MotoGP: Vinales Quickest During Testing At Jerez (Updated)

MotoGP: Vinales Quickest During Testing At Jerez (Updated)

© 2020, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc. By David Swarts.

FIM MotoGP World Championship

Circuito de Jerez, Spain

July 15, 2020

Test Session Two Results (all using Michelin tires):

  1. Maverick Vinales, Spain (Yamaha), 1:37.793
  2. Fabio Quartararo, France (Yamaha), 1:37.911
  3. Marc Marquez, Spain (Honda), 1:38.021
  4. Alex Rins, Spain (Suzuki), 1:38.317
  5. Joan Mir, Spain (Suzuki), 1:38.380
  6. Francesco Bagnaia, Italy (Ducati), 1:38.417
  7. Johann Zarco, France (Ducati), 1:38.513
  8. Aleix Espargaro, Spain (Aprilia), 1:38.549
  9. Pol Espargaro, Spain (KTM), 1:38.592
  10. Franco Morbidelli, Italy (Yamaha), 1:38.646
  11. Jack Miller, Australia (Ducati), 1:38.676
  12. Andrea Dovizioso, Italy (Ducati), 1:38.779
  13. Brad Binder, South Africa (KTM), 1:39.016
  14. Cal Crutchlow, UK (Honda), 1:39.055
  15. Takaaki Nakagami, Japan (Honda), 1:39.063
  16. Valentino Rossi, Italy (Yamaha), 1:39.302
  17. Iker Lecuona, Spain (KTM), 1:39.349
  18. Miguel Oliveira, Portugal (KTM), 1:39.364
  19. Alex Marquez, Spain (Honda), 1:39.378
  20. Tito Rabat, Spain (Ducati), 1:39.407
  21. Bradley Smith, UK (Aprilia), 1:39.456
  22. Danilo Petrucci, Italy (Ducati), 1:40.362

 

Marc Marquez (93) and Maverick Vinales (12) at Jerez. Photo courtesy Dorna/www.motogp.com.
Marc Marquez (93) and Maverick Vinales (12) at Jerez. Photo courtesy Dorna/www.motogp.com.

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Dorna:

MotoGP™ is back – and Viñales is back on top

The sweet sound of MotoGP™ returns with a one-day test at the Circuito de Jerez-Angel Nieto

Wednesday, 15 July 2020

 

Maverick Vinales (12) at Jerez. Photo courtesy Dorna/www.motogp.com.
Maverick Vinales (12) at Jerez. Photo courtesy Dorna/www.motogp.com.

 

Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) finishes Wednesday’s MotoGP™ Jerez Test at the top of the timesheets, just as he did in Qatar last time we had MotoGP™ bikes on track. A 1:37.793 in the afternoon session saw the Spaniard take the first spoils of a restarted 2020 as we heard the sweet symphony of MotoGP™ machines roaring out of pitlane. Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) claimed P2 as both Yamahas went quicker in the scorching afternoon temperatures, with reigning Champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) sitting P3 – but his morning time the best of his day.

 

Fabio Quartararo (20) at Jerez. Photo courtesy Dorna/www.motogp.com.
Fabio Quartararo (20) at Jerez. Photo courtesy Dorna/www.motogp.com.

 

The top track temperature recorded in Jerez on Wednesday was 57 degrees, adding an extra challenge to that of returning to the track after four months without MotoGP™. That was in the afternoon session, taking place at a similar time to when the race will be held, making it all the more vital for the riders to get accustomed.

 

Aleix Espargaro (41). Photo courtesy Dorna/www.motogp.com.
Aleix Espargaro (41). Photo courtesy Dorna/www.motogp.com.

 

The morning session went ahead without any drama but at the beginning of the second session, Aleix Espargaro’s Aprilia Racing Team Gresini bike encountered an issue, dropping some fluid on the circuit at Turn 11. Alex Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) and Danilo Petrucci (Ducati Team) were the unfortunate duo to crash as a result, riders ok but red flags shown to enable the track cleanup.

 

Jack Miller (43). Photo courtesy Dorna/www.motogp.com.
Jack Miller (43). Photo courtesy Dorna/www.motogp.com.

 

Once play resumed, Marc Marquez was the man to beat as he – at one point – sat 0.7 clear of his nearest rival. After HRC seemingly suffered some troubles in preseason testing, that was a good sign for the marque and the number 93 was looking like his normal self on track. Quartararo didn’t leave it long to strike back, however, subsequently getting the better of the eight-time World Champion by 0.030 on the combined times to go P1. The shuffle still wasn’t done though, as Viñales then hit back with less than five minutes on the clock to go over a tenth clear and keep the P1 he’s so often occupied in preseason.

 

Alex Rins (42). Photo courtesy Dorna/www.motogp.com.
Alex Rins (42). Photo courtesy Dorna/www.motogp.com.

