The three-day MotoGP testing session at the Buriram International Circuit came to an end on Sunday, February 18, 2018. The first ever Thailand Grand Prix will be held at Buriram on October 7, 2018.
The MotoGP testing session at the Thailand circuit took place over three days, from Feb 16 to 18. The Ducati riders made most of the time to test the new components and materials developed by the Ducati MotoGP designers and engineers. The combined standings over three days saw Andrea Dovizioso positioned at seventh overall, while Jorge Lorenzo could not make the best of Buriram and finished sixteenth overall. Dovizioso clocked 58 laps, with a best time of 01:30.192, concluding his testing programme on Sunday afternoon. Lorenzo also went out at the end of the day, was unable to best his fastest lap recorded on the previous day, and came back with a time of 01:30.792.
Says Ducati #04 Andrea Dovizioso of the three-day experience: “These were three very useful days, in which we were able to do a lot of work and test the fairings, the frame and the other new material that Ducati brought here to Thailand.” He further stated that temperatures were soaring over the weekend, and the track itself was a bit unusual. The racing team gathered lots of useful information and confirmed that the Ducati GP18 was indeed a worthy machine to race at MotoGP. “I’m going back home very happy and ready to leave again in a couple of weeks’ time for Qatar, where we want to prepare well for the first round of the 2018 championship”, added Dovizioso.
Jorge Lorenzo, former world champion with Movistar Yamaha shifted to Ducati (#99) in 2017. Since then, his fortune seems to have declined, with mediocre standings and a motorcycle that did not seem to agree with what he wanted out of it. After tracking Buriram Circuit for 68 laps, Lorenzo said, “Unfortunately for me, these have been three very complicated days, because I was never able to be really competitive.” Lorenzo also complained of not feeling confident with the GP18 Ducati, which led the team run back-to-back tests on both the GP17 and GP18. The results of this test showed that both the bikes have their own flair and flaws. Overall though, the GP18 stood out as the better bike, which Lorenzo will take to the tracks for MotoGP 2018.
The MotoGP riders will be back on the track from 1st to 3rd March at Losail in Qatar, in preparation for the opening round of the season at the same circuit on 18th March.