MotoGP: Nakagami Quickest On Day One Of Testing At Jerez (Updated)

MotoGP: Nakagami Quickest On Day One Of Testing At Jerez (Updated)

© 2021, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc. By David Swarts.

FIM MotoGP World Championship/IRTA Test

Circuito de Jerez, Spain

November 18, 2021

Day One Best Test Times (all using Michelin tires):

  1. Takaaki Nakagami, Japan (Honda), 1:37.313
  2. Johann Zarco, France (Ducati), 1:37.356
  3. Enea Bastianini, Italy (Ducati), 1:37.402
  4. Francesco Bagnaia, Italy (Ducati), 1:37.415
  5. Maverick Vinales, Spain (Aprilia), 1:37.674
  6. Alex Rins, Spain (Suzuki), 1:37.810
  7. Franco Morbidelli, Italy (Yamaha), 1:37.884
  8. Jack Miller, Australia (Ducati), 1:38.002
  9. Fabio Quartararo, France (Yamaha), 1:38.020
  10. Brad Binder, South Africa (KTM), 1:38.086
  11. Luca Marini, Italy (Ducati), 1:38.149
  12. Jorge Martin, Spain (Ducati), 1:38.152
  13. Pol Espargaro, Spain (Honda), 1:38.165
  14. Joan Mir, Spain (Suzuki), 1:38.194
  15. Aleix Espargaro, Spain (Aprilia), 1:38.207
  16. Alex Marquez, Spain (Honda), 1:38.288
  17. Miguel Oliveira, Portugal (KTM), 1:38.312
  18. Andrea Dovizioso, Italy (Yamaha), 1:38.598
  19. Raul Fernandez, Spain (KTM), 1:39.083
  20. Mika Kallio, Finland (KTM), 1:39.276*
  21. Sylvain Guintoli, France (Suzuki), 1:39.496*
  22. Fabio Di Giannantonio, Italy (Ducati), 1:39.628
  23. Lorenzo Savadori, Italy (Aprilia), 1:39.727*
  24. Remy Gardner, Australia (KTM), 1:40.170
  25. Marco Bezzecchi, Italy (Ducati), 1:40.732
  26. Takuya Tsuda, Japan (Suzuki), 1:40.936
  27. Darryn Binder, South Africa (Yamaha), 1:41.749
  28. Dani Pedrosa, Spain (KTM), no time recorded*
  29. Stefan Bradl, Germany (Honda), no time recorded*

*=test rider

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Gresini Racing:

#JEREZTEST: POSITIVE DEBUT FOR TEAM GRESINI RACING MOTOGP

The first day of off-season testing ahead of the 2022 season has undoubtedly been a successful one for Team Gresini Racing MotoGP, as the Faenza-based squad is back in the premier class as an independent team for the first time after seven years. On one side there was Enea Bastianini’s debut aboard the Desmosedici GP21 for Enea Bastianini, while on the other Fabio Di Giannantonio had his maiden experience aboard a MotoGP motorcycle (he is also riding a GP21 machine).

It was an ‘instant match’ between Enea Bastianini and the new bike: “tamer but more powerful” as he described it. The rider #23 spent most of the testing time in the lead before finishing third quickest – with plenty of laps completed and great confidence with both the bike and the new team.

For Fabio Di Giannantonio it was all about getting a first contact with the new reality and things surely went the right way. The Italian managed to improve his feeling lap by lap and that was shown by his personal quickest time – which came at the 48th lap, his last for the day.

The second and last opportunity for 2021 to gather further experience will be tomorrow, with the wind that could play a bigger role at Jerez de la Frontera.

 

Enea Bastianini (B). Photo courtesy Gresini Racing.
Enea Bastianini (B). Photo courtesy Gresini Racing.