 

Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) claimed P4 on his GSX-RR, another with previous form for 2020 pace, although everyone down to fellow Team Suzuki Ecstar rider Joan Mir in P9 failed to go faster in the afternoon conditions. Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) was P5, with Aleix Espargaro giving the Aprilia another good showing in P7 despite the earlier issue encountered. Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) and Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) made for close company though, with Mir and fellow MotoGP™ sophomore Francesco Bagnaia (Pramac Racing) rounding out the top ten… and a top ten split by just 0.624.

 

Miguel Oliveira (88). Photo courtesy Dorna/www.motogp.com.
Miguel Oliveira (88). Photo courtesy Dorna/www.motogp.com.

 

Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Tech 3) was P11, ahead of a good day’s work from Johann Zarco (Reale Avintia Racing) in P12. Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing), Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) and Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) – the latter on the way back from his collarbone injury – completed the top 15.

That’s it from Wednesday’s action and after a scorching first day back, it looks to be as close as ever. In total, out of the 22 riders, 10 were able to go quicker in the afternoon – will that stand them in good stead for Sunday? We’ll start to see more answers from Friday morning at 9:55 (GMT +2).

MotoGP™ combined standings

1 Maverick Viñales – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP – Yamaha 1’37.793

2 Fabio Quartararo – Petronas Yamaha SRT – Yamaha +0.118

3 Marc Marquez – Repsol Honda Team – Honda +0.228
Martin and Lüthi split by just 0.076

19 riders within a second and the top 10 covered by 0.4 – the Moto2™ test timesheets didn’t disappoint

 

Jorge Martin (88). Photo courtesy Dorna/www.motogp.com.
Jorge Martin (88). Photo courtesy Dorna/www.motogp.com.

 

Moto2™ got back on track with some incredibly tight timesheets on Wednesday, with Jorge Martin (Red Bull KTM Ajo) setting a 1:42.436 in the afternoon to lead Tom Lüthi (Liqui Moly Intact GP) by just 0.076 by the end of play. Marco Bezzecchi (Sky Racing Team VR46) – despite only being ruled fit to ride on Tuesday after suffering a broken ankle while training – was P3 overall and not much further back either.

Under the soaring Andalusian sun, the intermediate class riders were getting to grips with their Triumph machines for the first time since Tetsuta Nagashima (Red Bull KTM Ajo) took that emotional victory in Qatar, but Moto2™ remains competitive as ever, with hardly anything separating the top 10. Luca Marini made it two Sky Racing Team VR46 bikes in the top four in P4, with former Jerez winner Sam Lowes (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) completing a top five split by 0.251 as he got up to speed quickly on his return from injury.

Italtrans Racing Team’s Enea Bastianini – a podium finisher in Qatar – finished P6 on the combined times, with Marcel Schrötter (Liqui Moly Intact GP), Nagashima and Jorge Navarro (HDR Heidrun Speed Up) up next, sitting three tenths off the pace. Xavi Vierge rounded out the top 10 on his Petronas Sprinta Racing machine, but the close battle went on as 19 riders finished the two sessions within a second of each other.

Lorenzo Baldassarri (Flexbox HP 40) – the man who won at Jerez for the last two years – finished P16. Can he make it further up the timesheets on Friday? Moto2™ FP1 starts at 10:55.

Moto2™ combined standings

1 Jorge Martin – Red Bull KTM Ajo – Kalex 1:42.346

2 Tom Lüthi – Liqui Moly Intact GP – Kalex +0.076

3 Marco Bezzecchi – Sky Racing Team VR46 – Kalex +0.116
McPhee fastest out the blocks in Moto3™

Second in the standings after Qatar, the Scotsman sears back to the top in testing
 

 

John McPhee (17). Photo courtesy Dorna/www.motogp.com.
John McPhee (17). Photo courtesy Dorna/www.motogp.com.

 

Petronas Sprinta Racing’s John McPhee was the man to beat as Moto3™ returned to track action for the first time since the Qatar Grand Prix in March. McPhee, who’s second in the Championship coming into the Gran Premio Red Bull de España, was 0.3 seconds clear of a chasing pack led by another impressive performance from Raul Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) and fellow home hero Jaume Masia (Leopard Racing) a they completed the top three.

McPhee set his 1:46.263 in the opening session of the day when the scorching southern Spanish temperatures were at least a touch cooler, with Fernandez the only rider in the top seven to better his time in the afternoon and taking P2 in the process. The Spaniard was also the only KTM presence in a top five dominated by Honda. Fourth fastest was Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse), who completed the short roll call of riders able to get within half a second of McPhee’s pace.

After signing a new Rivacold Snipers Team contract on Tuesday in Jerez, Filip Salac was up the sharp end in the test once again, backing up an impressive performance in the season opener in Qatar. The Czech rider finished fifth but it was a close-run deal with the Husqvarna of Romano Fenati (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team), who was just 0.008 off Salac in P6. Last year’s Jerez winner Niccolo Antonelli (SIC58 Squadra Corse) was even closer than that in seventh, just 0.003 off Fenati. Gabriel Rodrigo (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3), Dennis Foggia (Leopard Racing) – the Italian only getting out in the afternoon session after a minor gearbox problem at the start of the day – and Tony Arbolino (Rivacold Snipers Team) completed the top ten.

