Most recently, after three days of intense testing at the Losail circuit, Dovizioso and Lorenzo finished the session in third and tenth, combined times. Both riders also rode under the floodlights of the track to get a feel for the season-opener at this very track on 18 March.
Dovizioso put 50 laps with a best time of 1:54.331, while Lorenzo was classified ninth on the final day with 63 laps to his name. “We were able to try everything we had planned and also to prepare well for the race, even though here in Qatar the conditions of the circuit change easily and in a couple of weeks they could be different to what we have encountered in these three days. During the test the track had a lot of grip, something that is usually difficult to find here at Losail, and in the various simulations we were fast and consistent, and so I’m very satisfied with our performance.”
Lorenzo added, “We struggled a bit with low temperature during the session. In these conditions we are still struggling to be competitive and keep a good pace. We should therefore focus on improving this aspect in view of the first round and we still have a lot of work to do to get the best out of our bike’s potential.”
After Losail, the crews head for the Argentine track of Termas de Rio Hondo, 6 – 8 April, then the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, 20 – 22 April.
The bulk of the season then begins in Europe, starting with Jerez, 4 – 6 May, followed by Le Mans, 18 – 20 May. Mugello hosts a round. 1 – 3 June, then Circuit de Catalunya, 15 – 17 June. A MotoGP-only event is next at the Assen TT, 29 June – 1 July.
The Sachsenring in Germany will host round 9 in mid-July, then it’s the Brno track in Czech Republic hosting round 10 in early August. The European leg continues at the Red Bull Ring in Austria in mid-August. Thereafter, the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, 24 – 26 August, followed by Misano, round 13, in early September. The European ends at the Aragon track, 21 – 23 September, until the return to the traditional finale venue in Valencia, in mid-November.
The closing stage of the season starts in the Far East with the Chang International circuit, 5-7 October, then the Twin Ring Motegi, 19 – 21 October. After, the contingent heads to the Australian GP at Phillip Island, 26 – 28 October, and the penultimate round at Sepang circuit, 2-4 November, prior to the finale, 16 – 18 November.