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RideFast Dec 2019

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2020 MotoGP Valencia

2020 MotoGP Valencia Testing. Quartararo heads Yamaha trio after Day 1 With plenty of new riders and motorcycles to keep an eye on, this was the start of the 2020 season and the first opportunity to see new parts featured across the manufacturers. Ending the day on top of the pile, Fabio Quartararo was just ahead of Maverick Viñales, whilst Franco Morbidelli made it a Yamaha 1-2-3. After a phenomenal rookie season, Fabio Quartararo set 76 laps on his way to the top of the timesheets, but it wasn’t without drama. Testing a new carbon swingarm along with chassis parts, Quartararo crashed at speed at the infamous Turn 10. Shaken but not stirred and only suffering from dull rib injuries, he was back on track for the final hour before ending the day on top. Also testing new parts from Yamaha was Franco Morbidelli, who completed a Yamaha 1-2-3 and spent most of the day inside the top five. Splitting the two Petronas Yamaha SRT machines was Maverick Viñales, who spent most of the day on the 2020 bike, after completing a first run on the 2019 machine. Viñales was frequenting the top of the timesheets throughout the opening day of testing for 2020, finishing just over a tenth-and-a-half behind Quartararo. Valentino Rossi completed a solid day of work and was inside the top ten throughout. The 40-year-old Italian, along with Viñales, was testing the 2020 bike which featured a new air intake and a third evolution of 2020 engine and finished ninth overall. Over at the Ducati Team, Danilo Petrucci was testing a brandnew chassis ahead of 2020, before calling it a day early on after a shoulder injury picked up during the race weekend. For Andrea Dovizioso, it was a productive day as he led the Maverick Vinales with his new Aero fairing. fight to Yamaha. Like Petrucci, he was testing the new bike which featured a new chassis, as well as new parts for the engine and electronics. Between them, the pair racked up more than 70 laps to garner valuable data to take forward in their development for the new season. At Pramac Racing, Jack Miller was also trying new parts and completed 43 laps on his way to completing the top ten. Francesco Bagnaia is absent from the test after his broken wrist from Saturday, but present was Michele Pirro, who finished the day in 18th as he leads the development for 2020. After an eventful weekend for the Repsol Honda Team, the drama continued in the second half of the day. With a little under four hours to go, Marc Marquez crashed his 2020 bike on the out-lap at Turn 13. Setting his fastest lap on his 33rd out of 56, the eight-time World Champion was fifth overall on the bike that he had already tested on at Misano. New teammate and brother Alex Marquez finished 23rd on his full-time debut, recovering well from his crash in the first half of the day. Stefan Bradl finished 22nd on another chassis, different to that of Marquez’. Cal Crutchlow was 11th as he continued to test the new 2020-spec machine. A new engine helped Suzuki to climb the top speed charts in the afternoon, although a technical problem for Joan Mir halted the Spaniard’s progress. Mir was top Suzuki after day one in sixth place, whilst teammate Alex Rins was just a tenth-anda-half behind in seventh. Both Suzuki riders set a strong pace throughout the day. It was a positive first day of 2020 for KTM, who were sporting a completely new chassis. Constructed differently but remaining tubular and steel, Pol Espargaro made it five manufacturers inside the top eight. Espargaro set 58 laps and achieved his fastest exactly halfway through. His new teammate Brad Binder was 21st and continued his adaptation to MotoGP. Test rider Dani Pedrosa was 17th as he worked away whilst Mika Kallio didn’t take to the circuit. Iker Lecuona was sensational at the end of day one at the Valencia Test, up in 13th place and less than a secondand-a-half off the top slot. Whilst there was no new bike for Aprilia, Andrea Iannone was 14th and just over a secondand-a-half from the best time. Two places further back was teammate Aleix Espargaro, whilst test rider Bradley Smith was up 20th and within two seconds of Quartararo at the top. Smith suffered a nasty crash at Turn 9 earlier in the day, bringing out the red flags but the hard-working Brit was soon back out on track and was the last rider to return to the pits at the end of the day. Viñales fastest to turn the tables on Day 2 Maverick Viñales topped