A one-day test for the premier class saw the number 12 top the timesheets, but not by much.
After a dramatic Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya, it was time for more laps on Monday as the premier class got back on track for a one-day Official Test. On the more general agenda, MotoGP™ tyre supplier Michelin brought four different rear tyres to test, added to those which were in the allocation for the race weekend. Three of them are being evaluated for use in 2020, and the other is being tested ahead of possible use at the Red Bull Ring and Buriram. And then, of course, teams had their own agendas.
Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP were testing electronics to improve engine braking and want to improve the smoothness of power delivery. The fastest man of the day with a lap much quicker than pole position, Maverick Viñales did a staggering 98 laps with a final laptime of 1:38.967, the lap with which he topped the timesheets. Teammate Valentino Rossi was testing a new exhaust and a new finger-operated rear brake, putting in a best of 1:39.968 after 71 laps.
Petronas Yamaha SRT’s Franco Morbidelli ended the day in P2, just 0.047 behind Viñales and another who improved late in the day, on lap 76 of 78. First time podium finisher and teammate Fabio Quartararo headed out later in the day to aid his recovery from arm pump surgery, but he put in 56 laps and did a best of 1:39.428. He practiced some starts and also focused on working with the tyres.
At Repsol Honda, reigning Champion Marc Marquez had three different bikes in the garage, and there was also a new swingarm attachment spotted. Marquez did 80 laps and his best was a 1:39.257 after 80 laps, but the Catalan GP winner also had a crash in the early afternoon at Turn 4, rider ok.
Teammate Jorge Lorenzo was another who crashed, this time in the morning, and the five-time World Champion went down at Turn 9. His best lap was a 1:40.357 and he did 65 laps, ending the day in P17. Lorenzo was seen with a new black front fairing to test.
Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) those aero parts from HRC to test, the same as seen on Lorenzo’s machine, and both he and teammate Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) were working on race setup. Crutchlow was P10 after 73 laps, Nakagami P7 after 59 – and the Japanese rider also tried the 2019 bike. HRC test rider Stefan Bradl was also out on track, doing 84 laps.
Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Alex Rins led the way at midday, and he was P4 by the end of play. He was testing an upgrade to Suzuki’s chassis, the same one that test rider Sylvain Guintoli used throughout the weekend at the Catalan GP.. The Spaniard did 75 laps and rookie teammate Joan Mir did 67. After his best MotoGP™ finish yet on Sunday Mir was back out on track to continue his adaptation to the premier class and he did a fastest lap of 1:39.670, improving later in the day. Guintoli was also at the test and did 69 laps.
At Mission Winnow Ducati, meanwhile, a carbon reinforced chassis was spotted. Andrea Dovizioso did 63 laps with a best of 1:39.917 to take P12, with teammate Danilo Petrucci doing 57 laps. The Mugello winner was 0.008 quicker than his teammate at the test to end the day in 11th.
Pramac Racing had rookie Francesco Bagnaia up in sixth overall as he did 54 laps, the best of which was a 1:39.466 set before a crash at Turn 13 next time around, rider ok. He tested the tyres and worked on improving setup. Teammate Jack Miller ended the day in P9 after 60 laps, and he had a new unit at the rear of the bike and worked with the new tyres. Tito Rabat (Real Avintia Racing) was first out on track and was P13 after 75 laps, and teammate Karel Abraham did 35 laps – with the Czech rider suffering a crash and the bike coming off pretty worse for wear.
KTM certainly had something high profile and pretty new on track: test rider Dani Pedrosa. The Spaniard appeared for the first time at an official test and did 51 laps as he worked through his program. Johann Zarco (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) tested a new chassis and put in 70 laps, moving up the timesheets late in the day to depose teammate Pol Espargaro from P15 by just 0.004, with Espargaro putting 57 laps despite a crash. Portuguese rookie Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Tech 3) did 61 laps and ended the day just behind Iannone, with teammate Hafizh Syahrin putting in 52 as both continue adapting to the KTM MotoGP™ machine.
Finally, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini were represented by Andrea Iannone and test rider Bradley Smith, with the Noale factory working on the engine and with some small items to test in a host of different areas. Iannone was working more on short terms solutions and did 76 laps with a best of 1:40.606, with Smith focused more on the long term. He did 88 laps and was just half a tenth quicker than Iannone. Aleix Espargaro is sidelined after the crash near the start of the Catalan GP race.
That’s all from Monday, MotoGP™ returns at the classic TT Circuit Assen from the 28th to 30th June.
Fastest at the test:
1 – Maverick Viñales (SPA – Yamaha) 1’38.967
2 – Franco Morbidelli* (ITA – Yamaha) +0.047
3 – Marc Marquez (SPA – Honda) +0.290
4 – Alex Rins (SPA – Suzuki) +0.367
3 – Fabio Quartararo* (FRA – Yamaha) +0.461
*Independent Team riders
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