MADRID, Feb. 5 (Royals Blue) –
The Spanish riders Aleix Espargaró and Maverick Viñales were the fastest and led Aprilia’s double on the first day of the MotoGP test at the Sepang International Circuit, which marked the start of the pre-season in the premier class of the World Championship. motorcycling, all in a day in which Marc Márquez (Repsol Honda), on his return to the tracks, has suffered two falls.
Only 13 thousandths have separated Granollers and Roses; the oldest of the Espargaró brothers reigned in Saturday’s time table with a time of 1:58.371, which he set on his ninth lap, ahead of his teammate, while Àlex Rins (Suzuki) finished third on the track Malaysian.
Aprilia has opened the course with a completely new bike, narrower than last year’s and with which the Noale factory duo has managed to complete a total of 98 laps to command the session.
Meanwhile, Suzuki is focused on gaining power for the GSX-RR’s engine, with the carbon-reinforced chassis and ride height device a key point. Rins managed to get on the podium of the day, and Joan Mir, MotoGP champion in 2020, finished seventh.
For his part, the eighth champion Marc Márquez, recovered from a new episode of diplopia, got back on a motorcycle for the first time since October 2021, although luck was not on his side; the one from Cervera crashed at turn 9 in the morning, and in the afternoon he crashed again at turn 15. After 62 laps, he finished eighth. His teammate, Pol Espargaró, rode the latest Honda specification, with an unprecedented chassis to date, to be ninth, and Àlex Márquez (Honda) rode the 2022 Honda.
At Ducati, the fastest bike was that of the Italian Enea Bastianini, fourth at the end of the day (1:58.638); Frenchman Johann Zarco finished fifth behind him and Marco Bezzecchi, also from Alpine, closed the ‘Top 10’. In addition, Francesco Bagnaia (19th) and Jack Miller (22nd) wore the new rear exhaust of the Borgo Panigale bikes, which was also tested by the Spanish Jorge Martín, seventeenth.
As for reigning champion Frenchman Fabio Quartararo, he fell six-tenths off Aleix Espargaró to finish the day in sixth, with test driver Cal Crutchlow completing 47 laps to take 11th. Franco Morbidelli and Andrea Dovizioso couldn’t get below 1:59, while ‘rookie’ Darryn Binder set a best time of 2:00.818.
Finally, in KTM, Brad Binder was fourteenth and the Portuguese Miguel Oliveira finished sixteenth. In the Tech3 KTM Factory Racing, Raúl Fernández finished thirteenth, just ahead of Binder, and the Moto2 World Champion, Remy Gardner, complained of discomfort after his recent wrist surgery and set a 2:00.470 completing 60 laps.