Only eleven riders may have recorded a fast lap during the rain-interrupted opening night of testing in Qatar, and even those laps were well outside normal race pace, but that didn't stop Pramac Ducati's MotoGP rookies Mika Kallio and Niccolo Canepa from being encouraged by their third and fifth positions.
“I don't want to be too enthusiastic about this third best lap time, but I can consider myself pretty satisfied for the work done today,” said Kallio, whose best lap was 0.3sec behind Nicky Hayden. “I hope to find the track completely clean tomorrow to understand our true potential. I had really good sensation with the bike. The objective for the next two days it will be to try to remain in the top part of the classification.”
The Finn completed 29 laps of the Losail grand prix circuit, while Canepa - who endured a tough time at the previous Sepang test - completed 26 circulations during the reduced track time on offer. The Italian's best lap on his night-riding debut was 0.3sec from Kallio.
“This was the first time for me on this track under this impressive floodlights system. It was beautiful, a pity that the rain has limited our work,” said Canepa. “I am anyway satisfied thanks to the good lap time registered. I need to ride for as many laps as possible and I hope that in the next two days we will find optimal weather condition. It has been a good start for me, surely better compared to the last test in Malaysia.”
“This day of testing has been unluckily ruined by the rain, but the track condition were the same for everyone and we have done a good job,” stated technical director Fabiano Sterlacchini. “This gives us a lot of trust for the rest of this testing session. The track by the end of the day was almost dry but the grip wasn't the best. We hope that tomorrow it will be warm again and the track will get in the best condition possible.”