Marquez back on top in Brno test

Reigning Champion leads Zarco in the Official Test

Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) topped the Brno test was a late lunge for the top, setting a 1:55.209 on one of his last laps of the day. Repsol Honda were working with some “important” components so says the reigning Champion, but details remained close to their chests. Teammate Dani Pedrosa was third quickest after having led the way for some time in the afternoon, and Hiroshi Aoyama was also out on track in place of Stefan Bradl testing for HRC – with the trio banking more than 150 laps between them.

Marquez also tried a new Michelin tyre that was available at the test, although LCR Honda Castrol’s Crutchlow didn’t. The Brit, instead, tested something for HRC as the number 93 was tasked with giving his opinion on the new rubber. Crutchlow’s teammate Takaaki Nakagami, meanwhile, worked on settings and finished the test just ahead of key rookie rival and fellow Honda rider Franco Morbidelli (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) as the two took P14 and P15 respectively.

Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) was top Yamaha, moving up to second late on and, in an uncharacteristic day of action for the Frenchman, riding until very late on as he did more than 70 laps. Teammate Hafizh Syahrin did only a handful less and was top rookie, completing the top ten. Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) was P7 and second Yamaha, however, with the factory riders not having any real novelties to test and rather carrying on their work to end their victory drought. Maverick Viñales, after a crash out of the race early on, sat out the test following pain in his shoulder as a consequence of the fall.

Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso and Jorge Lorenzo were next on the timesheets after Marquez, Zarco and Pedrosa. The Czech GP winner and runner up were working on aero and frames but had nothing big to test – focused on fine-tuning. Nevertheless, the two together put in almost 100 laps for the Borgo Panigale marque and were only 0.092 apart by the end of play. Danilo Petrucci (Alma Pramac Racing) was P8 after just over 30 laps, but teammate Jack Miller only did 13 – a crash after an issue on his first bike put paid to his plans, but rider ok. The team elected not to run the second machine containing a new engine.

Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) was top Hamamatsu factory machine in P9 after more than 60 laps, and he was focused on electronics, the carbon additions to the chassis and a 2019 chassis. Teammate Andrea Iannone, however, had a shorter day – crashing early and sitting out the remainder of the day. Test rider Sylvain Guintoli did get some good mileage despite his broken ribs, though, putting in 37 for the Japanese manufacturer.

Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) was another coming back from injury as he took P12 on the timesheets and was top Noale machine. The Spaniard was testing a carbon swingarm before a crash that then ruled him out after 26 laps, and teammate Scott Redding focused on a modified fuel tank and seat.

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Bradley Smith, meanwhile, was P13 on the timesheets and did nearly 70 laps. The sole KTM on track as test rider Mika Kallio remains sidelined following a German GP crash and Pol Espargaro recovers from a fall in the Czech GP, the Brit had plenty to work on as the constant development continues despite their tougher run of late.

That’s it from Brno and it’s next stop Austria as the paddock now head for the stunning Red Bull Ring in the Styrian alps. The hills will be alive with the sound of MotoGP™ once again from the ninth to 11th August.