Rins fastest but Lowes ecstatic with race pace on opening day

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Alex Rins has topped the first night of Moto2 testing at Qatar – but Brit Sam Lowes has stamped his mark on the day by topping two out of three sessions as well as completing an impressive race run.

Rins was able to set a flying lap of 2:00.071 during a four-lap run, but Lowes was only 0.01 behind him during his 21-lap race simulation.

“It was a really good first day. In the last session we chose to make a race run: the race distance is 20 laps here, and we did 21 laps. It was fantastic, the pace is really good and consistent so I’m happy for that. In the second session we used old tyres and we worked well, and also tomorrow we have a lot of things to try. We need to work on the turning of the bike, on front end feeling and also a little bit on the grip. All the team, Ohlins and Kalex are working really good!”.

Japanese rider Takaaki Nakagami completed the top three, only 0.06 behind Lowes and already faster than his 2015 qualifying time on the Idemitsu Honda Team Asia bike.

Fellow Brit Danny Kent finished the day in tenth, with the reigning Moto3 world champion improving in the final session of the day as he starts to come to grips with the Leopard Racing Kalex machine.

Today was the opening day of a three-day test shared with the Moto3 machines, the final outing of the winter before next weekend’s opening round of the championship.

 

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Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer