Quartararo fastest in Misano test as Espargaro breaks finger

Quartararo fastest in Misano test as Espargaro breaks finger

Reigning MotoGP world champion Fabio Quartararo finished the two days of testing at Misano as the top overall performer, highlighting the expected potential of the 2023 Yamaha M1.

Quartararo finished 0.3 seconds quicker than second-fastest runner (and weekend podium finisher) Maverick Vinales after going nearly a second faster than he was able to do over the course of the San Marino Grand Prix weekend.

The factory Yamaha rider spent the morning running the new 2023-spec engine that he had already tested out on the first day of testing on Tuesday and found to be more than adequate. 

Quartararo was pleased that the upgrades he had been pursuing with Yamaha have finally materialized. He used the second day to address a few small electronics issues with it and to fine-tune weak areas on corner exit in particular.

Pecco Bagnaia, the Ducati rider who won the race over the weekend, finished 0.118 seconds behind Quartararo and 0.01 seconds ahead of Vinales on his first-day lap in the two-day combined standings. In an effort to specifically reduce Yamaha’s advantage in corner-speed, he focused on new frames rather than engine development.

Enea Bastianini, who had just tested on Wednesday morning before following Bagnaia and the majority of the field in calling it quits early, finished fourth. Aleix Espargaro, who finished fifth, was also forced to abandon his own testing schedule after crashing just before noon.

The Aprilia rider fell and broke the little finger on his left hand. Despite insisting that the injury won’t prevent him from competing at home in Aragon in 10 days, he called an early end to the day as a precaution because of the discomfort from the fracture.

Another one of Bagnaia’s teammates, Jack Miller, crashed, claiming that it was a repeat of his crash at Turn 4 when leading the race on Sunday. On the combined times, he came in 18th.

Jorge Martin finished sixth and said the test helped him regain his confidence after a tough weekend that included learning he won’t have a factory Ducati seat for next year and a disappointing race weekend.

Martin finished ahead of Luca Marini, who, like Martin’s VR46 Ducati teammate Marco Bezzecchi who placed ninth overall, skipped the second day of racing to extend the life of the engine.

With his departure from KTM at the end of the season, Miguel Oliveira, who finished eighth and split the yellow and black Ducatis, spent the majority of the two days not testing any new equipment. Rookie Fabio Di Giannantonio rounded out the top 10.

The two-day event served as the second to last test of 2022, with Valencia’s two remaining days after the season’s last race in November before MotoGP is forced to shut down until the regular season opening Sepang test in February.

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