Marquez tops first MotoGP test at Jerez

Marc Marquez topped the first test session ahead of this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez, marking MotoGP’s return to action following the COVID-19-forced worldwide lockdown.

Marquez tops first MotoGP test at Jerez
Listen to this article

The opening round of the 2020 campaign in Qatar had to be cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, with only the Moto2 and Moto3 classes racing at Losail having already been in the country for their final pre-season tests.

Save for private outings for KTM, Aprilia and several of the manufacturers’ test teams at Red Bull Ring and Misano over the last month, there has been no MotoGP running since February’s Qatar test.

With such a long time off the bike, two 90-minute test sessions have been scheduled for Wednesday to allow the riders to get back up to speed before first practice on Friday.

Read Also:

The early part of the session was topped by reigning world champion Marquez, the Honda rider now fully recovered from off-season shoulder surgery.

Marquez took over at the head of the standings eight minutes in with a 1m39.211s, which he improved over the next 20 minutes to a 1m38.985s.

Honda had a troubled pre-season, with it only making a breakthrough on the final day in Qatar when it discovered its turning issues were being caused by the now-abandoned 2020-spec aero fairing.

Yamaha’s Maverick Vinales, who was fastest at the end of testing in Qatar, briefly took over from Marquez with a 1m38.873s on the much-improved M1.

Aleix Espargaro, having led the opening laps, guided the all-new Aprilia to top spot with around 50 minutes of the session to go.

His 1m38.873s was quickly countered by Marquez, before Pramac Ducati’s Jack Miller leaped up to the head of the field with a 1m38.775s.

Improving to a 1m38.348s, the works team Ducati-bound Miller looked set to hold onto top spot as the session entered its final staged, but for a final salvo of quick laps to demote him to seventh.

Marquez’s late effort of 1m37.941s put him underneath his race lap record from last year to see out the morning fastest of all ahead of Suzuki’s Alex Rins and the works team Yamaha of Valentino Rossi – whose 2021 Petronas SRT deal is expected to be announced imminently.

Aleix Espargaro made it four manufacturers inside the top four on the Aprilia, beating SRT’s Fabio Quartararo, outgoing LCR rider Cal Crutchlow and Miller.

Tech 3’s Miguel Oliveira was top KTM runner in eighth place, just under half a second off the pace, as he gears up for his sophomore campaign, while Franco Morbidelli (SRT) and Francesco Bagnaia (Pramac) rounded out the top 10.

KTM’s Pol Espargaro and Vinales were shuffled out of the top 10 into 12th and 13th respectively, having occupied the top positions earlier, while Tech 3’s Iker Lecuona was top rookie in 16th.

Andrea Dovizioso’s first outing on a bike since breaking his left collarbone in a motocross crash last month ended with him in a low-key 19th ahead of teammate Danilo Petrucci – the pair following the sister factory team Honda of Alex Marquez.

shares
comments
Crutchlow not interested in Honda's WSBK offer
Previous article

Crutchlow not interested in Honda's WSBK offer

Next article

The MotoGP thriller that will define a halcyon age

The MotoGP thriller that will define a halcyon age
The other Suzuki signing that could transform Honda's MotoGP form Prime

The other Suzuki signing that could transform Honda's MotoGP form

Following Suzuki's decision to quit MotoGP, both of its former riders have landed at Honda for 2023. But perhaps its biggest signing from the now-defunct team could instead be a highly-rated technical manager. Is Ken Kawauchi the right man at the right time to steer HRC back to glory?

MotoGP
Jan 26, 2023
How the MotoGP paddock has offered refuge to Suzuki's former team Prime

How the MotoGP paddock has offered refuge to Suzuki's former team

Suzuki's unexpected departure left more than 40 professionals virtually jobless for the 2023 MotoGP season. But that human drama has been successfully corrected by the paddock itself, with most former Suzuki crew members absorbed into other operations.

MotoGP
Jan 14, 2023
How one MotoGP team went from title challengers to losing it all in four years Prime

How one MotoGP team went from title challengers to losing it all in four years

The Petronas Sepang Racing Team came into MotoGP with a bang in 2019 as regular front-runners, with wonder rookie Fabio Quartararo mounting a title challenge in 2020. But it all went wrong for the Razlan Razali-helmed squad as the team changed hands and tumbled down the order - and RNF Racing plans to right this in 2023

MotoGP
Jan 3, 2023
Is Marc Marquez ready to reclaim his MotoGP throne? Prime

Is Marc Marquez ready to reclaim his MotoGP throne?

Marc Marquez’s sixth premier MotoGP title seems a long time ago given the injury woes he has faced in the three years since. At the end of a fraught 2022, in which he had a fourth major operation on his right arm, the Spaniard speaks exclusively to Motorsport.com.

MotoGP
Dec 23, 2022
How MotoGP's underachiever is working to reverse its fortunes in 2023 Prime

How MotoGP's underachiever is working to reverse its fortunes in 2023

As European manufacturers emerged as the strongest force in 2022 in a changing of the guard for MotoGP, one powerhouse couldn’t quite match the feats of Ducati and Aprilia. Its motorsport chief tells Motorsport.com why this is and what it is doing to become a consistent frontrunner in the class of kings

MotoGP
Dec 20, 2022
How MotoGP riders are preparing for the physical stress of sprint races Prime

How MotoGP riders are preparing for the physical stress of sprint races

With the expansion of the calendar to 21 grands prix and the introduction of sprint races, the 2023 MotoGP season will take the riders to almost 1,300 kilometres of more competition than this year, a factor that forces adjustments in their physical preparations.

MotoGP
Dec 9, 2022
Luca Marini: Why he's more than just Valentino Rossi's brother Prime

Luca Marini: Why he's more than just Valentino Rossi's brother

Surname pressure is something many have had to deal with in their motorsport careers. And while Luca Marini doesn’t have that, his familial relation and the team he rides for in MotoGP have cast a brighter spotlight on his progress. But, as he has shown in 2022 – and as he reveals to Motorsport.com – Marini is so much more than just the brother of a legend.

MotoGP
Dec 6, 2022
Ranking the top 10 MotoGP riders of 2022 Prime

Ranking the top 10 MotoGP riders of 2022

The 2022 MotoGP season was another hotly contested championship, with Francesco Bagnaia emerging as the title winner after the campaign went to the wire. Motorsport.com picks out the 10 best performers of the season

MotoGP
Nov 29, 2022