Ducati and Francesco Bagnaia dominate Qatar Moto GP tests

Ducati Lenovo's Italian rider Francesco Bagnaia steers his bike on the second day of the MotoGP pre-season testing at the Lusail International Circuit in Lusail on Tuesday

Ducati Lenovo's Italian rider Francesco Bagnaia steers his bike on the second day of the MotoGP pre-season testing at the Lusail International Circuit in Lusail on Tuesday. Photo: Karim Jaafar/AFP

Published Feb 20, 2024

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Double world champion Francesco Bagnaia sent an ominous warning to any rival for the new season that he and his Ducati will take some beating when he dominated the tests at Qatar.

On the Lusail circuit that hosts the world championships opening GP in two weeks time the 27-year-old Italian repeated the form he showed at Sepang, Malaysia 10 days ago.

After a tentative start in windy conditions Bagnaia edged out his Ducati teammate Enea Bastianini by 0.120sec to show the bike itself with a new engine they used to full advantage as the session drew to a close.

The Turin-born champion was a full 0.308sec faster than third placed Aleix Espargaro of Aprilia while former champion Mark Marquez sprung a surprise at new team Ducati-Gresini timing fourth at 0.383.

The opening GP at Lusail takes place March 10 with 21 dates on the calendar with each of the last two seasons going right down to the wire.

Lusail test times on Tuesday (5.38km)

1. Francesco Bagnaia (ITA/Ducati) 1min 50.952sec

2. Enea Bastianini (ITA/Ducati) at 0.120sec

3. Aleix Espargaro (ESP/Aprilia) 0.308

4. Marc Marquez (ESP/Ducati-Gresini) 0.383

5. Raul Fernandez (ESP/Aprilia-Trackhouse) 0.389

6. Maverick Viñales (ESP/Aprilia) 0.435

7. Jorge Martin (ESP/Ducati-Pramac) 0.514

8. Fabio Di Giannantonio (ITA/Ducati-VR46) 0.537

9. Brad Binder (RSA/KTM) 0.631

10. Marco Bezzecchi (ITA/Ducati-VR46) 0.726

AFP

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