moto3 / Qatari wind and rain slow the last IRTA test

Adverse weather conditions have affected two of the three days of  the IRTA test at the Losail International Circuit, preventing Mir and Loi from giving their best.


Testing ended this evening in the desert of Doha, Qatar, the last IRTA test for the Moto3 class, a small preview of the first race of the 2017 season that will take place at this same location, the Losail International Circuit, next Sunday 26 March.

Unfortunately the weather was the main player in this test: on the first day, the arrival of rain forced the organizers to cancel the last two sessions, after the first session saw just 11 riders out on the track. Today, however, the strong wind forced the riders to make just a few laps on the 5.4 km of the Losail circuit. Despite all this, the duo of Leopard Racing team continued to persevere, with Joan Mir and Livio Loi in first and fourth positions in the first session of the third day.

Thus it was not possible to run at full speed until the second day (Saturday, March 18). But this second day was a positive one for the Leopard Racing team, obtaining data and providing information on their Honda NSF250 RW. It will all prove very useful when they start the run for the victory next week. The rookie of the year in 2016, Joan Mir, worked on chassis geometry, completing 44-laps on Saturday and setting his personal time with a 2’07″418. His new teammate, Livio Loi, focused a lot on setting and overall rhythm, before trying to fit new tyres. 46 laps completed by the Belgian, with a fastest lap time of 2’07″068, 0.378s from leader Romano Fenati on the day.

Joan Mir and Livio Loi took to the track today in the second session, awaiting the sunset and the more suitable temperatures to run with all the time available to them. The Mallorca talent, Joan Mir, having won the first provisional position in today’s first session, was later confirmed in second and closing in to just 0.290s from Fenati for third place provisionally. In the third and final session of Day 3, when Livio Loi occupied provisional fifth, bad weather returned and brought with it an early end to the test.

From now on, three days of well deserved rest await the riders of Leopard Racing team, back on track Thursday afternoon for FP1 at the Qatar Grand Prix in 2017.


#11 Livio LOI:
“This test went quite well, we ended up in fifth place overall. We tried different things, although the weather was not kind to us. We could not do many laps but we have already found a good base and a good pace, even if we have to improve in the fast corners: If we develop this detail we can make a nice weekend!”


#36 Joan MIR:
“I am very happy for these two days of testing. We worked hard, finding positive solutions and always managing to improve. We are very optimistic and I really have to thank my team because they all worked tirelessly, giving the maximum to allow me to express myself on track. I can not wait to start with the first race!”