Jerez MotoGP Test
Track temperatures had been steadily climbing throughout the day and by the afternoon session were approaching 60-degrees Celsius. Between sessions riders had been cooling off in inflatable kiddy pools and using various other methods to try and keep their body temperatures down. Would those scorching temperatures prevent riders from lowering that 1m37.941 benchmark set by the defending World Champion during the morning session…?
The impressive pace of Aleix Espargaro continued in the second session but his progress was cut short when the Aprilia rider went down ten-minutes into the session. His RS-GP had left a trail of oil at turn 11. Danilo Petrucci and Alex Marquez both fell on that oil before the red flag came out to halt the session.
Pit-lane opened again after a delay of more than half-an-hour and Aleix Espargaro was straight back out there, as were earlier fallers Alex Marquez and Danilo Petrucci.
After the delay Andrea Dovizioso was one of the first riders to improve slightly on his morning marker, a 1m39.078 bettering the 1m39.201 he set in the opening session.
Brad Binder was the next to make an incremental step forward improving on his 1m39.282 from the opening session to 1m39.016 halfway through the second session.
Johann Zarco was the next improver, dipping into the 1m38s with a 1m38.972 on his 20th lap of the second session aboard the Avintia Ducati.
Joan Mir then managed to knock half-a-second off his previous best, dropping in a 1m38.380 to go eighth quickest on combined times, and P2 in the second session with 30-minutes remaining. At this juncture Marc Marquez was still quickest of the session on a 1m38.021, only marginally slower than his 1m37.941 benchmark set in the morning session.
Fabio Quartararo was the next to make an improvement, the young Frenchman cutting a tenth off his morning marker and then on the next lap he dropped in a 1m37.911 to go top of the time-sheets on combined times. Further down the field Maverick Vinales and Franco Morbidelli had also made some small improvements but were still 10th and 11th on combined times with 20-minutes remaining in the session.
Franco Morbidelli crashed at turn 12 with six-minutes remaining in the session just as Maverick Vinales went second on combined times, pushing Marc Marquez back to P3. Vinales then followed that lap up with a 1m37.793 to take P1 and that time was good enough to stand all the way to the chequered flag.
Fabio Quartararo was second quickest overall but also received the news that he will have to sit out the first 20-minutes of FP1 on Friday as a penalty for riding a prohibited motorcycle at Paul Ricard last month.
Marc Marquez was third quickest on combined times ahead of Alex Rins, Valentino Rossi, Aleix Espargaro, Cal Crutchlow and Jack Miller, that six riders filling spots P3 to P8 after all setting their quickest time of the day in the cooler morning session.
Riders hit the track again at 1755 (AEST) Friday night for FP1 of the race weekend. The 25-lap race is scheduled to get underway at 2200 (AEST) on Sunday night.
The all time lap record at Jerez is held by Fabio Quartararo with which he scored pole position from in 2019 at 1m36.880s on his Petronas Yamaha, while the best race lap was recorded by race winner Marc Marquez that same weekend at 1m38.051s on the Repsol Honda. The highest MotoGP top speed recorded was 295.9 km/h by Andrea Iannone in 2015 on a Ducati.
MotoGP Test Combined Times
2020 Jerez MotoGP Schedule (AEST)