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Moto Qatar: Moto3 Qatar: Loi under lap record to top Thursday practice

Livio Loi continued his solid test form into the first day of action at Qatar, topping both sessions before signing off with a new lap record.
Livio Loi took control on opening night of the season-opening Qatar Moto3 Grand Prix.

The Belgian was consistently in the top ten in the final Qatar test and his familiarity with the track paid dividends as the Belgian again had a strong showing aboard his Honda coming out on top in FP1 before cementing his domination for RW Racing GP on the opening day with a best of 2m 05.832, a new lap record.

Moto3's rookie riders also impressed with Joan Mir's late dash shifting him into a superb second in a highly competitive FP2 for Leopard Racing (KTM).

Newcomer Nicolo Bulega dropped to third behind Mir, riding solo as the clock ticked down. The CEV Moto3 Spanish Champion found speed all around the track for The Sky Racing Team VR46 Team. The Rossi protégés aggressive body language eventually resulted in a crash as he pushed the limits with five minutes left in FP2.

Romano Fenati reignited his form from the Jerez test in the final minutes to put in a performance on his KTM just short of his new team-mate Bulega for fourth.

Francesco Bagnaia succeeded where his peers failed in garnering a good performance from his Mahindra machinery, the Italian Aspar Mahindra rider pushing hard for fifth, the only Mahindra in the top ten.

Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) finished the final session of the day sixth, Leopard's Andrea Locatelli seventh, Drive M7 SIC's Jakub Kornfeil eighth. The top Qatar test rider Niccolo Antonelli took ninth for Ongetta-Rivacold.

Red Bull Rookie champion Bo Bendsneyder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) also impressed as he graduates to the world championship, briefly leading proceedings on his debut before a flurry of late fast laps saw him slip to tenth.

Fabio Qaurtararo spent much of the latter stages racing his team-mate Locatelli for track position, leaving the French rider the lowest of the Leopard entries on the timesheets in twelfth.

The Paddocks only female rider, Maria Herrera, rewarded her MH6 Laglisse team with a 14th place finish. The Spaniard was only sure of a ride ahead shortly before the Qatar test after the team had staged a late withdrawal before making a u-turn on their decision.

Jorge Navarro was one of just a handful of riders not to improve on their FP1 time leaving him 15th after the second session for Estrella Galicia.

Bulega was the only rider to take a tumble in FP2, but falls for Gabriel Rodrigo and Antonelli in FP1 slowed their progress.

Britain's lone representative this season, John McPhee, still has work to do in with his Peugeot MC Saxoprint in 24th , his team-mate the 2015 Qatar pole man and race winner Alexis Masbou finished just behind him in 27th.
by Lisa Lewis

Tagged as: Moto3 , Loi

Related Pictures

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Loi, Qatar Moto3 Test 2016
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Bendsneyder, Dutch Moto3 race 2017
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