Moto3™ will be back out on track on Friday at 9:00 (GMT +2) as Free Practice begins….

Moto3™ combined standings

1 John McPhee – Petronas Sprinta Racing – Honda 1:46.263

2 Raul Fernandez – Red Bull KTM Ajo – KTM +0.321

3 Jaume Masia- Leopard Racing – Honda +0.330

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Red Bull KTM Tech3:

Successful return to action for Oliveira and Lecuona today

Following a private test in Misano a few weeks ago, Red Bull KTM Tech3‘s Miguel Oliveira and Iker Lecuona eventually have been back in the saddle with two long test sessions at the scorching Circuito de Jerez-Angel Nieto today.

Thereby, Oliveira prepared the upcoming first race weekend with a fastest lap of 1:38.426, which placed him just 0.633 seconds apart from the top overall. Meanwhile Lecuona also managed to recover his feeling aboard the KTM RC16 to conclude the official test only 0.663 seconds behind his teammate ahead of this weekend’s Gran Premio Red Bull de España, which will kick off with FP1 at 9.55 local time on Friday.

Miguel Oliveira
 

Position: 11th

Time: 1:38.426

Laps: 60
“It was a nice day, because we started here in Jerez with the whole grid, so it was finally good to compare ourselves to the rest of the field. The morning session was a bit easier for us, while in the afternoon we struggled to find grip and make the bike turn. This is what will be our target to improve on Friday.”

Iker Lecuona
 

Position: 19th

Time: 1:39.089

Laps: 57
“Today has been a very good for me. I continued to learn, to improve with the bike. I tried something new and immediately felt better. Compared to February, I felt a lot better. This morning I went very fast and also with used tyres I managed to improve, likewise this afternoon with truly high track temperatures. I’m very happy and ready for this weekend to finally start the MotoGP World Championship in 2020.”

Hervé Poncharal

Team Manager

“It was a very useful day for the Red Bull KTM Tech3 team. Although we have had the luck to do the test in Misano in June, it was important to do these two sessions of 90 minutes to re-understand our MotoGP bike. It was very interesting also to compare the data from November with cold weather and the 19+ bike with the 2020 version in hot temperatures. We can definitely see that there has been massive improvement done by KTM. Both of the riders feel at ease, feel good on the bike, which is a great sign for the coming weekend. Clearly, Miguel has shown one more time that he is now a proper top MotoGP rider and this is going to be a very interesting season for Miguel and we could see that our rookie, the youngest MotoGP rider on the grid, Iker Lecuona, has done massive improvement as well. He is feeling better and better with the bike and with the team. He is riding like a real MotoGP rider. We are happy to have that test behind us. It was tough for the crew, for the riders, but very important in order to prepare the race that is going to be in very similar weather conditions, which means hot and difficult to handle. But we are happy to be here, so thanks again to everybody who has been working hard to make this possible. I’m quite sure, there will be a great show on Sunday.”

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Aprilia Gresini Racing:

TWO TEST SESSIONS KICK OFF THE 2020 MOTOGP CHAMPIONSHIP

ALEIX AND BRADLEY SATISFIED AND READY FOR THE FIRST WEEKEND OF THE SEASON

The script called for high temperatures and high competitiveness from all the riders, and the first day of testing in Jerez definitely went as scripted. With the asphalt at 57°C in the afternoon, 16 riders were all within one second of one another in the combined rankings of the two sessions.

In this setting, the Aprilia RS-GP continued growing and, in the able hands of Aleix Espargaró and Bradley Smith, confirmed the good signs shown during its first outings of the season. There is still much work to be done, and the total shutdown in Italy due to COVID certainly didn’t facilitate the schedule for Aprilia, which is therefore putting forth no small effort on the track to prepare as best as possible for the first weekend of the 2020 MotoGP season.

Looking at the times, Aleix ended the day at 1’38.285 with the sixth best time, less than a half a second from the leader. The seventeenth best time went to Bradley (1’38.942), busying himself more with endurance tests, but increasingly faster astride the prototype from Noale.

 

Aleix Espargaro (41). Photo courtesy Aprilia Gresini Racing.
Aleix Espargaro (41). Photo courtesy Aprilia Gresini Racing.

ALEIX ESPARGARO’

“I felt good in both sessions – maybe not super fast on the flying lap, but with a great pace. Especially at the time of day when the races are held, with 20 laps on the tyres, I was able to maintain a good pace. This is rather comforting, because racing here in Jerez is never simple and we managed to maintain the same good feelings as we had in Malaysia and Qatar. The situation in Italy clearly slowed down our schedule, so we’ll have to work harder over the coming months, also in view of 2021. We had a few small problems today, which is only normal, given the little time available to develop such a new project due to COVID. The temperatures are extremely demanding, but I must say that they did a great job on the asphalt. A lot of riders managed to go fast even with this heat and I personally appreciate the conditions that put my athletic preparation to the test.”