Day 2 and it was once again a Yamaha 1-2-3, with the trio at the top within three tenths. Viñales was the only rider in the 1:29s – true of Fabio Quartararo at the weekend – and the number 12 narrowly beat the Frenchman’s pole time on the Wednesday. Quartararo was 0.164 in arrears, with Franco Morbidelli within 0.265 of the top. Honda’s Cal Crutchlow was the only other man within half a second… Viñales fastest was set on the ‘new’ bike – with a different chassis and new engine – and the Spaniard put in 67 laps on the final day of testing, topping the timesheets with his 56th. Teammate Valentino Rossi Pic by GP was once again ninth, and ‘The Doctor’ did 68 laps on the Wednesday. He was within 0.968 of the top and suffered a mechanical problem in the afternoon, but got back out. Quartararo and Morbidelli, meanwhile, didn’t say much about what they were working on – “some small things” and the Frenchman said it was more a day of riding than testing as yet. For a man only just starting his second season, the 64 laps were doubtlessly useful, however, and Morbidelli added another 52 to the team’s count. For Crutchlow it was a mammoth day of work. The Brit headed out on the ‘2020’ bike, suffered a crash but managed to prove Yamaha’s closest competitor on the timesheets and improve his laptime from the weekend after 73 laps. Speaking of the number 73, Alex Marquez, on the other side of the LCR Honda garage, was the only man to do more laps. The rookie did 79 on his second day as an HRC MotoGP rider, shaving six tenths off his time from Tuesday. Reigning Champion Marc Marquez made some more Honda headlines, however. The number 93 premiered the aero seen on Crutchlow the day before, with the all-black Honda breaking cover bearing a 93 in the afternoon, and he ended the day in seventh after 71 laps. He also suffered a failed getaway earlier in the day, and his teammate for the test – in the garage at least – also suffered an issue on the Wednesday as Stefan Bradl ground to a halt. Nevertheless the German was able to complete 53 laps by the end of play. Team Suzuki Ecstar were fifth and sixth on Wednesday. The new engine previously having been put through its paces by test rider Sylvain Guintoli was a big focus for the Hamamatsu factory as they look for a step forward in terms of outright speed, and Joan Mir was the quickest Suzuki on Day 2. He put in a 1:30.427 and did 61 laps, teammate Alex Rins was just 0.076 off and did 47 laps. They plan to continue testing the The new 2020 KTM chassis looking good with Pol... engine at the Jerez test. KTM stole a few headlines on Day 2. For their speed – Pol Espargaro’s impressive showing and that of Red Bull KTM Tech 3’s Iker Lecuona – and they had the new kids on the block, Brad Binder and Lecuona, taking some tips from the veterans. But there were also a few crashes, with each of the three racers all going down. Espargaro first, Lecuona later and Binder even later in the day. Espargaro’s crash, however, led to his fastest lap as he was then forced to switch bike to another new chassis – and found immediate positives. He was eighth and did 46 laps, Pedrosa 14th after 48 laps and Lecuona just 0.045 off the threetime World Champion by the end of play. Binder did 66 laps on Day 2. Marc Marquez with the new ‘Hammer Head’ aero package ahead of his brother and new team-mate Alex Marquez. The Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso, meanwhile, was focused on gathering more information on what they tested on Day 1, one big thing of note being a new chassis. Some sensors were spotted on the rear of the Borgo Panigale machine too on the Wednesday, and the ‘salad box’ was back. Danilo Petrucci, however, was not back. The Italian remained sidelined by his bothersome shoulder, although Michele Pirro was once again on track to put the laps in – 40 of them – and Jack Miller was all action stations too. The Aussie explained he’d been doing back to back comparisons with the first version of the 2020 machines because the number 09 was ruled out. Miller was fastest Ducati in 10th, just ahead of Dovizioso. Tito Rabat was 12th, ahead of Pirro. For Aprilia, it was another day of track action working with their 2019 machines. Aleix Espargaro was 16th after 43 laps, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini teammate Andrea Iannone in 19th. Espargaro crashed at the final corner, and Iannone ran on at Turn 1 with the RS-GP then catching alight – rider ok. Test rider Bradley Smith was also on track and did another 32 laps to add to the informationgathering tally.