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Thanks to a scorching time on Day 1, Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP’s Maverick Viñales has completed the Valencia-Jerez Test top spot double to head into the winter break as the man to beat. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) – despite some right shoulder worries – ends P2 overall in Jerez after posting a 1:37.820 on Tuesday morning, 0.689 slower than Viñales, with Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) completing the top three as track action ends for winter.
What are teams testing in Jerez? The bosses explain...
Day 2 at the Circuito de Jerez-Angel Nieto was largely disrupted by rain, with the riders getting limited dry track time on Tuesday before the wet weather arrived at around 12:15 local time (GMT+1). On a wet track, less than half the field ventured out, but those did include MotoGP™ rookies Alex Marquez (Repsol Honda Team), Iker Lecuona (Red Bull KTM Tech 3) and Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing).
Across the two days, factory Yamaha duo Viñales and Valentino Rossi continued testing the 2020 YZR-M1, with both having one 2020 – that struts a slightly different fuel tank - and one 2019 M1 in their garage. On Day 1, Rossi did a lot of his running with a carbon swingarm. However, that wasn’t the case on Day 2, with the number 46 running an aluminium swingarm on both of his bikes. Viñales seemed content using the aluminium swingarm for most of the test, with both riders admitting small steps have been made with the 2020 engine, but extra is needed over the winter to bridge the gap to the quicker bikes. Rossi ended the test P11 overall, 1.221 seconds off his teammate.
Over at Petronas Yamaha SRT, fourth overall Fabio Quartararo and seventh quickest Franco Morbidelli confirmed they had been trying “a 2020 prototype” Yamaha engine specification in Jerez. The carbon swingarm didn’t appear on Day 2 for the duo either, but it was a solid looking test for Quartararo and Morbidelli heading into the winter break.
Day 2’s fastest man Marquez swiftly got down to business, setting the second fastest time of the test on his third flying lap. The subluxation – a partial dislocation – of his right shoulder on Monday didn’t seem to be affecting the number 93 out on track, with Marquez having three bikes at his disposal on both Monday and Tuesday. Now, confirmed by Repsol Honda Team, Marc Marquez will now travel to Barcelona for an operation on his right shoulder at the Hospital Universitari Dexeus-Quiron on Wednesday, November 27. The elder Marquez has elected to have the operation as a preventative measure after medical consultation. The operation will be similar to the one performed on his left shoulder at the end of 2018.
Brother and teammate Alex Marquez continued to use the 2019 RC213V as the 2019 Moto2™ World Champion spun more important laps in the dry and wet conditions, finishing P17 on the combined times. Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) was working hard testing bits and pieces for the 2020 Honda across the two days, the British rider ended the test P10 on the combined standings.
The Team Suzuki Ecstar camp seem very pleased with their early 2020 progress with the new GSX-RR engine. Rins and Joan Mir finished inside the top five on the timesheets, with test rider Sylvain Guintoli 16th quickest overall as all three had positive feedback for the 2020 Suzuki engine. “Back-to-back” testing with 2019 and 2020 parts was a big protocol for Team Manager Davide Brivio as the Hamamatsu factory head into the winter in fine shape, with all three riders improving their lap time on Tuesday morning.
Sixth fastest Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) and 12th on the combined times Danilo Petrucci (Ducati Team) continued to work on Ducati’s new chassis on both days in Jerez, with both riders confirming it’s a step in the right direction. On Day 2, test rider Michele Pirro was seen using a new aero piece on the front wheel, with motogp.com pitlane reporter Simon Crafar indicating it is probably for cooling the calipers. Jack Miller and Pramac Racing completed just four laps on Day 2 as the rain saw them pack up early for the winter. The Australian finished P8 on the combined standings after improving his time on Tuesday, the last rider to get within a second of Viñales.
At Red Bull KTM Factory Racing, MotoGP™ Legend and test rider Dani Pedrosa was back out on track after missing Day 1 through illness. Pol Espargaro continued to lap with a new RC16 with the orange chassis, with a new fairing and new aero setup on display across the two days as Espargaro seems pleased with the Austrian factory’s progress. Binder was lapping on the old bike and did a good amount of laps before the rain came on Tuesday morning, with the South African also heading out in the wet. Lecuona was also still on the old bike as both rookies’ aims was to get more comfortable on the MotoGP™ machine. Lecuona and Binder ended the test 21st and 22nd respectively.
Aprilia Racing Team Gresini and Aleix Espargaro had a new front wheel cover on Day 2 in Andalucia, an all-in-one piece with the front mudguard, wheel cover and caliper duct. Test rider Bradley Smith was seen chatting to Espargaro throughout the day, with Andrea Iannone doing four laps on Day 2 to finish one place above his teammate on the combined times. 12th and 13th for Iannone and Espargaro, Smith ended P18 overall and completed the most laps of anyone on Day 2.
So, that’s it from Jerez and that’s it for MotoGP™ track action in 2019! A hard-earned winter break awaits, but the work won’t completely stop for the factories leading up to the February Sepang Test. That’s when all the riders will be back on track as 2020 testing ramps back up in preparation for the season opener in Qatar on 8 March.
Jerez Test combined top 10:
1. Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) – 1:37.131
2. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) + 0.689
3. Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) + 0.706
4. Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) + 0.754
5. Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) + 0.828
6. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) + 0.855
7. Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) + 0.969
8. Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) + 0.982
9. Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) + 1.080
10. Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) + 1.122
Click here for the full results from Day 1 and Day 2 in Jerez.
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