Marinelli Rivacold Honda’s Romano Fenati ended a tight second day of Moto3 testing at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar top of the pile.
Only a handful of riders in the lightweight class completed any laps yesterday, as high winds and heavy rain saw just one session run.
With everyone keen to make up for lost time, today’s three sessions were busy affairs. Fenati, making his return to grand prix racing this year having been dropped halfway through 2016 by the Sky VR46 team, was quick from the off.
The Italian topped the times this afternoon, improving by around seven tenths of a second across the remaining two sessions, ending the night on a 2m06.690s to go four hundredths of a second clear of the field.
Gresini Racing’s Jorge Martin was second fastest, with his best lap of 2m06.726 coming in the second session of the day. EG 0,0 Honda’s Aron Canet completed the top three, the Spaniard just over half a tenth from top spot.
RBA Racing’s Gabriel Rodrigo was fourth overall on his KTM ahead of Leopard Racing’s Livio Loi and Sky Racing VR46 KTM’s Nicolo Bulega.
Moto3 rookie Ayumu Sasaki was an impressive seventh fastest on his SIC Racing Honda, the reigning Red Bull Rookies Cup Champion 0.010s quicker than Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Nicolo Antonelli in eighth.
Juanfran Guevara was ninth on the second of the RBA bikes, with Schedl GP KTM’s Philipp Oettl rounding out the top 10 with a 2m07.176s.
British Talent Team ride John McPhee, like all Honda riders, enjoyed a busy day in the desert testing a new engine, exhaust and throttle body. The Scotsman was 11th on the combined times with a 2m07.327s.
Peugeot Saxoprint’s Jakub Kornfeil was just over a tenth ahead in 11th, whilst Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Bo Bendsneyder, Leopard Racing’s Joan Mir and Platinum Bay Real Estate’s Marcos Ramirez completed the top 15.
Testing concludes tomorrow from 15:00 (GMT+3), though the riders could be facing a similar situation to Friday as more rain is forecast.