 

Bradley Smith (38). Photo courtesy Aprilia Gresini Racing.
Bradley Smith (38). Photo courtesy Aprilia Gresini Racing.

BRADLEY SMITH

“I’m happy to be riding again. Even with all the appropriate precautions, considering the weekend ahead, we were able to carry out the test programme, especially in terms of endurance performance. It was important for us to gather as much data as possible, given how young the project is. Now the techs will be able to analyse it between today and tomorrow in order to prepare for the race as best as possible. There are obviously still some question marks, but at the moment, I’m satisfied. These temperatures put the tyres, riders and bikes to the test. I can guarantee that you feel every extra degree when you’re on the bike!”

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Repsol Honda:

Repsol Honda Team back up to speed in Jerez

The drought of MotoGP action has finally broken in Jerez as Marc Marquez and Alex Marquez returned to the circuit for a productive day of testing ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix.

With new protocols and ways of working in place, the Repsol Honda Team restarted their 2020 MotoGP World Championship campaign at the Circuito de Jerez – Angel Nieto ahead of the Gran Premio Red Bull de España. Two one and a half hour sessions allowed Marc Marquez and Alex Marquez to reacquaint themselves with the Honda RC213V around the circuit which will host the opening two rounds of 2020 season.

Marc Marquez set the pace in the first session of the day, the only rider to drop under the 1’38 barrier in the session. With a productive first morning back, Marc and the Repsol Honda Team continued their progress into the second session and steadily improved during the afternoon running. From his 67 laps, the eight-time World Champion’s 1’37.941 from the morning remained as the third fastest time of the day.

Alex Marquez was eager to return to track as he continues to prepare for his MotoGP debut. Consistently lapping in low 1’39s had the Moto2 World Champion within half a second of the top ten and 1.2 seconds off his team-mate. The afternoon session began with a small crash for Alex Marquez at Turn 6, the rider unharmed in the off and able to return to running once the red flag had been lifted. He concluded the day with a best time of 1’39.151.

Both riders will be back on track for the official start of the Gran Premio Red Bull de España at 09:55 Local Time on Friday, July 17th when FP1 begins.

 

Marc Marquez (93). Photo courtesy Repsol Honda.
Marc Marquez (93). Photo courtesy Repsol Honda.

Marc Marquez

3RD  1’37.941

“I’m happy today. We had a hard pre-season but it looks like at the end of the Qatar Test we found something, so it was good to be able to confirm it here because Qatar is always a unique situation. From the start of today it was my bike, the bike I had in 2019 but with an evolution. My shoulder was also feeling good and I could see the speed was there. We had to work on consistency, which was the real focus in the afternoon. Honestly, I’m just really happy to be back on the bike!”

 

Alex Marquez (73). Photo courtesy Repsol Honda.
Alex Marquez (73). Photo courtesy Repsol Honda.

Alex Marquez

20TH  1’39.151

“I am happy with the rhythm that we found today, as a rookie it’s important to improve lap by lap. Looking ahead to the weekend as a whole, the main objective will be to keep our rhythm in what looks to be a very hot weekend. Unlike in Qatar or Malaysia with the longer straights, you hardly get a chance to rest here. I have a good feeling with the bike and I am ready for my first weekend in MotoGP.”

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Red Bull KTM:

RED BULL KTM BACK TO WORK WITH FINAL PRE-SEASON RUN AT JEREZ

MotoGP 2020 IRTA test Jerez (ESP)

MotoGP™ engines finally fired back into life today for the final 2020 pre-season run at a scorching Circuito de Jerez-Angel Nieto. The brief track outings for the MotoGP, Moto2™ and Moto3™ classes preface the Gran Premio Red Bull de España at the same site this weekend.

Pol Espargaro rode almost 50 laps with his 2020 KTM RC16 and consistently posted times to remain in the upper echelons of the classifications. The Spaniard joined the rest of the grid in regaining a feel for the speed and force of MotoGP and also discovering the limits of the hot Jerez asphalt. The morning session was cooler, the afternoon even warmer and tougher where he placed 9th and finished the day 13th in the combined standings. Teammate and rookie Brad Binder also reacclimatized around the Andalusian layout and for the first time with the ’20 KTM RC16 after making his very first circulations at the 2019 winter test. The South African logged a quickest effort of 13th in the afternoon (18th for the day); just 1.2 seconds from the top slot.

Red Bull KTM Tech3’s Miguel Oliveira and Iker Lecuona used the other two factory bikes to positive effect. Oliveira in particular was the swiftest KTM racer during a stretch of the two MotoGP sessions. The Portuguese rested with the 11th best lap-time overall – just over half a second from the fastest – while Lecuona was 19th.

Jerez was also the scene for Moto2 and Moto3 testing. Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Raul Fernandez led the Moto3 time screens with his KTM RC4 in the second session and Jorge Martin fronted the second Moto2 period for the Red Bull KTM Ajo squad.

2020 MotoGP officially begins with Free Practice 1 on Friday at 09.55 CET.

 

Pol Espargaro (44). Photo courtesy Red Bull KTM.
Pol Espargaro (44). Photo courtesy Red Bull KTM.

