Reigning MotoGP™ World Champion Jorge Lorenzo made it clear that anyone wanting his title in 2016 would have to work for it as the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP rider topped the first day of testing at the Losail International Circuit. Maverick Viñales was able to get within half a second of Lorenzo as the upcoming star continues to impress on the Suzuki GSX-RR. Although third was a strong result on the opening day, Valentino Rossi will be hungry to reduce the gap to his teammate on day two.
Alongside improving their times, riders and teams still have extensive work to do with many manufacturers having only recently confirmed their 2016 bikes. The Movistar Yamaha MotoGP team will campaign on a hybrid of the 2015 and 2016 model, although they will not use the distinct rear fuel tank. While they have spent much of their testing time already on this bike, more work is needed especially as the opening race of the season is in Qatar.
Ducati showed well with four bikes inside the top ten, both Scott Redding and Hector Barbera proving that the older models are still as competitive as ever. While Avintia Racing, Octo Pramac Yakhnich and the Aspar MotoGP Team focus on getting the most out of their bikes, the Ducati Team riders continue to explore the 2016 bike. For the first time both Andrea Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone have two of the new 2016 bikes at their disposal.
With no bikes inside the top five, Honda have work to do in the last two days of testing. The factory team will continue to focus on the setup of their chassis on the second day and improve their pace. Meanwhile both Team Suzuki Ecstar riders are hopeful of testing the fully seamless gearbox on the second day, having used a gearbox with only seamless upshifts on the first day of the Qatar Test.
Having official unveiled their new 2016 RS-GP, Aprilia still have significant work to do with their brand new bike. Neither rider ended the first day within two seconds of Lorenzo’s best time but this is only the beginning of their new MotoGP™ adventure.