Danilo Petrucci tops opening day of Jerez MotoGP Test

Joan Mir fastest rookie

Alvaro Bautista tests 2019 Ducati

Jerez MotoGP Test- November 2018 – Day One

A cold morning in southern Spain meant the track action didn’t get going until 11:30am local time (GMT +1), but conditions soon improved in the afternoon as the premier class riders continued their crucial 2019 preparations under sunny skies in Jerez.

By the half way mark it was Repsol Honda Team’s Jorge Lorenzo heading the pack, but times would tumble further – and Petrucci would emerge fastest.

MotoGP Test Jerez Nov Day Jorge Lorenzo
Jorge Lorenzo

At Ducati, Petrucci completed 53 laps on Wednesday to be the only rider to dip below the 1:38 bracket. Both he and Dovizioso had a 2018 spec and 2019 spec bike to compare on the opening day in Jerez, but according to Team Manager Davide Tardozzi, both riders soon switched to the 2019 Desmosedici.

Danilo Petrucci – P1

“I’m very pleased with the way things went today, because it’s always good to finish the day in first place, but in particular I really like the feeling with the used tyre. I always felt good on the bike, like at Valencia, and for me this was important because we changed almost nothing in the set-up and in any case we always went well. Today we didn’t focus on lap times, but instead worked a lot on our pace and also tried some new components that gave us very useful information. Overall I’m really happy with the way we are working together as a team.”

MotoGP Test Jerez Nov Day Danilo Petrucci
Danilo Petrucci

Dovizioso crashed at turn five on his final run which put a premature end to his day after getting 53 laps in as he and Ducati concentrated on electronics, chassis and the engine.  In the evening Andrea went for a check-up with the Clinica Mobile doctors, who diagnosed him with a bruised left thumb, but the Italian rider should be able to go out on track again tomorrow.

Andrea Dovizioso – P2

“Today we were able to do several tests and we were very quick, even on used tyres, and so I’m pleased about that. Unfortunately at the end of the session I crashed at turn 5 while I was improving my time and I hurt my left thumb. Luckily nothing seems to be broken and if the pain is bearable tomorrow I’ll continue with our work load because we still need confirmation on some of the new components.”

MotoGP Test Jerez Nov Day Andrea Dovizioso
Andrea Dovizioso

The test also saw the presence of Álvaro Bautista, who on Monday and Tuesday had made his debut with the factory Panigale V4R of the Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team with whom he will compete in the 2019 Superbike World Championship. In this two-day MotoGP test, Álvaro is standing in for Michele Pirro on the Ducati Test Team’s Desmosedici GP, because this afternoon the Italian underwent surgery on his right shoulder, which he injured in a crash during practice at Mugello. Bautista did a total of 64 laps, the best of which was 1’38.830, and he finished the day in ninth place.

MotoGP Test Jerez Nov Day Alvaro Bautista
Alvaro Bautista and Andrea Dovizioso

Álvaro Bautista – P9

“I’m very pleased to be able to help Ducati to develop the new bike and collect some important information, but it was also nice to get back on a MotoGP bike once again. It’s been two months since I raced the GP18 at Phillip Island, but today I felt good on the bike, even with the gearbox that created a few problems for me in Australia.We managed to test everything we had planned and I believe it was a positive day from all points of view. Tomorrow we’ll continue to try some new parts in view of the next season.”

MotoGP Test Jerez Nov Day Alvaro Bautista
Álvaro Bautista

Just ahead of Bautisa was Jack Miller (Alma Pramac Racing) in P8, the Australian on a part-2018 and part-2019 Desmosedici for the time being as he worked on the geometry.

MotoGP Test Jerez Nov Day Jack Miller
Jack Miller

Jack Miller – P8

“It was a good day for us. We have been on track a lot and lap after lap I feel more and more comfortable on the bike. The chrono is not bad even if I have to do better in the fourth sector where I think I have left at least three tenths of a second. Tomorrow we will also work on this”.

MotoGP Test Jerez Nov Day Jack Miller
Jack Miller

Miller’s rookie teammate Francesco Bagnaia (Alma Pramac Racing) had another good day on track and was 14th fastest on Day 1. The reigning Moto2 Champion has the 2018 Ducati available to him and he completed another 51 laps, finishing 1.189 off Petrucci. Bagnaia described Jerez as a “more difficult” track than Valencia to rider a premier class machine, but he also confirmed he’s progressing in the right way.

MotoGP Test Jerez Nov Day Bagnaia
Pecco Bagnaia

Pecco Bagnaia – P14

“This track is more demanding than Valencia and you need to control the bike a lot. I’m pleased with the progress made on the setup but I still have some difficulties in braking: I have to be able to use the rear brake more like Dovi does. We did a lot of laps with used tyres and the pace is good”.