 

3rd – ENEA BASTIANINI #23 (1’37.402 – 51 laps)

“The first impressions are good. I’m happy with the bike and with how the guys worked as a team. Let’s say it is what I was expecting: an easier bike to ride, and I felt like it had been mine for a long time already. Lap-times came quick and despite the wind I was able to set competitive times throughout the whole day. There will be work to do and issues will arise, but at the moment I’m happy. The bike is much tamer, and a lot quicker; last year’s bike had great potential, but it was really difficult to ride.”

 

Fabio Di Giannantonio (D). Photo courtesy Gresini Racing.
Fabio Di Giannantonio (D). Photo courtesy Gresini Racing.

 

22nd – FABIO DI GIANNANTONIO #49 (1’39.628 – 48 laps) 

“The best day of my life. The bike is simply fantastic as it has all the things I’ve always looked for in a motorcycle: the way of braking, the rideability inside the corner, the mid-corner and corner exit feeling, the power… everything is there. We have plenty of work to do to bridge the gap to the leaders, but I’m in awe right now. I need to understand tyres better and how to work with the electronics; there are many things I need to focus on, but the base is not a bad one.”

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Repsol Honda:

Pol Espargaro back on track with Repsol Honda Team at Jerez Test

After his heavy fall in Valencia, Espargaro was reunited with his Honda RC213V for the final test of calendar 2021.

Still in some discomfort, Pol Espargaro was nevertheless back on track as preparations for the 2022 MotoGP World Championship season begin in Jerez. Thursday after the last Grand Prix of the year was the first of two days at the Andalusian circuit before the winter testing ban begins. Espargaro’s running was concentrated over two sessions, one in the morning and one in the afternoon.

Today’s program focused on getting Espargaro comfortable and confident again after his crash in Valencia. Friday will see Espargaro focus more on future developments that Honda HRC have been preparing for the 2022 season.

Completing a total of 45 laps, the #44 worked through a number of testing items alongside Alex Marquez and Takaaki Nakagami. A best time of 1’38.165 put Espargaro 13th overall, but lap times were not an area of focus.

Takaaki Nakagami ended the opening day of the test as the leading Honda and the fastest rider of Thursday. Nakagami set a 1’37.313 as he assessed options for the 2022 Honda RC213V.

 

Pol Espargaro (44). Photo courtesy Repsol Honda.
Pol Espargaro (44). Photo courtesy Repsol Honda.

 

Pol Espargaro

1’38.165

“I feel pretty well used today, there’s some pain in my ribs and in my wrist and I was struggling to ride a little bit today because of it. But it is really important for the team, and also me, to make some laps with the new bike and get as much information as possible. Today was spent getting comfortable after our huge crash. Tomorrow we have another day of testing which will hopefully be a bit better. The plan for tomorrow is to work more for the future and based on what we have seen today, that looks promising. New parts and bikes are like lollipops for kids to us, a lot of motivation!”

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Tech3 KTM Factory Racing:

Moto2 World Champion and runner up both make official their debuts as MotoGP riders

Moto2 sensation Raul Fernandez was excited to feel the power of a MotoGP bike today with his new team, Tech3 KTM Factory Racing, after an outstanding rookie season in the intermediate class this year. The Spanish rider is focused on adapting the bike’s settings to his needs in order to feel as comfortable as possible to start working properly on lap times tomorrow. After a hard-working day in the office with a total of 57 laps, Raul finished the day 19th, with a best lap-time of 1:39.083.

The newly crowned Moto2 World Champion Remy Gardner also made his official debuts in the Premier Class under his new colours. Today was all about discovery and learning on his new KTM RC16 at the Circuito de Jerez-Ángel Nieto, under sunny but windy conditions. Unfortunately, the Australian rookie hurt his rib in a change of direction early in the day, which caused him pain to ride his bike, but he still managed to complete 52 laps and finished the day in P24.

 

Raul Fernandez (25). Photo courtesy Tech3 KTM Factory Racing.
Raul Fernandez (25). Photo courtesy Tech3 KTM Factory Racing.

