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Qatar MotoGP Test: Pleasure and pain for Espargaro brothers

The final MotoGP pre-season test concluded with the Espargaro brothers on top of the timesheets in Qatar - but Pol in the medical centre with a broken collarbone.
The final MotoGP pre-season test concluded with the Espargaro brothers on top of the timesheets in Qatar on Sunday night.

Forward Yamaha's Open class star Aleix pipped younger brother Pol, on the Factory class Monster Yamaha Tech 3 machine, by just 0.033s.

But the evening ended in disaster for Pol when the reigning Moto2 champion fell and fractured his left collarbone. Surgery is scheduled for Monday and the young Spaniard faces a race against time to regain as much fitness as possible for his MotoGP debut, at the same Losail circuit from March 20-23.

Bradley Smith, Pol's team-mate, also dipped under Casey Stoner's official 2008 race lap record to complete a top three covered by 0.153s.

The trio's fastest laps were set relatively early in the evening, after which Aleix - who had also been fastest on Friday - posted an impressive 20-lap race simulation, with a average lap time of 1m 56.003s.

Pol's accident occurred whilst he was also completing a race simulation, having just set 17 successive fast laps, at an average of 1m 56.331s.

Smith, also among the many Sunday fallers, did a 19-lap run with an average of 1m 56.208s.

The official Honda, Yamaha and Ducati teams were not present this weekend, having held their final pre-season test at Phillip Island.

After filling the top two positions on Saturday, Factory class Honda riders Alvaro Bautista (+0.358s) and Stefan Bradl (0.313s) dropped to fifth and fourth respectively on the final night.

LCR's Bradl did not do a long run, while Gresini's Bautista - the only rider in the top 14 to lap slower on Sunday - punched out 22-laps, the exact grand prix distance, at an average of 1m 56.448s.

Andrea Iannone (+0.644s), Colin Edwards (+1.104s), Yonny Hernandez (+1.182s) and Nicky Hayden (+1.399s) were sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth respectively on each of the three nights.

Hayden's Aspar Honda team-mate Hiroshi Aoyama nudged Gresini rookie Scott Redding out of a top ten place on the final night, but was over two-seconds from Espargaro.

Hector Barbera gave Avintia a test-best of twelfth on Sunday, followed by Cardion AB's Karel Abraham and then Barbera's rookie team-mate Mike di Meglio.

The final three places were occupied by the ART of Ioda's Danilo Petrucci and the PBM-ART machines of Michael Laverty and Broc Parkes, who both lapped slower than on Saturday.

Tagged as: Espargaro , Forward

Related Pictures

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Aleix Espargaro, Qatar MotoGP test, March 2014
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