MotoGP Test Jerez Nov Day Bagnaia
Pecco Bagnaia

For Honda, Takaaki Nakagami was the leading name on Day 1, continuing his impressive start to the 2019 preseason. The Japanese rider completed 66 laps on board a 2018 RC213V, the same bike teammate Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) was using last season. The number 30 rider said the improvement in the engine between the 2017 Honda and the 2018 Honda is quite big, and he was also able to set consistent lap times on the used tyre. Overall, Nakagami was delighted with his progress so far.

Takaaki Nakagami – P3

“I’m really happy with today’s first day of testing, and in particular with my feeling on board the bike. The lap time was really consistent both with new and old tyres. We focused on trying to improve rear grip, and Öhlins gave me a different shock and some other new items to test which were quite positive for me, because I had a really good feeling with the machine. Still we have to try to make myself more consistent in my riding with the used tyre. Tomorrow we have a few small things to try, but I am happy with the progress we have made on this first day.”

Reigning World Champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) wasn’t far off, though. The second fastest Honda after the first day of action, the Spaniard ended Wednesday P5 on the timesheets. According to Team Manager Alberto Puig, the bikes were the same as they had in Valencia as the Japanese factory continue to mix parts in order to find the best combination to take to Japan. Marquez ended the day 0.549 from the top after completing a half-century of laps, while also sporting a new aero package on the front of his Honda.

MotoGP Test Jerez Nov Day Marc Marquez
Marc Marquez

Marc Marquez – P5

“We started with this season’s bike before swapping to the new one. We did that in order to try and better understand a few things, because the feeling is different. Tomorrow we’ll concentrate more on the new version. Today we mainly worked on the bike’s base setup and tried some new details. Our race pace was good. I already feel comfortable on the bike, and tomorrow we’ll work to further adjust the setup and geometry, besides continuing to try new particulars. I think the base is good and that we’re going on the correct direction.”

MotoGP Test Jerez Nov Day Marc Marquez
Marc Marquez

New teammate Jorge Lorenzo, who led in the morning for a time, was seventh fastest on his third day riding a Honda. The Spaniard set a quickest time of 1:38.749 to finish 0.781 off Petrucci after getting another 56 laps under his belt. Lorenzo is still not 100% fit, adding to the challenge of adaptation from the Ducati.

At Yamaha, work continued on the engine. Maverick Viñales (Yamaha Factory Racing) was a threat at the top throughout the day and put in 58 laps before the end of play – with the number 12 finishing up just over four tenths off the top in P4. He said they were working on race pace, but also said they’re not yet sure about one of the two different spec engines they’re testing – with more work to do on Thursday. Viñales was joined in the pit box by new crew chief Esteban García for the first time today.

MotoGP Test Jerez Nov Day Maverick Vinales
Maverick Viñales

Maverick Viñales – P4

“We tried the same engine as we used in Valencia, to try to understand which way we should go. This track is even more difficult for us than Valencia, there it‘s easier to make a good lap time, so I‘m quite happy that today we were so consistent with many laps on the tyre. The track was a bit slippery for our bike today, but the M1 was working well, so I think the decision is more or less made, but we still have to check. I prefer riding with more engine brake, because for my riding style it helps a lot. I‘m quite curious to see what happens tomorrow when we start modifying the set-up a little. Let‘s see if we can be more competitive. I think we can still improve the electronics and the base set-up a lot, because the bike works a bit different now and it permits me to enter the corner faster, so we need to change the setting, because I can ride more naturally now. It was a good first day with Esteban. It was good to reconnect, he‘s a really calm person, so we work well together. We were on top for a while today, so I‘m happy.”

MotoGP Test Jerez Nov Day Maverick Vinales
Maverick Viñales

Teammate Valentino Rossi was a later presence pitting out, but the number 46 put in 50 laps on Wednesday once out on track. He ended the day just over a second off Viñales, in P17, but didn’t put in new tyres. He also suffered a technical problem that brought one run to a halt, with Rossi pulling off track after hearing a problem in his M1.

MotoGP Test Jerez Nov Day Valentino Ross
Valentino Rossi

Valentino Rossi – P17

“At the end my position in the timesheets is really bad, also because we had some problems with the new tyres, so I didn‘t do a time-attack. My pace is a little bit better, but I have to check the data more thoroughly. We continued to test the engine, we made some comparisons. The direction to go in and the decision is quite clear. I started riding on new tyres, but at one point I heard a strange noise, so I stopped. I sincerely don‘t know what happened yet.”