Pol Espargaro: “It’s so nice to be out on track again. For sure we want more but – for now – we are seeing at this test, and the ones before, that our pace is good enough to fight for the top ten at a place where we have struggled in previous years when it has been so hot and we lost a lot with the grip. With the 2020 bike we are turning a bit more and it seems to be a bit more stable. It’s good for us.”

Brad Binder: “Today was quite OK. This morning was good, and I felt much more at home with the bike straightaway. It’s a physical racetrack and I had some issues and messed up quite a lot of laps which didn’t help but had a longer run. It was nice to do a good few laps in a row just to get comfortable and to get an idea of what Sunday is going to be like. I have made good steps forward and I am much more ready for the first grand prix.”

Miguel Oliveira: “It was a nice day and it was good to compare ourselves to the rest of the field. The morning session was a bit easier for us, while in the afternoon we struggled to find grip and make the bike turn. This will be our target to improve on Friday.”

Iker Lecuona: “Today has been a very good for me. I continued to learn and to improve with the bike. I tried something new and immediately felt better. This morning I went very fast and also with used tires I managed to improve, likewise this afternoon with high track temperatures. I’m very happy and ready to finally start the MotoGP World Championship in 2020.”

Mike Leitner, Red Bull KTM Race Manager: “We had a good first day in these hot temperatures with no crashes and the riders showed good performance: Pol was in the top ten and Brad rode well: we can feel that he is really adapting to MotoGP. In the morning Miguel was fast and Iker was able to show more promise. We wanted to lock down some settings for these conditions, so a rapid lap-time was not our priority. Now we’ll look towards the weekend.”

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Pramac Racing:

Spanish GP – Miller and Bagnaia both in Top 10 after first day of action at Jerez

The Pramac Racing Team and their riders Jack Miller and Pecco Bagnaia are thrilled to officially restart the 2020 MotoGP World Championship this week. After more than four months of waiting due to the global Covid-19 pandemic, today we were back on track. Right a few minutes after the opening of the pit line at 10 AM local time, Jack Miller was already in the top positions. After one hour he was leading with his fastest lap in 1:38.348 on lap 16, closing in seventh position the first session of the day. Pecco Bagnaia finished the first session of the day in the top 10 with his fastest time, in 1:38.729. The second session of the day, after a stop of almost an hour after a red flag, saw Pecco Bagnaia finish in sixth with a best time in 1:38.417 on lap 27. Jack Miller finished thirteenth with the best time in 1:38.676 on lap 22. Pramac Racing concludes this first day of testing with both riders in the Top Ten in the overall standings. Jack Miller P8 (1:38.348) and Pecco Bagnaia P10 (1:38.417)

Pecco Bagnaia

Today was difficult after the 5 months break, especially during the first session. But I thought that it would be more difficult considering the heat in these days in Jerez. I feel good and I’m happy especially for the second session of the test during the afternoon. Today we focused about the feeling with my bike starting from the work done during the winter test. I think that we made some steps forward working on my limits to improve. We will continue in this way.

Jack Miller

First of all I am very happy to be back on my bike today after a long break. The initial feeling was immediately very positive even though it was my first time riding the new Ducati 2020 here at Jerez. We still have some small adjustments to make but we are definitely on the right way. A very positive first day.
 

More, from a press release issued by Ducati:

Day of MotoGP pre-race testing in Jerez for the Ducati Team riders

The Ducati Team riders Andrea Dovizioso and Danilo Petrucci finally got back in the saddle of the Desmosedici GP20 bikes for a day of pre-race testing, ahead of the official start of the 2020 MotoGP season this weekend at the same circuit of Jerez de la Frontera.

The two 90-minute sessions were an excellent opportunity for teams and riders to find the rhythm again after the four-month-long forced break caused by the coronavirus emergency. For Dovizioso, recovering from a left collarbone injury, today was also an opportunity to confirm his physical conditions, after being declared fit to participate in the Grand Prix during the medical check-up carried out at the circuit the day before.

The rider from Forlì, who finished 15th overall in 1:38.779, was satisfied with his first day in Jerez. In addition to being physically ready, Andrea and his team have been able to set the base on which they will work in the coming days ahead of Sunday’s race.

His teammate Danilo Petrucci, however, was more unfortunate today, as he was the victim after only four laps in the afternoon of a nasty crash at Turn 11, caused by the presence of oil on the track. The rider from Terni, who had managed to pick up good sensations during the morning, was forced to miss the rest of the second session due to a light head concussion with muscle strains that he suffered during the accident. Petrucci ended the day in the 21st position overall in 1:39.249.

The Ducati Team riders will be back out on track this Friday at 9:55 a.m. local time (GMT +2.00) for the first free practice session of the Spanish Grand Prix scheduled for this Sunday.

 

Andrea Dovizioso (04). Photo courtesy Ducati.
Andrea Dovizioso (04). Photo courtesy Ducati.