 

Raul Fernandez
 

Position: 19th

Time: 1:39.083

Laps: 57

“It felt like being a true MotoGP rider. When we did the test earlier in Misano, it was just a little candy from KTM and Tech3 for us and our incredible season. Overall, it was a fantastic day. I’m just living my dream, because I am here in the MotoGP class. I obviously need to learn more things about the bike and the category, especially the breaks and about the power and the tyres. Everything is new. We started in a good way and I’m very happy that step by step and we understood everything. I guess this is the most important. We will continue like this and I want to continue enjoying riding on the bike like a little kid.”

 

Remy Gardner (87). Photo courtesy Tech3 KTM Factory Racing.
Remy Gardner (87). Photo courtesy Tech3 KTM Factory Racing.

 

Remy Gardner
 

Position: 24th

Time: 1:40.170

Laps: 52

“Today was a fun day. In the morning, I started to feel really good on the bike and was improving a little bit. At some point, I had a fast change of direction and I felt one of my ribs cracking and it started to really hurt when I came back to the box. It might be broken again. In the end, I took some pain killers and just tried to finish off the day in a smoother way. Overall, it has been a pretty painful day riding a MotoGP bike!”

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Dorna:

#2022Loading: Nakagami puts Honda on top on Day 1 in Jerez

The Japanese rider opens action fastest, but there are plenty more headlines throughout the pack as pre-season testing begins

 

Takaaki Nakagami (30). Photo courtesy Dorna.
Takaaki Nakagami (30). Photo courtesy Dorna.

 

Thursday, 18 November 2021

2022 is loading, and on first glimpse it’s already shaping up to be a thriller. On Day 1 at the Jerez Test it was Honda on top thanks to a 1:37.313 from Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu), with the Japanese rider just denying Pramac Racing’s Johann Zarco by half a tenth. Now-sophomore Enea Bastianini (Team Gresini Racing MotoGP) started the season completing the top three, getting a taste of the 2021 Ducati and settling into his new team.

As we saw earlier in the year, Honda have a seemingly brand-new bike for 2022. Arguably the most important news for HRC on Day 1 though was the presence of Pol Espargaro (Repsol Honda Team) after his huge Valencia GP crash. The Spaniard was fit to ride at the Jerez Test, vital with Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) absent, as we got to see HRC’s radically new RC213V in action again. It’s the only machine at the test that looks completely new, with every other manufacturer having variations and adaptations from what we saw in 2021. Engine, chassis, aero, air intake… you name it. HRC have been working tirelessly to bring a new bike to the party.

Both Nakagami and Alex Marquez (LCR Honda Castrol) were testing the new bike on Day 1. Both riders were riding both the 2021 and 2022 machines, important to compare how the two feel and how new components feel in comparison. Both were also incredibly busy: Marquez completed 75 laps with fastest man Nakagami lapping 68 times. Pol Espargaro managed to get 45 laps under his belt, finishing P13 on the timesheets, and Marquez ended the day in P16.

 

Francesco Bagnaia (63). Photo courtesy Dorna.
Francesco Bagnaia (63). Photo courtesy Dorna.

 

Reigning Constructors’ Champions Ducati, meanwhile, now have eight Desmosedicis in their arsenal in MotoGP™ as Team Gresini Racing MotoGP debuted with Bastianini and rookie Fabio Di Giannantonio and VR46 Racing Team began their premier class adventure with Luca Marini and rookie Marco Bezzecchi. Marini was the first rider to head out of pitlane, as both he and fellow Italian Bastianini got to grips with the GP21 Ducati – as did Diggia, with Bezzecchi lapping on a GP19 at first.

Engines are a big priority for the Bologna factory in Jerez, as they are for every manufacturer ahead of the winter. Factory duo Francesco Bagnaia and Ducati Lenovo Team teammate Jack Miller had one new engine each to try according to Ducati Corse General Manager Gigi Dall’Igna, while Pramac Racing’s Johann Zarco and 2021 Rookie of the Year Jorge Martin had one to try between them.