MotoGP Test Jerez Nov Day Valentino Ross
Valentino Rossi

Petronas Yamaha SRT, meanwhile, had another solid day. Franco Morbidelli was sixth overall after 70 laps and a best of 1:38.659, and rookie teammate Fabio Quartararo ended the day in sixteenth. The Frenchman’s best was a 1:39.414 as he continues settling into the premier class.

Franco Morbidelli – P6

“I am very happy with today. We have backed up the good feeling from Valencia at a different circuit, which is not as suited to the characteristics of our bike as other tracks. It has been a good day in terms of our speed, we have to improve our consistency but the feeling on new tyres was good. We have to work out what else we can improve and I also have to keep learning but it’s a case of ‘so fast, so good’. Today we basically focused on working with the electronics at this circuit, especially on our first runs. We also tried some set-up changes but nothing really new compared to last week.”

MotoGP Test Jerez Nov Day Franco Morbidelli
Franco Morbidelli

Fabio Quartararo – P16

“Today we took another step forward in terms of corner speed, in comparison with Valencia, which is important. Now we need to analyse corner by corner where we are losing the most time – some in the exit, some in the entry – and see from the data what we can work on. The important thing is that we are improving and especially here at one of the most difficult circuits on the calendar, where I have not ridden a MotoGP bike before. I am really happy with today and I hope we can continue improving tomorrow. We have saved some new tyres with the second day’s work in mind.”

MotoGP Test Jerez Nov Day Fabio Quartararo
Fabio Quartararo

Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) was another entering a new era who impressed – and he was the fastest rookie. He led the way for Suzuki in Jerez to finish the day tenth on the timesheets, although, the 2017 Moto3 World Champion suffered his first MotoGP crash after going down at Turn 7 just after 13:00 local time. The Spaniard was ok and headed back out later in the day to improve – a hot 1:38.956 his best time, putting him under a second from the top.

Joan Mir – P10

“The important thing is that I’m feeling good. I have some bumps and bruises but nothing worse, despite it being a hard crash. After the crash I was able to get my good feeling back straight away and recover my lap times, and I continued to put in laps until the end of the day. I set a time in the 1:38 bracket and I’m very satisfied with that for the first day. I also worked a bit on the electronics and a few new parts. We’re happy with what we’ve achieved today and how it’s all been going, and we hope tomorrow will also be good.”

MotoGP Test Jerez Nov Day Joan Mir
Joan Mir

His teammate Alex Rins, alongside test rider Sylvain Guintoli, had a lot of new parts to try on Wednesday. The new engine and the chassis has been the main focus for the Hamamatsu factory, with the new engine more powerful than last season’s. According to Team Manager Davide Brivio, Rins was on an aluminium chassis, while Guintoli was testing a carbon-based chassis – with Brivio also confirming the plan is to build an aluminium chassis that has the same stiffness as the carbon one.

Davide Brivio – Suzuki Team Manager

“Today was a good day, despite Joan’s crash. Fortunately he was OK and able to test again in the afternoon. He set some very good lap times and he tried a few different parts, he did a good job after the crash. Alex had a tricky day with a lot of hard work on testing; back-to-back comparisons with chassis in order to get as much information as possible. So we feel good about today and everything is on schedule. We’re looking forward to working again tomorrow.”

MotoGP Test Jerez Nov Day Alex Rins
Alex Rins

Rins ended the day P13 on the timesheets after completing 87 laps – the most of any rider – while Guintoli was P22.

Alex Rins – P13

“I tried the 2019 chassis today and I’m quite happy. The new chassis has some positives and some negatives at the moment, but we’ve only just started to test it so there’s plenty of time to make more comparisons and improvements. I also had the new engine to try, the one I already had in Valencia last week. I feel that the new spec. engine has more power than the old one. We’ve improved it since Valencia, because there it felt a bit aggressive, but now the power delivery has been made smoother thanks to the electronics. So now I feel really good with this engine, but we’ll continue working on it to get the perfect feeling. We got a lot done today and we’re happy.”

MotoGP Test Jerez Nov Day Alex Rins
Alex Rins

At Aprilia, the test got off to a tough start as Aleix Espargaro missed Day 1 through illness – although he’s hoping to ride on Thursday – but new signing Andrea Iannone put the Noale factory in P11 overall with a 1:39.008. He was only able to complete 24 laps, however, then sitting out the rest of the session after a crash. Test rider and new arrival Bradley Smith, meanwhile, did 69 laps. He was working with Aleix Espargaro’s bikes, with a new spec engine focused on power delivery and torque, and each Aprilia rider had two chassis to compare. CIV Superbike superstar Matteo Baiocco was also on track for the Noale factory, and he did 49 laps.

Bradley Smith – P18

“This type of test with Aleix’s material was planned, but his physical problem sped up the timeline. It was important for me to test all the material available to Aprilia in order to complete the programme and provide the technicians with the best possible indications. Compared to Valencia, some big steps forward were made. I feel much more at ease with the RS-GP. Today I compared to different types of engine and tomorrow morning I’ll continue with Aleix’s bike before going back in the afternoon to work with the test team.”

