News 16 Nov 2017

Marquez moves to the top of MotoGP test time-sheets on Wednesday

Impressive Miller once again on the pace with Pramac Racing Ducati in Spain.

Source: Supplied.

Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez followed up his sixth world title win on Sunday by going fastest in Valencia over the two days of MotoGP testing, almost four tenths clear of teammate Dani Pedrosa with a best of 1m30.033s.

Honda have been testing their 2018 bike as well as the 2017 and some parts on the bike with which they took the triple crown, as both riders put in a combined total of over 100 laps.

On the second day Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) was the fastest Yamaha and the Frenchman put in 65 laps to go third overall, just pushed back down the time-sheets in the latter stages by Pedrosa. Zarco has been testing the 2017 M1 and has been positive, saying he feels more potential with it.

Movistar Yamaha’s Macerick Viñales was fifth fastest after 66 laps, with team-mate Valentino Rossi taking P7 on the time-sheets after 62 laps. Rossi spent day two largely working with a new 2018 engine and Viñales said day one was more positive, but the slightly different track conditions on the second day had helped compare direction for next season.

Ducati saw Andrea Dovizioso get through his testing program by mid-afternoon and hit the pause button until the Borgo Panigale factory head back out on track, ending the day in P15, but satisfied. Team-mate Jorge Lorenzo ended the day in P4 and was in the top three for some time.

Lorenzo said they got through a good program of work, but more that he understood and was able to practice some changes in his riding style to adapt to the bike, putting in 39 laps with a best of 1m30.534s. He was quickest of the Desmosedici GPs on Wednesday.

Australia’s Jack Miller (Octo Pramac Racing) impressed once more in eighth despite a crash, putting in 45 laps on his new bike and ending the session 0.017s ahead of Andrea Iannone (Team Suzuki Ecstar). Iannone, sidelined on the first day with a virus, was back out for 47 laps and teammate Alex Rins put in 38 laps.

Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) was the last man in the top ten after 44 laps, again close to the man ahead and only 0.012s off ninth. His team-mate Scot Redding, settling in on his new machine, did 56 laps and ended the day in P19.

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing had another positive day, with Pol Espargaro and Bradley Smith lining up in P11 and P12 respectively. With a host of new parts and new team members, positivity abounded once more, with Espargaro putting in 46 laps and Smith 39. Espargaro worked mainly on the rhythm and grip, saying a big step forward had been found.

Franco Morbidelli (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) was the fastest rookie in 16th, turning the tables on day two to end up just ahead of fellow rookie Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda). Morbidelli did 58 laps despite a crash and Nakagami 62 in total. Xavier Simeon (Reale Avintia Racing), also a rookie and recovering from injury, put in 61 laps to take 20th.

Now some teams head for Jerez for more testing including Miller on the GP17, before the next official outing lights up Sepang International Circuit at the start of next season.