Pol Espargaro fastest on day 1 of Mandalika pre-season test

Pol Espargaro fastest on day 1 of Mandalika pre-season test

Honda’s Pol Espargaro topped the timesheets at the conclusion of the first day of the second pre-season test in Indonesia’s Mandalika circuit.

Honda rider Pol Espargaro dominated the opening day of MotoGP’s second pre-season test at Indonesia’s Mandalika Circuit despite track difficulties as a result of rain that hampered Friday’s test session. 

Following an early red flag, the first day’s pre-season test ended 45 minutes later than planned due to track conditions, a recent rain shower left the track extremely dirty initiating a lengthy clean-up process.

Johann Zarco set the fastest time before the end of the first hour, despite the day’s rainy and muddy start. Although the rain had ceased, the track was closed for an extended red-flag period in order to clear the muddy surface, with the track reopening shortly before noon.

With the times dropping as the day progressed due to the wet conditions, Miguel Oliveira made a record lap time of 1:37.788s ahead of Marc Marquez and Johann Zarco by lunch break.

Throughout the afternoon session, the times continued to drop, with Espargaro eventually setting the fastest lap of the day recording a 1:32.466s which was over five seconds faster than Oliveira’s earlier attempt to top the timesheets. 

Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro finished second behind his brother to Pol Espargaro with a time margin of 0.471s. Brad Binder finished third in what was a better result for KTM than its Sepang outing last week, while Suzuki’s Alex Rins and Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo rounded out the top five.

Jack Miller was sixth in the factory Ducati, ahead of Maverick Vinales on the second Aprilia as Joan Mir on the other Suzuki GSX-RR finished eighth overall.

Andrea Dovizioso made a huge improvement after placing ninth for the new RNF Racing Yamaha team, just under eight tenths of a second off the benchmark time. Pramac Ducati’s Jorge Martin rounded out the top ten.

Gresini Ducati’s Fabio Di Gianantonio finished 14th on day one as the fastest rookie, while Miguel Oliveira dropped down to 16th by the end of the session ahead of Marc Marquez on his factory Honda.

The Mandalika test, which comes after a two-day Sepang test, is the final opportunity for the riders to get some MotoGP track experience before the March season-opener in Qatar.

In addition to the constant possibility of rain, MotoGP teams and riders must learn a new track and work through an enlarged variety of Michelin tyres in preparation for the March 18-20 race weekend, which will be the first Indonesian motorcycle grand prix since 1997.


1^9Pol EspargaroSPARepsol Honda (RC213V)1m 32.466s68/69
2^7Aleix EspargaroSPAAprilia Racing (RS-GP)+0.471s59/60
3˅2Brad BinderRSARed Bull KTM (RC16)+0.477s61/64
4=Alex RinsSPASuzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR)+0.592s69/72
5^1Fabio QuartararoFRAMonster Yamaha (YZR-M1)+0.642s85/86
6˅4Jack MillerAUSDucati Lenovo (GP22)+0.648s70/72
7˅4Maverick ViñalesSPAAprilia Racing (RS-GP)+0.681s37/56
8^4Joan MirSPASuzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR)+0.778s57/58
9˅4Andrea DoviziosoITAWithU Yamaha RNF (YZR-M1)+0.779s48/57
10˅3Jorge MartinSPAPramac Ducati (GP22)+0.892s38/51
11˅3Takaaki NakagamiJPNLCR Honda (RC213V)+0.928s51/54
12˅1Franco MorbidelliITAMonster Yamaha (YZR-M1)+1.052s67/75
13=Johann ZarcoFRAPramac Ducati (GP22)+1.126s83/96
14=Fabio Di GiannantonioITAGresini Ducati (GP21)*+1.217s53/54
15^6Alex MarquezSPALCR Honda (RC213V)+1.234s59/62
16˅1Miguel OliveiraPORRed Bull KTM (RC16)+1.282s66/77
17˅1Marc MarquezSPARepsol Honda (RC213V)+1.393s63/64
18˅1Enea BastianiniITAGresini Ducati (GP21)+1.488s44/45
19˅1Raul FernandezSPAKTM Tech3 (RC16)*+1.500s53/57
20˅1Luca MariniITAMooney VR46 Ducati (GP22)+1.699s33/53
21˅1Marco BezzecchiITAMooney VR46 Ducati (GP21)*+1.707s61/63
22=Francesco BagnaiaITADucati Lenovo (GP22)+1.852s57/75
23^1Darryn BinderRSAWithU Yamaha RNF (YZR-M1)*+2.029s56/58
24˅1Remy GardnerAUSKTM Tech3 (RC16)*+2.137s48/64

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