MotoGP world champion Jorge Lorenzo fired the perfect parting shot as he dipped under the circuit lap record at Losail to top the times on the final day of the Qatar test.
Lorenzo became the only rider to edge into the 1'54 bracket throughout the three-day test with a time of 1m 54.810s to give the Mallorcan the advantage on the combined times by half a second from Britain's Scott Redding (Octo Pramac Ducati).
He also completed a strong simulation, even though Lorenzo was unable to use his preferred front tyre option on the Movistar Yamaha M1.
“Today we tried both tyres on the front and on the rear and I knew that the softest option on the front was the best to make a fast lap,” he said.
“Unfortunately for race simulation we had some problems from graining and some more riders had the same problem like me, like the Ducatis and like [Marc] Marquez.
“After speaking with Michelin they are planning to kill the '34 and prepare an intermediate tyre…to try to give a tyre that works for everyone.
“Anyway I made a race simulation with the hard front tyre and it was not the best option to go fast but it was better than yesterday's simulation, but I think if we didn't have graining with the soft tyre we can do a pace of 1'55”5, but unfortunately it was not working after some laps.”
Lorenzo has been traditionally strong at the Losail circuit but he is wary of the threat posed by the Ducati riders ahead of the first race of 2016 on March 20 under the famous floodlights.
“For me, it has always been one of my favourite tracks, at least one of the ones where I have always been fast, from 125s in 2004 and 2005 season with 250. The Ducatis here work very well and they will be very strong in the race,” he said.
“But in general I think we are stronger than last year. The lap time [is the strongest point]. To get this lap time, you have to be strong everywhere; we are still missing some top speed and some power on the straight but we have quite good braking and we keep as a strong point the corner speed and acceleration.”
Pressed on where he has scope for improvement, Lorenzo added: “To understand better the electronics [is the key area for improvement] but I think every rider has the same problem at this moment.
“You need to be careful with the throttle, with the lean angle [with the electronics] and it is not easy to keep on the bike.”
Lorenzo, meanwhile, said there was no change in his contract situation after previously stating that he hoped to sign a new deal for 2017 before the first race of the season.
“No, for the moment everything keeps the same – we are in the same situation,” he said.
Jorge Lorenzo's race simulation:
1. 1m 57.506
2. 1m 56.348
3. 1m 56.493
4. 1m 56.085
5. 1m 55.790
6. 1m 55.951
7. 1m 56.318
8. 1m 56.883
9. 1m 56.154
10. 1m 56.096
11. 1m 56.192
12. 1m 56.142
13. 1m 56.152
14. 1m 56.025
15. 1m 56.094
16. 1m 56.106
17. 1m 55.893
18. 1m 56.200
19. 1m 56.159
20. 1m 56.178
21. 1m 55.824