Jack Miller P13 for Jerez Test – Remy Gardner misses Moto2 test
On Saturday he made history as the youngest ever polesitter in MotoGP, on Sunday he went home heartbroken after a mechanical problem saw him forced to retire from the fight for the podium.
But come Monday, Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) was back on top in testing as he seared around the Circuito de Jerez-Angel Nieto a stunning half second quicker than his lap record pole. The 1’36.379, set near the end of play, put him 0.418 ahead of Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) and 0.714 ahead of Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) at the Official Test.
Quartararo did 73 laps on Monday and left it late to put in his fastest on Lap 70, following it up with another not far off the same pace. He had internal fork updates to try, the same as the factory Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP team, but set his fastest lap with the previous regardless.
Teammate Morbidelli was also late mover up the timesheets into third and his best of a 1’37.093 was set on his penultimate lap of 82. He had a Yamaha aero update to try. Meanwhile, Maverick Viñales was the fastest Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP rider in fifth, 0.847 off the top after an impressive workload of 94 laps, with teammate Valentino Rossi ending the day in P17 after 74 laps.
They were working on some chassis settings but mainly electronics, aimed at improving throttle connection. Petronas Yamaha SRT also had throttle connection updates but the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP riders were working on further versions.
At Honda, one big focus for Crutchlow was the start; clutch feel and electronics. He did 78 laps, was the man deposed by Quartararo’s late lunge, and did his fastest lap on a new rear medium compound tyre from Michelin featuring new technology for improved grip and consistency. The tyre was one of two additions to the race weekend allocation – the other being a medium rear with a different casing especially for Spielberg and Buriram, to be assessed further – and it will now be used in the allocation.
A little further down the timesheets, Jerez winner Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) ended the day in seventh after 75 laps, and set his quickest on the bike that wildcard and test rider Stefan Bradl rode in the race with carbon fibre chassis additions.
Jorge Lorenzo (Repsol Honda Team) had a slightly modified seat and ended the day in P9 after 93 laps, and the five-time World Champion had two crashes. Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) was another late crasher and he ended the day in tenth, an infinitesimal 0.002 off Lorenzo.
For KTM the timesheets made for good reading with Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) as he ended the day in fourth, 0.735 off P1 after 63 laps, with teammate Johann Zarco in P16 after 71. They tested chassis parts, chassis settings and some engine parts. Red Bull KTM Tech 3, meanwhile, ended the test in P21 for Miguel Oliveira and P22 for Hafizh Syahrin. They had 2019 KTM tail and exhausts to test.
At Suzuki, Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) was working on setting the bike up more for his style and he ended the day in sixth after more than 80 laps. Suzuki had a new swingarm, and a new swingarm attachment was also spotted in the Hamamatsu factory’s garage as it broke cover for the first time, but Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) ran on and damaged it soon after. He nevertheless did 69 laps with a best of 1’37.275 to put him in P8. Test rider Sylvain Guintoli was also out on track and he put in 79 laps.
Ducati weren’t inside the top ten by the end of the day. Andrea Dovizioso (Mission Winnow Ducati) was P11 after 52 laps with a best of 1’37.601, but he wasn’t trying any particular new parts, instead focusing on big setup changes they’d not use time for during a race weekend.
Dovizioso’s teammate Danilo Petrucci was P14, focused on working on setup and “some new parts” and spending the majority of his time on the hard tyre. The two were split by Pramac Racing duo Francesco Bagnaia and Jack Miller. All four were covered by just over a tenth, and the gap from Bagnaia back to Miller was only 0.003. Another tiny gap put Tito Rabat (Reale Avintia Racing) in P17, just 0.005 off Rossi, with teammate Karel Abraham only 0.014 in further arrears.
Finally, Aprilia were out on track with Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) and test rider Bradley Smith (Aprilia Factory Racing) as Andrea Iannone missed the test due to the after effects of his Saturday crash.
Espargaro did 80 laps and was just 0.038 off Petrucci to take P15, testing rear suspension setups, traction control configurations, weight distribution and torque delivery, and Smith was only 0.002 off Abraham after 82 laps. He had some new parts and was also working on setups and tyre evaluation.
