Vinales ends Valencia test on top despite crash

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Vinales ends Valencia test on top despite crash
Valentin Khorounzhiy
By: Valentin Khorounzhiy
Nov 21, 2018, 4:04 PM

Yamaha rider Maverick Vinales ended MotoGP's post-season test in Valencia on top, eclipsing Andrea Dovizioso and Marc Marquez in the final hour of the second day.

Vinales, who had set the pace on the opening day, had a rare crash in the middle of Wednesday's running but went on to set the best time of the test – a 1m30.757s.

Just like on Tuesday, the track was cold and damp to start the session, and remained empty for the first two hours before KTM's Johann Zarco again kicked off the proceedings.

Aprilia's Andrea Iannone soon eclipsed him as the pace-setter, before Zarco's teammate Pol Espargaro and Ducati's new works rider Danilo Petrucci further lowered the benchmark.

But reigning champion Marquez, venturing out on track on a 2019 prototype Honda, was much quicker straight away, taking a lead of over nine tenths with four hours left on the clock.

The rest of the pack gradually worked their way towards Marquez's 1m31.019s, and in the penultimate hour he was finally dethroned by Dovizioso.

Marquez, who had spent the day switching between two black-liveried prototype RC213Vs, joined Dovizioso in the sub-1m31s range in the final hour, but couldn't topple the Ducati rider, coming up 0.021s short.

A few minutes later, Vinales overhauled both, finding two tenths on Dovizioso's effort in the final sector to complete a clean sweep of the two-day test.

Pramac Ducati's Jack Miller followed Marquez on his fastest lap to end up fourth, while his now-former teammate Petrucci slotted into fifth place in the dying minutes.

Franco Morbidelli, impressive again on the Petronas SRT-run Yamaha, was the final rider below 1m31s in sixth, ahead of Suzuki's Alex Rins, LCR Honda rider Takaaki Nakagami and Yamaha's Valentino Rossi.

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Aleix Espargaro was the lead Aprilia in 10th, seven tenths up on new teammate Andrea Iannone, who crashed twice during the day.

Also crashing twice was Zarco, who ended the day 20th, nine tenths slower than the fellow works RC16 of Pol Espargaro.

Ducati tester Michele Pirro took a tumble for the second time in two days, while Yamaha's new test rider Jonas Folger left his prototype M1 a mangled wreck when he fell off at Turn 10 and the bike clattered against the barrier at speed.

Tech 3's Hafizh Syahrin crashed his new KTM at the same corner in the final minutes of the day, while shortly thereafter Bradley Smith ended his first test as an Aprilia tester by falling at Turn 1.

Francesco Bagnaia was the highest-placed rookie for Pramac Ducati in 11th, while Honda's marquee new signing Jorge Lorenzo was 12th, just over eighth tenths off the pace.

MotoGP post-season testing will conclude next week with two days of running at another Spanish venue, Jerez.

Session results:

Pos. No. Rider Bike Laps Time/Gap
1 25 Spain Maverick Vinales Yamaha 58 1'30.757
2 4 Italy Andrea Dovizioso Ducati 57 0.133
3 93 Spain Marc Marquez Honda 52 0.154
4 43 Australia Jack Miller Ducati 65 0.182
5 9 Italy Danilo Petrucci Ducati 60 0.202
6 21 Italy Franco Morbidelli Yamaha 56 0.217
7 42 Spain Alex Rins Suzuki 69 0.497
8 30 Japan Takaaki Nakagami Honda 69 0.547
9 46 Italy Valentino Rossi Yamaha 63 0.614
10 41 Spain Aleix Espargaro Aprilia 55 0.643
11 63 Italy Francesco Bagnaia Ducati 49 0.648
12 99 Spain Jorge Lorenzo Honda 46 0.827
13 44 Spain Pol Espargaro KTM 47 0.871
14 36 Spain Joan Mir Suzuki 56 0.957
15 53 Spain Tito Rabat Ducati 59 1.183
16 6 Germany Stefan Bradl Honda 51 1.258
17 20 France Fabio Quartararo Yamaha 63 1.334
18 29 Italy Andrea Iannone Aprilia 32 1.367
19 51 Italy Michele Pirro  Ducati 33 1.463
20 94 Germany Jonas Folger Yamaha 47 1.508
21 5 France Johann Zarco KTM 47 1.752
22 17 Czech Republic Karel Abraham Ducati 52 2.149
23 55 Malaysia Hafizh Syahrin KTM 43 2.251
24 38 United Kingdom Bradley Smith Aprilia 58 2.271
25 88 Portugal Miguel Oliveira KTM 46 3.041
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