Ducati debuted a new, longer exhaust on Day 1 in the factory ranks, with Martin testing some smaller, more intricate parts, including aero covers on the front fork. Bastianini had some downwash ducts – the bottom inlets on the side fairings – on his GP21 machine, with teammate Di Giannantonio circulating without them. In addition, the Bologna brand had different aero, a new air intake and, seemingly, a new holeshot device. Plenty of stuff in the Ducati ranks.

Zarco, Bastianini and Bagnaia finished inside the top four on Day 1, as Zarco completed the second-most laps of anyone on Thursday – 78. Pecco was happy with how his day went, the 2021 silver medallist admitted he and the team have found something to be more competitive on used tyres… so the rest beware. Miller, Marini and Martin finished under a second away from Nakagami’s time, but that’s not what anyone will be concentrating on during the test. It’s all about testing, testing and more testing, and for the rookies, these two days are about getting comfy on their new MotoGP™ machinery. Di Giannantonio finished 2.3s down on Nakagami’s time, whereas Bezzecchi was 3.4s away from P1.

 

Maverick Vinales (12). Photo courtesy Dorna.
Maverick Vinales (12). Photo courtesy Dorna.

 

The Aprilia contingent was led by Maverick Viñales (Aprilia Racing) on the timesheets as the Noale manufacturer begins a new era as a factory team for 2022. The Spaniard did 72 laps, having also already tested at Jerez this week thanks to Aprilia’s concessions, and was working with the bike from the Valencia GP earlier in the day. Setup was a key focus, including changing fork springs, as the number 12 continues to settle in.

Teammate Aleix Espargaro also started out on the bike from the Valencia GP, and when the number 41 did head out on the new bike later in the day he suffered a crashed at Turn 3, bringing out the Red Flag but rider ok. Aprilia test rider Lorenzo Savadori had the new bike from the Noale factory in his box, the Italian putting in 34 laps despite a crash at Turn 1. All riders were testing the smaller wings that Savadori has been using, and both Viñales and Aleix Espargaro tried in Misano. There was also a new exhaust spotted on Noale machinery, although reportedly none of the riders tried the 2022 engine just yet.

 

Alex Rins (42). Photo courtesy Dorna.
Alex Rins (42). Photo courtesy Dorna.

 

At Suzuki, Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Alex Rins was the lead Hamamatsu machine on Day 1 after 76 laps, ending the day in P6 as teammate and 2020 Champion Joan Mir put in 71 for P14. Test riders Sylvain Guintoli and Takuya Tsuda were also out on track as the factory prepare for 2022.

Guintoli, who did 49 laps, was spotted testing a new fuel tank cover, but there wasn’t too much on show – with efforts more concentrated on putting their 2022 engine through its paces, and reportedly a new chassis. There was also a new swingarm for the Hamamatsu factory. On Friday, there will reportedly be some new aero on track as confirmed by Rins.

For Yamaha, Franco Morbidelli (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) was the lead Iwata marque machine in seventh, with teammate and reigning Champion Fabio Quartararo down in P9. The Italian did 56 laps and the Frenchman a serious haul of 73.

Quartararo said they tested the same bike as seen at the Misano Test, a new swingarm and new anti-wheelie electronics, doing some back-to-back testing with the 2021 bike too. A new chassis was also on show.

Andrea Dovizioso (WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team) did another half century of laps as he gets his teeth into the 2021 Yamaha, having so far been on the 2019 machine on his return to the premier class. New teammate Darryn Binder, meanwhile, was concentrating on settling in – having now officially made the leap from Moto3™ to MotoGP™. The South African rookie did 49 laps, and it was solely about settling in and getting to grips with the huge step up from the lightweight class.

