BARCELONA, Feb. 11 (Royals Blue) –
The Spanish rider Pol Espargaró (Repsol Honda Team) was the fastest on the first day of the official MotoGP test at the Pertamina Mandalika Circuit in Indonesia, a new track that is making its debut in the World Championship and that it already has in the Catalan and factory Japanese to the protagonists of their first best record.
It was a busy session, with red flags, rain and a dirty track, but the premiere of the Indonesian track was for the better and, in a dream setting celebrated by many of the drivers on the grid and a fast and fun track, it ended well in a first day with all the factories near the top of the time table.
In fact, each of the official factories took a place in the top six. The best combination was that of Pol Espargaró with Honda, second was his brother Aleix Espargaró with the new Aprilia RS-GP 2022 and Brad Binder (KTM) finished third.
Fourth was the Spaniard Álex Rins with a Suzuki that hopes to leave behind the problems of the 2021 bike and be more similar to the one that made Joan Mir champion in 2020, eighth on this first day of testing in Mandalika.
The current world champion, the French rider Fabio Quartararo, closed the ‘Top 5’, with 86 laps on the back of his Yamaha YZR-M1 and being the best of the Japanese factory. Just behind him, being the best Ducati -on a track unfavorable to Italian bikes-, finished Jack Miller with 6 thousandths lost compared to ‘Diablo’.
In Honda, beyond seeing Pol Espargaró lead the time table after a good 69 laps, they saw Marc Márquez test the new 2022 RC123V bike. The one from Cervera finished 1.3 seconds behind his teammate, but ended the day with more than 60 turns to Mandalika in a “good day” for him.
It was not the debut dreamed by the organizers and owners of the circuit. The Pertamina Mandalika Circuit, one of the new faces of the 2022 World Championship, and its ‘stewards’ had to put into practice the red flag signal, on more than one occasion, due to the dirt on the track that forced the pilots to stop. In fact, an extra 45 minutes were added to the day to compensate.
The heavy rains that fell during the night made the circuit very dirty, but as the day progressed the track became safer and faster, but with intermittent rain making an appearance on a new layout that the drivers must get to know until be able to squeeze their bikes.