News & Multimedia

Aleix Espargaro on Top as Preseason Concludes

The final premier class test of the 2014 preseason concluded on Sunday night at the floodlit desert circuit of Qatar, with Aleix Espargaro the fastest rider in attendance – just ahead of his younger brother Pol who suffered a collarbone break in a late evening crash.

Over the last few months, during the preparations for the new MotoGP™ World Championship campaign, the elder Espargaro sibling has been the standout performer of the testing period – showing the potential of his ‘Open’ entry Yamaha for the NGM Mobile Forward Racing team.

He set the best time of the three day Qatar test with a 1’54.874 circulation on the 19th of 47 Sunday laps. That time was less than 0.2s off Jorge Lorenzo’s 2013 pole lap at the Losail Circuit and Espargaro also looked strong in a race simulation which he carried out late on the final day.

His brother Pol Espargaro, the Moto2™ World Champion and a rookie this season, was just 0.033s behind him in second place, but the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 youngster’s good preseason ended with an untimely collarbone fracture. He crashed at turn 6 and was taken straight to medical centre, with the extent of his injury still under examination – he faces surgery in Barcelona on Monday.

On the other side of the Tech 3 garage, Englishman Bradley Smith has a year of MotoGP racing under his belt and having finished third at the test (+0.153s) one of his objectives will be to beat the Espargaro brothers in the opening Grands Prix of 2014. Smith escaped unhurt from a mid evening spill from his Yamaha YZR-M1.

After the three Yamahas at the top of the timesheet, Honda riders Stefan Bradl and Alvaro Bautista were fourth and fifth respectively with similar lap times, the pair of them avoiding injury despite both crashing twice on Sunday. LCR Honda man Bradl notched a 1’55.187 best time, putting him 0.045s ahead of his GO&FUN Honda Gresini rival.

Pramac Racing's Andrea Iannone was the faster of the two Ducati riders on track again, finishing 0.644s off the pace, whilst Energy T.I. Pramac Racing’s Yonny Hernandez (+1.182) was eighth on the 2013 Ducati bike.

In seventh place meanwhile, Colin Edwards again chipped a few tenths off his previous day’s best and ends preseason lapping around a second slower than his Forward Racing colleague Espargaro. The experienced Texan puts the time difference down to riding style and aims to adapt to a Yamaha machine different to that which he has previously ridden.

The top ten was rounded out by Drive M7 Aspar colleagues Nicky Hayden (+1.399s) and Hiroshi Aoyama (2.132s) on their ‘Open’ Honda RCV1000R machines. Hayden made a 0.65s improvement in outright pace on the final day and was generally pleased with his rhythm over race distance, but wants more competitiveness for Grand Prix competition.

Scott Redding (GO&FUN Honda Gresini), Hector Barbera (Avintia Racing), Karel Abraham (Cardion AB Motoracing), Mike Di Meglio (Avintia Racing), Danilo Petrucci (IodaRacing Project) and Paul Bird Motorsport teammates Michael Laverty and Broc Parkes featured in positions 11 to 17 respectively.

There is a Moto2™ and Moto3™ test this week at Jerez, completing the World Championship’s 2014 preseason – ahead of round one’s Commercial Bank Grand Prix of Qatar (20th-23rd March).
 

Show More Show Less
Now Viewing
Aleix Espargaro on Top as Preseason Concludes
 
Aleix Espargaro on Top as Preseason Concludes
The final premier class test of the 2014 preseason concluded on Sunday night at the floodlit desert circuit of Qatar, with Aleix Espargaro the fastest rider in attendance – just ahead of his younger brother Pol who suffered a collarbone break in a late evening crash.
Read More
Related Media
Scott Dixon
 
Monday Racing Roundup: Dixon Lands 36th Career IndyCar Win at Long Beach
Dixon's first victory at Long Beach was his 36th overall, breaking a tie with Bobby Unser for fifth on the all-time Indy car list. Al Unser is fourth with 39 victories. It was the 98th Indy car victory for team owner Chip Ganassi.
Read More
Scott Dixon
 
Pruett's Preview: Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach
With two rounds complete and 14 left to run, drawing any significant conclusions on how certain drivers will fare in their quest for the Astor Cup would be premature, but it's hard to ignore some of the notable trends leading into this weekend's Toyota Grand Prix at Long Beach.
Read More
Pippa Mann
 
Mann Teams Up With Susan G. Komen for Indy 500
Veteran Verizon IndyCar Series Driver Pippa Mann will again race in the Indianapolis 500 with Dale Coyne Racing. For the second consecutive year, she will be driving in her familiar pink gear as she races in support of Susan G. Komen, the world’s largest breast cancer organization, and its mission to end breast cancer forever.
Read More
James Hinchcliffe and Vic Vegas
 
INDYCAR Drivers and Indy's Top Chefs Unite For Charity
Representatives from Rev, a Methodist Health Foundation charity event presented by Fifth Third Bank, have released the complete list of chef and Verizon IndyCar driver pairings for the May 2 food event, which will be hosted at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Read More
Oriol Servia
 
Servia Joins RLL Racing for Indianapolis 500
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing announced today that Oriol Servia will return to the team for the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 24.
Read More
Items 1 - 5 of 1,852
Reserve one of our hospitality suites for your next event!
To start planning your event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway please fill out our Information Request Form or contact Laura Wyamn at (317) 492-8557 or email at lwyman@brickyard.com.
Latest Tweets
Monday Racing Roundup: Dixon Lands 36th Career IndyCar Win at Long Beach. Read more here: http://t.co/XvQ0p21nut
about 12 hours ago