MotoGP Test Jerez Nov Day Bradley Smith
Bradley Smith

Finally, for KTM, it was all hands on deck as the Austrian factory look forward after a more difficult 2018 – Valencia notwithstanding – and they had six bikes in the garage. The Red Bull KTM Factory Racing rider was the lead Orange machine on Day 1 in Jerez too, in P15 with a best of 1:39.241 after 58 laps. New teammate Johann Zarco was in P19, but the focus? Development and definitely not the timesheets. KTM are working on a huge list – seamless gearbox, chassis parts, aerodynamic parts, a slightly different engine…and they’re using the new IMU.

Their two Independent Team riders at Red Bull KTM Tech 3, meanwhile, were working on the best bike from 2018 – although they’re expected to receive an update in Sepang. Hafizh Syahrin did 51 laps with a best of 1:40.630 and rookie Miguel Oliveira put in 61 laps, ending the day around a second off his more experienced teammate.

Hafizh Syahrin – P21

“The first day here is already over and I have the feeling that we are going in the right way together with my crew to set up the new bike. We start to understand it step by step, the character and how to ride it. We did quite a good amount of laps and began to find out how the suspension works, what we can change about it and how we can use it. We believe that we could have improved the lap time if we would have changed the tyres again, but we saved them because I wanted to do a long run in order to simulate a race. Even by the end, my lap times were quite good. So, I’m very happy and I hope we can make another step forward tomorrow, trying to get closer to the top.”

MotoGP Test Jerez Nov Day Syahrin
Hafizh Syahrin

Miguel Oliveira – P23

“Today we rode here in Jerez de la Frontera for the first time. We made some good progress in the course of the day. We didn’t do huge steps, but went one small one by another. We were able to understand the bike better and better, found some things that are missing, which also refers to the riding side. Now we focus on improving tomorrow.”

MotoGP Test Jerez Nov Day Miguel Oliveira
Miguel Oliveira

Testing continues on Thursday.

Jerez MotoGP Test- November 2018
Day One Times
  1. PETRUCCI Danilo 9 ITA Ducati Team Ducati 1:37.968
  2. DOVIZIOSO Andrea 4 ITA Ducati Team Ducati 1:38.185 / 0.217
  3. NAKAGAMI Takaaki 30 JPN LCR Honda Honda 1:38.348 / 0.380
  4. VINALES Maverick 12 SPA Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha 1:38.376 / 0.408
  5. MARQUEZ Marc 93 SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 1:38.517 / 0.549
  6. MORBIDELLI Franco 21 ITA Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha 1:38.659 / 0.691
  7. LORENZO Jorge 99 SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 1:38.749 / 0.781
  8. MILLER Jack 43 AUS Alma Pramac Racing Ducati 1:38.816 / 0.848
  9. BAUTISTA Alvaro 19 SPA Angel Nieto Team Ducati 1:38.830 / 0.862
  10. MIR Joan 36 SPA Team Suzuki Ecstar Suzuki 1:38.956 / 0.988
  11. IANNONE Andrea 29 ITA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 1:39.008 / 1.040
  12. RABAT Tito 53 SPA Reale Avintia Racing Ducati 1:39.097 / 1.129
  13. RINS Alex 42 SPA Team Suzuki Ecstar Suzuki 1:39.150 / 1.182
  14. BAGNAIA Francesco 63 ITA Alma Pramac Racing Ducati 1:39.157 / 1.189
  15. ESPARGARO Pol 44 SPA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 1:39.241 / 1.273
  16. QUARTARARO Fabio 20 FRA Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha 1:39.414 / 1.446
  17. ROSSI Valentino 46 ITA Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha 1:39.564 / 1.596
  18. SMITH Bradley 38 GBR Aprilia Racing Test Team Aprilia 1:40.174 / 2.206
  19. ZARCO Johann 5 FRA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 1:40.192 / 2.224
  20. ABRAHAM Karel 17 CZE Reale Avintia Racing Ducati 1:40.438 / 2.470
  21. SYAHRIN Hafizh 55 MAL Red Bull KTM Tech 3 KTM 1:40.630 / 2.662
  22. GUINTOLI Sylvain 50 FRA Team Suzuki Ecstar Suzuki 1:40.743 / 2.775
  23. OLIVEIRA Miguel 88 POR Red Bull KTM Tech 3 KTM 1:41.699 / 3.731
  24. BAIOCCO Matteo 15 ITA Aprilia Racing Test Team Aprilia 1:42.766 / 4.798

Source: MCNews.com.au

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