like Losail, after struggling for much of last year with top speed.

A contented Valentino Rossi was third, having settled on the set-up and specification of his 2016 machine and working towards a base setting, while Andrea Iannone led the Ducati charge in fourth leading fellow Ducatis Scott Redding, Hector Barbera and Andrea Dovizioso.

Cal Crutchlow was the first of the Hondas back in eighth, with Marc Marquez behind Bradley Smith in tenth the first of the Repsol bikes. Despite progress with electronics and engine spec, the Hondas are continuing to struggle with cornering and corner exit performance.

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Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer