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Marc Marquez finished the two-day test on top of the timesheets as the 2016 MotoGP™ season got underway in Valencia.
Having spent most of Tuesday at the Comunitat Valenciana – Ricardo Tormo adjusting to the new Michelin tyres and specification changes to next year’s bikes, Wednesday saw a number of riders get a chance to work on their 2016 bikes and setups and focus on gathering data for next year. Every single MotoGP™ rider improved their times from Tuesday as they continued to adapt to the new machinery, with Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez setting the quickest time over the two days, a 1’31.060.
Marquez improved his time by over four-tenths on Wednesday as he continued to test the 2016 Honda RC213V, going under Jorge Lorenzo’s fastest lap from the race (1'31.367) in the process, despite crashing twice over the course of the two days.
Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Maverick Viñales ended the two days in second, just 0.103s behind the pace of Marquez, after completing 57 laps on the second day. This feat was made even more impressive by the fact that Suzuki announced that they would not be debuting the 2016 GSX-RR with a seamless-shift gearbox until the Sepang test in February.
Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda) was only seventeen-thousandths of a second further back in third as he completed 60 laps on Wednesday, ahead of the second GSX-RR of Aleix Espargaro (+0.152s) in fourth who put in 55 laps.
The 2015 MotoGP™ World Champion Jorge Lorenzo improved by over a half a second from Tuesday to end the day in fifth, just 0.222s behind the pace of Marquez, setting his best time on his penultimate lap from a total of 48 on Wednesday.
LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow (+0.434s) was the leading Satellite rider in sixth; just 0.004s ahead of Lorenzo’s teammate Valentino Rossi (+0.438s), with the Brit crashing on Wednesday as he lost the front at turn 1. The ‘Doctor’ showed that 2016 might be another close fight between the two Yamaha riders as he finished in sixth after improving by almost a second on Wednesday, ending the test just over two-tenths off the pace of Lorenzo.
Andrea Iannone (Ducati Team) ended the test in 8th as the leading Ducati ahead of Monster Yamaha Tech 3's Pol Espargaro who also crashed on Tuesday as he lost the front at turn 12, but recovered to end the test in 9th, with his teammate Bradley Smith completing the top ten.
The Avintia Racing duo of Loris Baz and Hector Barbera finished in 12th and 14th respectively on their GP14.2’s, with Scott Redding on the Octo Pramac Racing GP15 Ducati sandwiched between them in 13th. All three were quicker than the Factory Ducati of Andrea Dovizioso in 15th, with the Italian completing 62 laps on Wednesday.
Australian Jack Miller, who has switched to the Marc VDS Racing team for 2016, was 16th fastest, just ahead of Irishman Eugene Laverty on the Aspar MotoGP Team Ducati GP14.2 in 17th.
Tito Rabat (EG 0,0 Marc VDS), who is the only new face in the MotoGP™ field for 2016, finished in 18th on the combined timesheets as he made his debut in the class after making the step up from Moto2™. Laverty's new teammate Yonny Hernandez ended the test in 20th overall, sandwiched in-between the two Aprilia Racing Team Gresini bikes of Stefan Bradl (19th) and Alvaro Bautista (21st).
Over the course of the two-day test there were a number of front-end crashes for riders as they adjusted to the new demands of the Michelin tyres and spec ECU systems, but no one was injured.
The riders and teams will be back on track together at the next Official test in Sepang on the 1st February 2016.
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