Andrea Dovizioso (#04 Ducati Team) – 15th (1:38.779)

“After these four months of break, today turned out to be crucial, and I’m pleased with how it went. Thanks to the work I have done at home after the collarbone surgery, I was able to arrive here in the ideal conditions to do a good test. I found a particular feeling: the temperatures are high, the tyres different than last year and we spent a lot of time without riding. Thanks to this test, we can now focus on the important aspects of the race without wasting time.”

 

Danilo Petrucci (9). Photo courtesy Ducati.
Danilo Petrucci (9). Photo courtesy Ducati.

Danilo Petrucci (#9 Ducati Team) – 21st (1:39.249)

“It was a hectic day, but I’m happy because I was able to regain the feeling with the Desmosedici GP right away. This morning I was quite satisfied with the work done and even this afternoon I was doing a nice lap before the crash. Unfortunately, the bike in front of me lost some oil, and I couldn’t avoid the crash. I slipped out at turn 11 and hit my head hard. Fortunately, I didn’t get injured, but I preferred not to risk this afternoon and rest ahead of the race weekend”.

 

 

 

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

MONSTER ENERGY YAMAHA MOTOGP RESTART 2020 RACING SEASON TOPPING JEREZ TEST

Jerez de la Frontera (Spain), 15th July 2020

GRAND PRIX OF SPAIN

TEST

The Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team and riders Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi revved their hearts as they commenced the 2020 MotoGP action at the Circuito de Jerez-Ángel Nieto. Riding for the first time in more than four months, they took part in two crucial 90-minute test sessions ahead of this weekend‘s Gran Premio de España and secured first and fifth place in the combined timesheets.

1st MAVERICK VIÑALES 1’37.793 (afternoon) / 60 (29+31) LAPS

5th VALENTINO ROSSI 1’38.222 (morning) / 64 (32+32) LAPS

The Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team and riders Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi were on a mission today. They used the 180 minutes of track time to the fullest in order to open the 2020 MotoGP Championship in the best condition possible – and they ticked all the boxes. The team-mates powered through a list of setting tweaks items and secured first and fifth place in the combined rankings.

Viñales continued the mindset he adapted in the earlier tests in Malaysia and Qatar (held pre-lockdown). Instead of putting in a fast benchmark lap, he completely focused on getting the feeling and the base set-up of his YZR-M1 right, in preparation for this weekend‘s Gran Premio de España. After completing 29 laps, he ended the first session in 13th place, 1‘38.863s, 0.922s from the top.

The second session came to an abrupt halt when after 9.5 minutes Danilo Petrucci and Alex Marquez crashed due to oil leaked from Aleix Espargaró‘s bike, causing a red-flag situation. Following a thorough cleaning job by the marshals, the lights at the end of pit lane turned green again. Despite the interruption, the number-12 rider managed to cover a lot of ground in the afternoon. Gradually improving his time, he worked himself up inside the top five and went on to take over the number one spot on lap 28/31, with a 1‘37.793s and a 0.118s gap to second place.

Rossi got the strong start he wished for. He was quick to head out at 10am in order to squeeze out the maximum potential from the 90 minutes he could spent on track in the morning. He focused on getting a good feeling with his YZR-M1 for the majority of the available time but did find an opportunity to put in a quick lap at the end of the session, securing third place in the rankings, with a 1‘38.222s, 0.281s from first.

In the afternoon, the Italian moved on to working on different settings. Perfecting the race set-up will be crucial for the upcoming Spanish GP, as the weather forecasts predict it will be very hot and sunny weekend. The Doctor put in 32 laps on top of the 32 laps he rode in the morning. His 1‘39.302s time in the afternoon put him in 16th place in the second session results, 1.509s from the front. However, his morning time earned him fifth in the combined Jerez test day rankings, 0.429s from his team-mate in first place.

MASSIMO MEREGALLI

TEAM DIRECTOR

It‘s great to be back! But we had little time to feel euphoric this morning because we had a lot of work to do. First and foremost, we wanted to give Maverick and Valentino the opportunity to get comfortable with their bikes again. But besides letting them build confidence, we also needed to compare the data from the earlier tests and see how they translate to this track. The characteristics here are of a different nature than the Sepang and Losail circuits. Normally when we arrive in Jerez we already have some races under our belts, but this time we‘re starting from zero, so that made today‘s track activity extra important. So far, we have done a solid job. We have two riders in the top 5 today, though we still have some work to do in certain areas. But anyway, we are looking forward to the free practice sessions on Friday.

 

Maverick Vinales (12). Photo courtesy Monster Energy Yamaha.
Maverick Vinales (12). Photo courtesy Monster Energy Yamaha.

MAVERICK VIÑALES

Very happy to be back. It‘s very nice to ride my M1 again as it‘s always very exciting. We have been working hard especially thinking about the race, that was our main goal today. We tried to see how the bike works in these incredibly high temperatures, and we are surprised that our level is so high. So, I‘m really looking forward to the weekend as I felt really good on the bike, and that‘s very important. The bike is in perfect shape, and now we have to get the most out of it. I’m feeling happy and confident for this weekend. Last year’s bike was also working well here, but this year I can attack the corners in a different way by braking very hard, which will give me an advantage when I overtake. But we need to make another improvement in that area, that will be my main focus this weekend, because this track is not easy.

