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Hector Barbera (Avintia Racing) has gone quickest on day one of testing at the Circuito de Jerez in Andalucia, as MotoGP™ machines also shared the track with some of the WorldSBK paddock.
From MotoGP™, those present include Avintia Racing duo Loris Baz and Hector Barbera, Ducati Team’s test team with Michele Pirro, Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS’ Jack Miller, Andrea Iannone riding the Team Suzuki Ecstar machine, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini’s Aleix Espargaro and Sam Lowes, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing new signing Bradley Smith and test rider Mika Kallio, and Octo Pramac Yakhnich pairing Scott Redding and Danilo Petrucci - as well as Aspar Team’s Alvaro Bautista and Karel Abraham. Movistar Yamaha MotoGP and Monster Yamaha Tech 3 are instead testing at Sepang International Circuit.
After WorldSBK had some progress earlier in the week hampered by bad weather, Wednesday finally saw blue skies over the track, low breeze and temperatures in the mid-to-late teens for MotoGP™’s first running.
Quickest was Barbera on his 2016 Ducati as he gets to grips with the bike he also rode when replacing Andrea Iannone in the Ducati Team during the first two of the triple-header flyaways this year, putting in a 1:39.614. The next quickest GP machine was that of his teammate Loris Baz on the 2015 Ducati in third, as reigning WorldSBK Champion Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) split the Avintias in P2 on the overall timesheets.
Third fastest of the MotoGP™ runners was Alvaro Bautista, ahead of Redding, Aleix Espargaro, Pirro, Iannone, Miller, Petrucci and returning rider Karel Abraham. Andrea Iannone put in the most laps of the MotoGP™ regular riders as he rode the Suzuki for the second time, registering 68, equalling that of Honda test rider Hiroshi Aoyama. Michele Pirro was the mover in the afternoon as he goes on duty in place of Jorge Lorenzo and Andrea Dovizioso as Ducati prepare their 2017 assault, moving up the timesheets significantly to end the day sixth of those on MotoGP™ machinery. With weather not guaranteed for tomorrow or Friday, the day was a long one for many as they ready themselves for the winter test ban ahead of getting back on track at the first test of the year in Sepang.
There were few incidents, with MotoGP™ rookie Sam Lowes one of the only riders to fall as he suffered a small crash at Nieto corner. MotoGP™ action continues tomorrow – in the meantime catch up with all the WorldSBK news before the green light goes on for Thursday...