Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) topped Day 1 of the Jerez Test by quite a margin on Monday, the Spaniard ending the session over seven tenths clear of the next fastest: Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT). Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) was third and continued his impressive run on the testing timesheets, pipping teammate Alex Rins as the Hamamatsu factory locked out third and fourth. The day was punctuated by some drizzle and Red Flags, although the majority managed nearly or over 50 laps.
Yamaha have now topped all three days of ‘2020’ so far, once with Quartararo and twice with Viñales. At Jerez, both the former and latter did 68 laps, with Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) in fifth adding another 75. Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP), meanwhile, did 64 laps and was 14th. He and teammate Viñales had one ‘new’ and one ‘old’ Yamaha in the garage to compare, with Rossi’s 2020 machine fitted with the carbon swingarm but Viñales content without it, working on the engine. Neither Petronas Yamaha SRT rider had the carbon swingarm on Monday, although they had “some new things” to test.
At Suzuki, meanwhile, work continued on the new engine. Mir had the upper hand on the timsheets in third after 56 laps, with teammate Rins putting in 69 in fourth. Test rider Sylvain Guintoli was also on track for the Hamamatsu factory, and he put 63 laps to pip his fellow test riders and end the day in 16th. It wasn’t all engine for Suzuki, but that was the key focus.
Honda were the next factory up, with reigning Champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) in sixth despite a crash at Turn 13. It was a slow lowside but in the gravel trap he hit his shoulder, heading to the Medical Centre for a check up. He’d suffered a partially dislocated right shoulder – not the one on which he had surgery this time last year – and did get back out on track but said he slowed up slightly. He had three bikes in the garage. And where Marquez was focusing on 2020 comparisons, Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) was more on 2019 machinery on Monday. He was just 0.026 behind Marquez and put in 66 laps.
Rookie Alex Marquez (Repsol Honda Team), meanwhile, was out in HRC and Repsol colours, and he seemed to take a step forward. The number 73 was 17th and did 70 laps, saying he found Jerez a bigger step on a MotoGP™ bike – but also an easier one.
KTM were the fourth fastest factory on Monday with Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing), the number 44 slotting in behind Marquez and Crutchlow on the timesheets. He did 56 laps and although he took a tumble – rider ok. He had three bikes in the garage, one ‘old’ and two ‘new’, although he spent his time out on the new. He did 56 laps and was within a tenth of Crutchlow. Rookie teammate Brad Binder, meanwhile, remained on 2019 machinery and did 67 laps. Red Bull KTM Tech 3 rookie Iker Lecuona had a huge crash on Monday, but rider ok, and he did 38 laps. Test rider Dani Pedrosa was absent due to illness.
Ducati’s onslaught on the timesheets was led by Danilo Petrucci (Ducati Team), back n action after missing some of Valencia due to shoulder pain, who narrowly headed teammate Andrea Dovizioso as they took P9 and P10. The former did 48 laps and the latter 45. Dovizioso had the new, bigger ‘salad box’ and work continued on what the duo had worked on at Valencia. Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) was only 0.018 off ‘Dovi’ in 11th. Test rider Michele Pirro had a technical issue and that caused a Red Flag, and a sensor was spotted on top of the tail unit on his machine.
Aprilia Racing Team Gresini were 12th and 13th, and nothing big was seen from the Noale factory although both Aleix Espargaro and Andrea Iannone had the swingarm with a hole in it fitted. Espargaro did 53 laps and Iannone 49. Test rider Bradley Smith had the ‘solid’ version of the swingarm and did 67 laps.