Vinales tops MotoGP test in Jerez

Vinales quickest Wednesday
Vinales quickest Wednesday

The drought of MotoGP action has finally broken in Jerez as the MotoGP riders returned to the circuit for a productive day of testing ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix.

With new protocols and ways of working in place, the teams restarted their 2020 MotoGP World Championship campaign at the Circuito de Jerez – Angel Nieto ahead of the Gran Premio Red Bull de Espana. Two one and a half hour sessions allowed the riders to reacquaint themselves with their 2020 bikes around the circuit which will host the opening two rounds of 2020 season.

Maverick Vinales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) finished Wednesday’s 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 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, Vinales then struck with less than five minutes on the clock to go over a tenth clear as the leading trio finish 0.148 apart.

A tech issue with Aleix Espargaro's Aprilia caused oil on track, with Petrucci and Alex Marquez both crashing and the Red Flag to come out

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 Vinales’ time, but we can’t draw too many conclusions from Wednesday’s action – the real test begins on Friday morning.

Wednesday Test Times

Pos. Rider Num Nation Team Constructor Time/Gap
1 Vinales Maverick 12 SPA Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 1'37.793
2 Quartararo Fabio 20 FRA Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha 0.118
3 Marquez Marc 93 SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 0.148
4 Rins Alex 42 SPA Team Suzuki Ecstar Suzuki 0.400
5 Rossi Valentino 46 ITA Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 0.429
6 Espargaro Aleix 41 SPA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 0.492
7 Crutchlow Cal 35 GBR LCR Honda Honda 0.520
8 Miller Jack 43 AUS Pramac Racing Ducati 0.555
9 Mir Joan 36 SPA Team Suzuki Ecstar Suzuki 0.587
10 Bagnaia Francesco 63 ITA Pramac Racing Ducati 0.624
11 Oliveira Miguel 88 POR Red Bull KTM Tech 3 KTM 0.633
12 Zarco Johann 5 FRA Reale Avintia Racing Ducati 0.720
13 Espargaro Pol 44 SPA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 0.799
14 Morbidelli Franco 21 ITA Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha 0.853
15 Dovizioso Andrea 4 ITA Ducati Team Ducati 0.986
16 Nakagami Takaaki 30 JPN LCR Honda Honda 1.080
17 Smith Bradley 38 GBR Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 1.149
18 Binder Brad 33 RSA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 1.223
19 Lecouna Iker 27 SPA Red Bull KTM Tech 3 KTM 1.296
20 Marquez Alex 73 SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 1.358
21 Petrucci Danilo 9 ITA Ducati Team Ducati 1.456
22 Rabat Tito 53 SPA Reale Avintia Racing Ducati 1.614

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