 

Valentino Rossi (46). Photo courtesy Monster Energy Yamaha.
Valentino Rossi (46). Photo courtesy Monster Energy Yamaha.

VALENTINO ROSSI

It‘s been a strange situation, I’ve never stayed away from my MotoGP bike for this long. But I’m in good shape because I trained a lot. This morning was good. I put in a good lap time with the soft tyre during the time attack. In the afternoon, I struggled a bit. We need to work on the pace. We can compare Jerez to Malaysia. The conditions are different though, the heat here is drier than Sepang. When you ride it‘s difficult to breathe as you get lots of hot air into your face. It will be challenging for the race.

We won‘t be able to confirm the Petronas SRT deal now. I haven’t signed yet, but we have decided together with Yamaha and Petronas SRT to talk about 2021. I’ve already spoken with Razlan Razali, Wilco Zeelenberg, and Johan Stigefelt and I have good feelings about it, but it’s not true that I already signed as there are still some details that we have to work out, but most likely I will be here in 2021!

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by LCR Honda Castrol:

CRUTCHLOW SEVENTH FASTEST AS MOTOGP RETURN IN JEREZ

Cal Crutchlow enjoyed his return to competitive action as the MotoGP class reassembled for a day of testing in Jerez on Wednesday. After an enforced four-month absence due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the LCR Honda Castrol rider and his colleagues finally got back out on the track at the Jerez Circuit as they prepared for this weekend’s Grand Prix at the same venue.

In typically hot conditions in the south of Spain, two 90-minute sessions were staged as the MotoGP field got some time to make improvements ahead of the first race of the season. Crutchlow was quickly back in his rhythm as he finished sixth in the morning session – under four tenths behind early pacesetter Marc Marquez – before posting the 14th fastest time in the afternoon as he ended seventh overall in the combined times.

 

Cal Crutchlow (35). Photo courtesy LCR Honda Castrol.
Cal Crutchlow (35). Photo courtesy LCR Honda Castrol.

Cal Crutchlow – 7th

(1’138.313)

“It was great to be back today, riding the LCR Castrol Honda bike here in Jerez. It’s been a long break and it’s great to be back and see some familiar faces… even though they’ve got masks on! But yeah, it was nice to work again this Wednesday and then have a little break for everyone to analyse what we’ve done here. Now we look forward to the race weekend here in Jerez.”

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Team Suzuki Press Office:

SUZUKI ECSTAR ROUND 1 MotoGP TEST GIVES BOOST FOR RINS AND MIR

Alex Rins: 4th – 1:38.193
Joan Mir: 9th – 1:38.380

The MotoGP riders were able to participate in a one-day test today at the Circuito de Jerez – Angel Nieto as a form of warm-up or ‘shakedown’ ahead of the season’s start on Friday morning.

The combination of a long time spent off the bike, the scorching hot track temperatures, and an electrical issue in the control tower causing delay, made for a trying day, but it was also a useful way to get reacquainted with the 2020 machines. Michelin reported track temperatures approaching sixty degrees Celsius, some of the highest ever recorded at Jerez.

Team Suzuki Ecstar’s riders both reported a boost in confidence after the two track sessions on Wednesday and are ready to tackle the rest of the weekend with renewed vigour.

Alex Rins went straight into finding a setup ready for Friday morning, establishing a consistent rhythm, and setting good lap times. He also spent time trying the tyre options and preparing for what will be a tough race in boiling conditions. He completed the day in fourth position.

Joan Mir began the day by confirming his feeling with the 2020 chassis before moving onto adjustments and settings for the forthcoming GP weekend. The Mallorcan felt better throughout the day but admitted to still having a margin to improve in terms of time attack. Mir closed the afternoon session in fifth place, giving him ninth place in the combined classification.

Davide Brivio – Team Manager:

“We’re happy to start the season with this test, especially as everything went well. It was a good opportunity to confirm our final package, and a good chance for the riders to get used to being back on the bikes. We’re ready for the first weekend of the championship, we’ll have one more day of preparation tomorrow, and then everything will get going for real!”

 

Alex Rins (42). Photo courtesy ECSTAR Suzuki.
Alex Rins (42). Photo courtesy ECSTAR Suzuki.

Alex Rins:

“After a long time, I’m so happy to be back! It seems as though no-one has been off the bikes because the lap times are so competitive as always! I’m happy with today’s progress, we tried a lot of configurations on the bike and I’m ready to keep working for the weekend. Despite the extreme heat I feel comfortable with my physical condition and also with the feeling on the bike. Let’s see what happens this weekend!”

 

Joan Mir (36). Photo courtesy ECSTAR Suzuki.
Joan Mir (36). Photo courtesy ECSTAR Suzuki.

