Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) finishes Wednesday’s MotoGP™ Jerez Test at the top of the timesheets, thanks to a 1:37.793 in the afternoon session. Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) claimed P2 as both Yamahas went quicker in the soaring afternoon temperatures, with third place Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) sitting P3 – his morning time the best of his day.
The top track temperature recorded in Jerez on Wednesday was 57 degrees as most of the premier class riders endured their first time on the bikes in four months and with the afternoon session taking place at a similar time to when the race will be held, it was vital for the riders to get accustomed to their machines in the heat.
The morning session went ahead without any drama, however 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. The riders were thankfully ok but the red flags were shown, which put a halt to proceedings.
When play resumed, Marc Marquez was the man to beat as he – at one point – sat 0.7 clear of his nearest rival. The troubles with the 2020 HRC bike seem to have been eradicated and the number 93 was looking like his normal self on track, but Quartararo then topped the eight-time World Champion by 0.030 on the combined times to go P1. However, Viñales then struck with less than five minutes on the clock to go over a tenth clear as the leading trio finish 0.148 apart.
Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) claimed P4 on his GSX-RR, with everyone down to fellow Team Suzuki Ecstar rider Joan Mir in P9 failing 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, a shade ahead of Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) and Jack Miller (Pramac Racing). Behind Mir and rounding out the top 10 was fellow MotoGP™ sophomore Francesco Bagnaia (Pramac Racing), with just 0.624 splitting the aforementioned riders.
In total, out of the 22 riders, 10 were able to go quicker in the afternoon. This included Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team), who was putting in the laps just two weeks after breaking his left collarbone. The Italian finished P15, 0.986 from Viñales’ time, but we can’t draw too many conclusions from Wednesday’s action – the real test begins on Friday morning.
How good was it to have MotoGP™ bikes back on track? Now, the anticipation bubbles for Free Practice Friday and the rest of the weekend as we get set for the Gran Premio Red Bull de España. You can watch every ounce of action from all four classes with VideoPass, and don’t forget to set up you MotoGP™ Fantasy team if you haven’t done so already!
09:55 local time (GMT+2) is the time you need to be in front of your TV screens for on Friday morning as we welcome the return of MotoGP™.
Top 10 combined:
1. Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) – 1:37.793
2. Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) + 0.118
3. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) + 0.148
4. Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) + 0.400
5. Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) + 0.429
6. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) + 0.492
7. Cal Crutchlow (LCR Castrol Honda) + 0.520
8. Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) + 0.555
9. Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) + 0.587
10. Francesco Bagnaia (Pramac Racing) + 0.624