2019 Jerez MotoGP Test – Top 15
- QUARTARARO, Fabio Petronas Yamaha SRT 1:36.379
- CRUTCHLOW, Cal LCR Honda CASTROL +0.418
- MORBIDELLI, Franco Petronas Yamaha SRT +0.714
- ESPARGARO, Pol Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +0.735
- VIÑALES, Maverick Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP +0.847
- MIR, Joan Team SUZUKI ECSTAR +0.854
- MARQUEZ, Marc Repsol Honda Team +0.881
- RINS, Alex Team SUZUKI ECSTAR +0.896
- LORENZO, Jorge Repsol Honda Team +1.087
- NAKAGAMI, Takaaki LCR Honda IDEMITSU +1.089
- DOVIZIOSO, Andrea Mission Winnow Ducati +1.222
- BAGNAIA, Francesco Pramac Racing +1.319
- MILLER, Jack Pramac Racing +1.322
- PETRUCCI, Danilo Mission Winnow Ducati +1.341
- ESPARGARO, Aleix Aprilia Racing Team Gresini +1.379
Moto2 & Moto3: Remy Gardner misses test due to concussion
After a tougher start to the year than expected for KTM riders in the Moto2 class, the Austrian factory were stealing headlines on Tuesday at the Circuito de Jerez – Angel Nieto in the one day Official Moto2 and Moto3 Test.
Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Brad Binder had two different bikes to try, and differing swingarms on the Red Bull KTM Ajo bikes of Binder and teammate Jorge Martin indicated the Austrian factory was trying several different options. The Red Bull KTM Tech 3 bike of Marco Bezzecchi was also sporting a different swingarm. In addition, at least one new frame was being used by more than one KTM machine, with American Racing KTM having a third bike in the garage that was undercover.
After the test, both Binder and Martin were especially positive about changes they’d tried in the last session; happy with improvements made when riding in hotter temperatures – a key area in which they’d suffered during the Grand Prix.
In terms of new parts, MV Agusta Idealavoro Forward were also out testing a new chassis and swingarm in Jerez as they got more valuable miles under their belts ahead of a crucial stage of the season. With MV Agusta already having scored points twice in their debut season in Moto2, even bigger progress is now the name of the game.
After his huge crash at the start of the race in Jerez, Remy Gardner (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team) wasn’t testing due to concussion and it was unfortunate for the Australian, with the SAG team having plenty of small bits and pieces to try – including an anti-chatter device.
Gardner’s teammate Tetsuta Nagashima was out on track though to get through the work load, as well as suffering a crash at Turn 13 – rider ok. Star replacement rider Mattia Pasini was also back on a Kalex-framed bike, with the veteran Italian now lending his talents to Petronas Sprinta Racing as he replaces the injured Khairul Idham Pawi, and Sam Lowes (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) was a particularly happy man after the test, solving issues he’d suffered with all weekend.
Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) was back out after a tough home GP through no fault of his own, and he was one who had some things from chassis manufacturer Kalex to try. Teammate Xavi Vierge (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) avoided the incident on Sunday but crashed, twice, during the test. Dimas Ekky Pratama (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) bounced back after getting embroiled in the incident off the start on in the race too but crashed once in testing, along with Iker Lecuona (American Racing KTM) and Bezzecchi – riders all ok.
Meanwhile in the Moto3 class, Albert Arenas (Sama Qatar Angel Nieto Team) was working on bike settings – more specifically clutch settings – and getting more mileage under his belt after a cycling accident put the Spaniard out of the Argentina and Americas GPs. It didn’t stop him from taking a top five at his home Grand Prix in Jerez, however, before the Championship returns to the venue at which he won last year.
Championship leader Aron Canet (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team) was another out on track and he had some new front forks parts to test, with Arenas also trying them in the final session of the day. The man now just one point behind Canet in the standings, Jerez winner Niccolo Antonelli (SIC58 Squadra Corse), was another high profile rider and team out on track, back at work and preparing for France. He worked on electronics, the clutch and engine braking.
Reigning Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup Champion Can Öncü (Red Bull KTM Ajo) was a key name pushing for more mileage as the youngest ever Grand Prix winner tries to find his feet with the 2019 KTM and struggling with it so far this season. The Turkish rider got plenty track time but did, however, crash twice at Turn 2 – rider ok.