The main leg work for KTM in terms of development is down to Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s now more veteran duo of Brad Binder and Miguel Oliveira as Tech 3 welcomes the all-rookie line-up of Moto2™ World Champion Remy Gardner and Marquez-beating Rookie of the Year Raul Fernandez. Binder was the top Austrian machine on the timesheets in tenth, putting in 56 laps, with Oliveira down in 17th after 74 laps. Test rider Mika Kallio was also present, after MotoGP™ Legend Dani Pedrosa was hard at work before the official test got underway.

The aero debuted at the Misano Test was out on track for much longer this time around, with both Brad Binder and Oliveira.

On rookie watch, Raul Fernandez was the fastest of the Tech3 duo and the rookies overall after 57 laps, ending the day just 1.7 seconds off the top. Teammate Remy Gardner did 52 laps and was 2.8 off the top, but the Australian remains riding through the pain barrier after cracking his ribs in that Algarve GP Friday crash.

That’s a wrap on Day 1, with more track action coming on Friday. Come back then for more, and catch up on everything with After the Flag LIVE from 17:30 (GMT+1) on motogp.com!

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Monster Energy Yamaha:

MONSTER ENERGY YAMAHA START 2022 CAMPAIGN AT JEREZ TEST

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP‘s Franco Morbidelli and Fabio Quartararo returned to the Circuito de Jerez – Ángel Nieto today to kick off their 2022 testing programme. They took seventh and ninth place respectively in today‘s final results.

LOCAL TIME: 18:00 GMT+2

AIR TEMPERATURE: 20°C

TRACK TEMPERATURE: 16°C

WEATHER: SUNNY / HUMIDITY 50%

7th FRANCO MORBIDELLI 1’37.884 / 56 LAPS

9th FABIO QUARTARARO 1’38.020 / 73 LAPS

After a three-day break, the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team opened a new racing season at the Circuito de Jerez – Ángel Nieto today, kicking off the pre-season with the 2022 prototype Yamaha YZR-M1. Franco Morbidelli and Fabio Quartararo concluded the first day of the Jerez MotoGP Official Test in seventh and ninth place respectively.

Morbidelli followed up a positive Valencia GP weekend with a good first day of testing. It was an important track day for him because he started working directly with his new Crew Chief Patrick Primmer. He entered the track at half past 11, leaving him, in theory, with six and a half hours of testing time. The Italian used this opportunity to make his first kilometres with the 2022 prototype YZR-M1. The Yamaha-man suffered a small crash due to his leg injury but was unhurt and achieved competitive results. His best time, a 1‘37.884s, set on lap 46/56, earned him seventh place, 0.571s from first.

Quartararo also commenced his time on track a little after 11 o‘clock. Knowing how crucial the pre-season testing is to a good start of the championship, the Frenchman used the available hours to try to get reacquainted with the 2022 prototype bike that he had already tried at the Misano Test in September. His main goal for today was to improve turning. He posted a best time of 1‘38.020s on lap 34/73, which put him in ninth position, 0.707s from the top.

 

Franco Morbidelli (21). Photo courtesy Monster Energy Yamaha.
Franco Morbidelli (21). Photo courtesy Monster Energy Yamaha.

 

FRANCO MORBIDELLI

I like the 2022 spec. I don‘t have a lot of experience on the 2021 bike, but when I jumped on the 2022 bike, I felt the improvements. I had a good feeling on it, and I kept working on it for some time. There were some good improvements, so I‘m happy. I had a small crash in Turn 13. On the left-handers I still struggle to get into the right position early enough. Luckily the leg and everything else is okay. It was just a small crash. I‘m having a bit of trouble with the leg here and also in Valencia. With two races and a test in a row, I don‘t have enough time to recover. Right now, we need to see this not as a handicap but as a boost to set up the bike really well to allow me to ride it almost effortlessly so I have the chance to be faster even in the condition I‘m in now. I think we made the right steps in Valencia and here, so I‘m pretty happy with the job we‘ve done. I‘m not happy with my physical condition with the leg, but I need to take it as an opportunity to improve.

