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After Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) took his first win of the year on Sunday, bikes were back out on track the following day for the Jerez Test – the first post-race test of the year. The tyre allocation for the test was the same as available throughout the weekend, plus an extra front option with a stiffer construction, in a medium and hard compound - a key component for the grid to evaluate over the more than 1440km completed during the day.
Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) was top, but by only 0.002 from Championship rival Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team). Viñales put in 84 laps throughout the day, with a best of 1:38.635 to go top. Teammate Valentino Rossi did 62 laps and a best of 1:40.463 in P21 – with both Yamaha riders focusing on a new chassis as well as tyre testing.
Monster Yamaha Tech 3 riders Johann Zarco and Jonas Folger ended the day in P9 and P14 with bests of 1:39.528 and 1:39.797 respectively, with the Frenchman putting in 42 laps and the German 39. Folger focused on setting, and working with the front.
The Repsol Honda Team ended the day in P2 and P3 - Marc Marquez in P2 with a 1:38.637 after 96 laps, and race winner Dani Pedrosa on a 1:38.716 after 52 laps. Both tested a new exhaust used by LCR Honda rider Cal Crutchlow throughout the Spanish GP, with tyres also a key point of interest.
Crutchlow focused on the exhaust, electronics and rear suspension over his day of 70 laps, and the Brit posted the seventh quickest time of the day – a 1:39.319. Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS riders also had some small parts to try from Honda, with Jack Miller ending the day in P11 with a 1:39.548 and Tito Rabat just behind with a 1:39.576.
The Ducati Team of Andrea Dovizioso and Spanish GP podium finisher Jorge Lorenzo ended the day in fifth and sixth respectively, with best laps of 1:39.030 and 1:39.124. The Borgo Panigale factory brought no new parts, focusing on the rubber.
Octo Pramac Racing Ducati riders Scott Redding and Danilo Petrucci had two distinct days of testing, with the Brit in P10 as a later improver and the Italian in P15. Redding focused on early race pace with a full tank and new tyres, with Petrucci trying a new front fork to improve turning on his GP17.
Reale Avintia Racing’s Hector Barbera was another improver in the afternoon up to P8. The Spaniard raised the seat and footpeg height on his GP16 in the test, trying to find more front feeling, as teammate Loris Baz worked on the front end to get more comfortable on his GP15.
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Aleix Espargaro: "We want to improve the front stability under braking"
Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) was an impressive performer, in fourth on the timesheets with a best of 1:38.999 after 69 laps. The rider from Granollers was one of those with the most additions to test, including a new swingarm and internal cooling ducts for the fuel tank – as well working on electronics and testing a new fairing. Teammate Sam Lowes did over 60 laps as he continues his progression, ending the day in P22.
Team Suzuki Ecstar brought no new parts, but focused on front-end feeling – especially given the new front tyre to evaluate. Andrea Iannone was P12 with a 1:39.654, with test rider Takuya Tsuda in P18. Le Mans replacement rider for injured Alex Rins, Sylvain Guintoli, rode in the afternoon as he gets back in the GP groove – and will remain at Jerez on Tuesday alongside Andrea Iannone for another day of track action after 37 initial laps on first contact.
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing had race riders Pol Espargaro and Bradley Smith at the test, as well as test rider Mika Kallio. Espargaro focused on reconfirming results so far for the Austrian factory, checking previous data was correct after racking up a lot of miles since the last chance the teams had the chance to test outside of a race weekend. The three men were P16, P17 and P20 respectively, with Espargaro’s 1:39.959 the best lap of the day from the ‘Bulls’ and a combined total of over 150 laps for the riders present.
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Next up is Le Mans for the French GP, with even more data gathered and steps made as the early stages of the Championship this year begin to take shape. Action gets underway on the Bugatti circuit on May 19th.
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