Joan Mir:

“It felt unbelievably good to get back on my bike! Everything feels so smooth and fast, and I’m really happy about how today went. We improved a lot and we know what we need to do to be fast. I felt good in the morning session, but I lacked a bit in the time attack during the afternoon – so we have some work to do there. But overall, my pace is quite good. I think today was the hottest conditions ever, and that will make it very tough for everybody, especially on Sunday!”

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by LCR Honda Idemitsu:

TAKA PLEASED TO FINALLY MAKE TRACK RETURN AT JEREZ TEST

LCR Honda IDEMITSU rider Takaaki Nakagami was delighted to be back on his RC213V as MotoGP action finally returned on Wednesday. The premier class enjoyed an official test day at the Jerez circuit in preparation for this weekend’s Grand Prix at the same venue as the paddock regroups following the delay to the 2020 season caused by the Coronavirus pandemic.

The riders took part in two 90-minute sessions over the course of the day, with strong sunshine ensuring scorching conditions in southern Spain. Nakagami admitted it took some time to reacquaint himself with his Honda machine in the morning, but was pleased with the progress he eventually made as he finished 14th and 15th in the two sessions respectively.

 

Takaaki Nakagami (30). Photo courtesy LCR Honda Idemitsu.
Takaaki Nakagami (30). Photo courtesy LCR Honda Idemitsu.

Takaaki Nakagami – 16th

(1’38.873)

“First of all I’m really happy to be able to jump back on the bike again after these four months without MotoGP. It was not that easy to adapt for the first half hour, because this is MotoGP and this racing speed is not easy to adapt to. We had two hour and a half sessions, it’s only three hours today, but in the end understood where we were losing time and we’ll go step by step. Tomorrow is a day off and we’ll try to focus on this weekend. It will be different conditions on Friday, Saturday and Sunday as there is more rubber on the track. But it was really tough and super hot today, especially the afternoon session, but we’ll keep working towards the weekend and pushing hard.”

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by PETRONAS Yamaha SRT:

PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team riders back on track for first time since pre-season testing

PETRONAS Yamaha SRT riders Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli enjoy session on track for first time since pre-season testing, finishing second and 14th respectively

Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli have been able to enjoy two sessions on track at Circuit de Jerez – Angel Nieto today, for the first time since pre-season testing in Qatar. The pair took to their Yamaha YZR-M1 machines for two 90-minutes sessions round the 4.4km long Spanish circuit, although the afternoon session was disrupted by a red flag period.

Quartararo spent the majority of the day adapting to the bike and understanding how the circuit reacts to the intense temperatures that the Jerez area is currently experiencing. Fabio finished the morning session fifth with a 1min 38.312secs lap time. After the red flag period in the second MotoGP session, Quartararo focused on improving settings further. The quickest of the afternoon laps, which was a time of 1min 37.911secs, was enough to propel himself into second in the combined standings.

Team-mate Morbidelli worked on tweaking the set-up from the Qatar pre-season test to work round the Jerez circuit. The Italian set good times in the first session, finishing 9th with a 1min 38.733 lap. Franco looked set to improve upon this further in the final ten minutes of the afternoon session, but a small crash in the last corner prevented him from achieving his full potential. Franco ended the day with a fastest time of 1min 38.646secs, which placed him 12th in the overall times.

The first GP of the year for Fabio and Franco will see them take to the track at 0955 CEST/1555 MYT on Friday for FP1, with Sunday’s race set to take place at 1400 CEST/2000 MYT.

 

Fabio Quartararo (20). Photo courtesy PETRONAS Yamaha SRT.
Fabio Quartararo (20). Photo courtesy PETRONAS Yamaha SRT.

Fabio Quartararo

2nd (1:37.911)

It feels really good to be back after such a long time and I think that today was positive. We started the day struggling a little bit because I didn’t have that good feeling with the bike. It was to be expected as it’s the first time I’ve ridden the M1 at Jerez this year, plus it’s the first time I’ve been on the race bike since Qatar. Jerez is a completely different track to Sepang and Qatar too. I didn’t expect to improve that much in the afternoon because the pace was quite consistent.

Tomorrow we will have time to think about the settings, tyres and electronics, so that we can improve further. We didn’t do a time attack so it’s going to be strange when we do, but I’m really happy ahead of Friday and can’t wait for the race weekend to start properly.

 

Franco Morbidelli (21). Photo courtesy PETRONAS Yamaha SRT.
Franco Morbidelli (21). Photo courtesy PETRONAS Yamaha SRT.

Franco Morbidelli

14th (1:38.646)

First of all, I’m really happy to be back at the circuit and meet again with my family at the circuit, my crew. Secondly, it was very nice to back on my M1 and it felt great immediately from lap one to be riding it again. We immediately started working on set-up and preparing ourselves for the upcoming weekend. There is some room to improve but I felt good and we know what we need to improve.

Unfortunately I couldn’t see what my real potential was today after a mistake in the last corner towards the end of the second session, but I know that the potential is there. Now we look forward to starting the 2020 season properly this weekend, I can’t wait.

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