 

Fabio Quartararo (20). Photo courtesy Monster Energy Yamaha.
Fabio Quartararo (20). Photo courtesy Monster Energy Yamaha.

 

FABIO QUARTARARO

We tried the same prototype bike as we had at the Misano Test earlier this year. We also tried some other things: a new swingarm and anti-wheelie electronics. It was very similar to Misano. We need to do some more work; this is just the first step. Tomorrow we have another day of testing. We will try some more items and get everything prepared and ready, and then I hope we can make a big step in terms of speed in Sepang. Jerez is a good track to improve turning in low-speed corners and try out a chassis, not so much an engine, because the straights are too short. The 2021 base was really good, but we were just missing top speed and some aerodynamics. We have almost three months to work on this before Sepang.

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by VR46 Racing Team:

DEBUT IN JEREZ ON THE DUCATI DESMOSEDICI GP21 FOR LUCA MARINI AND MARCO BEZZECCHI

The 2022 season kicks off for the riders of the VR46 Racing Team who have closed the first day of testing respectively with the 11th and 25th lap time

Jerez de la Frontera (Spain), November 18th 2021 – A preview the 2022 for Luca Marini and Marco Bezzecchi today on the track in Jerez de la Frontera for the first day of the official MotoGP testing session. Just fifty laps per rider for the VR46 Racing Team debut on the Ducati Desmosedici GP21.

Enthusiastic about the atmosphere in the garage and the feeling with the bike,  Luca Marini finished 11th in the combined standings with a best lap time of 1.38.149 and a gap of just eight tenths from the very first guys (Nakagami, 1.37.313).

An emotional day also for Marco Bezzecchi, at his MotoGP debut after finishing the Moto2 Championship in third place. For Marco 53 laps today and a best lap time of 1.40.732.

Tomorrow both will be back on track for the second and final day of IRTA official test.

 

Luca Marini (10). Photo courtesy VR46 Racing.
Luca Marini (10). Photo courtesy VR46 Racing Team.

 

Luca Marini: 

It was a great day: the Ducati GP21 is fantastic! Nice to handling, a lot of positive feelings and feedbacks. It is a pleasure to be able to race for this Team: a great group, the atmosphere is special, positive vibes and we are all motivated to do our best. I’m also happy because I pushed so much to have each of them in the crew. It will be a challenge for everyone, I already know some people from Moto2, others guys are new. We didn’t work too much on the bike today, we have just started to understanding how is the bike and what differences there are compared to the one we used in 2020. Tomorrow, however, the goal is to improve the lap time and the pace.

 

Marco Bezzecchi (72). Photo courtesy VR46 Racing Team.
Marco Bezzecchi (72). Photo courtesy VR46 Racing Team.

 

Marco Bezzecchi:

What a day! The Ducati Desmosedici GP21 is really fast! I started step by step, to better understand the bike. It was thrilling, it is impressive and very special. It is the first testing session, we don’t have strange goals just to find the best position and start to get familiar with power, engine brake and chassis. A special thanks to the whole Team: they did a really great job to get here ready and they have supported me as much as possible.

Pablo Nieto, Team Manager:

An exciting day for everyone: a sort of first day of school for Luca and Marco and all the guys in the Team who made their debut today in the Top class. Luca was on track with the Ducati Desmosedici GP21 the bike that Pecco used in Valencia last week. A very different bike from the one we had in 2020 and we need time to adapt to it. An equally important day for Marco who took his first steps in MotoGP. They are not new to each other; they have a good relationship and they have already shared the garage in Moto2. There is a lot to do, many aspects to work on such as the electronics, the position on the bike and the Michelin tires, completely new for Marco, but we need to take our time. A new adventure, a new Team where many young technicians are coming from Moto2 and we have not to be in such a rush to arrive there.

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