Overnight rain and brief showers throughout the morning made for a late start to the post-race Misano Test overnight where only a few riders braved the track for the first four-hour-session but the circuit was busy in the afternoon as riders tested new developments.
Some of the biggest of those developments could be seen in the Honda camp with big changes to the RC-213V, some of those that were clearly evident just by looking at the machine were new bodywork and air intake, a redesigned seat area and massively revised tail unit that looks likely to house a significant tuned mass damper, much like what used to be referred to as the ‘salad box’ first used by Ducati in 2017.
Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez and Pol Espargaro completed 112 laps between them and Stefan Bradl was also on track to test their new developments along with fellow Honda riders Alex Marquez and Takaaki Nakagami.
Marc Marquez – P15
“Today we tried a bike with some new components and it was very interesting, there was a lot of work to do today. I’m happy with what we have done today but there’s still a lot more work to do for sure. There were some positives and some negatives about what we tried today, but we need more time to understand everything, and we were being careful today not to push too much and take risks. Tomorrow we keep testing.”
Espargaro spent the first day of the two-day test working on his riding style and testing various parts for the Honda RC213V. He completed a total of 65 laps, a best time of m’31.631 putting him second overall, and 0.3s faster than his Q2 time from the race weekend.
Pol Espargaro – P2
“I am really happy with how today went overall. We improved on our Q2 lap time, one of the only riders to do this today. The most important improvement today was to our race pace, it was massively better than during the weekend. We worked a lot on ideas we have had during the races but didn’t necessarily have time to work on during the weekend. Sometimes when you try these kind of things during the weekend you can lose your way so a test is the time to try them.”
San Marino GP winner Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) finished fastest ahead of Pol Espargaro and Aleix Espargaro, but Day 1 was much more than just the lap-times.
At Ducati, both Bagnaia and team-mate Jack Miller were testing some new aero on the front of their machinery. ‘Pecco’ suffered a crash at Turn 10 while sporting the new aero, but the Italian was perfectly uninjured and came back out to set the fastest time of the opening day. Miller was eighth, half a second back.
Jorge Martin (Pramac Racing) also completed some laps with the new aero package, with Ducati in fact having two new aero designs – the second of which divides one part into two elements.
Martin’s Pramac team-mate Johann Zarco had a new chassis to test, and then the Frenchman headed home and will be replaced by test rider Michele Pirro on Wednesday, as Zarco undergoes arm pump surgery.
After a crash early at Turn 6 in the afternoon session, San Marino GP podium finisher Enea Bastianini (Avintia Esponsorama) ended his day early having completed just 11 laps and remarked on some new gearbox improvements that he was testing.
Enea Bastinini – P21
“It was a positive test. I had a couple of crashes, but I was pushing as hard as I could, plus the track conditions were very different to the race and, after the great weekend, you want to go even faster in every session. We’ve been trying new parts for the bike which have generally worked well. Looking ahead to Austin, it will be my first time on a MotoGP bike there, and with the Moto2 bike I was only able to ride once, but I want to try to be fast from the first day and I will be very motivated after the podium.“
Team-mate Luca Marini (Sky VR46 Avintia) managed to set a 1:31.998 to grab P7, and that time is a couple of tenths quicker than the Italian set in Q1 last weekend.
Over at Team Suzuki Ecstar, both Joan Mir and Alex Rins had the 2022-spec engine to test again – like we saw at the pre-season Qatar Tests. In addition, the Spaniards were testing some set-up and electronic improvements that are meant to go hand in hand with the new engine, with Mir and Rins also doing some work to gear up for the second race at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli this season.
Mir claimed P5 after setting his best lap on his 59th, 0.4s off Bagnaia’s best, while Rins notched up the most laps of anyone on Day 1 – 71. Rins was 14th quickest and said the new engine was more powerful.
The big news over in the Aprilia garage was the 2022 aero that test rider Lorenzo Savadori was seen testing. It’s a smaller, thinner package than the one being used this year.
Meanwhile, Maverick Viñales (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) was continuing his adaptation to the RS-GP, but a crash at Turn 15 while on a personal best lap hampered his afternoon running.
Aleix Espargaro finished P3 on the opening day after accomplishing 51 laps in the dry afternoon session and also tested the new aero which he said had some disadvantages and advantages, and as they can homologate two aero packages for next year he said one version might work better for some circuits, and another for different circuits.
After a bit of early morning operating in the damp conditions to get some weather wet time in, World Championship leader Fabio Quartararo was lapping on a 2022 prototype in the afternoon. A new chassis was visible and the Frenchman also had a new tail unit to try.
Fabio Quartararo – P6
“It wasn‘t a really busy day. I wanted to do more laps, but the team told me to stay calm for a bit. But it was a positive day. The main objective was to ride the 2022 prototype bike for the first time. The only thing I can say is that the first impression is good. I‘m quite happy and looking forward to tomorrow.”
Team-mate Franco Morbidelli primarily focussed on working his way back to full fitness and getting to grips with the 2021 machine as he returns following knee surgery.
Franco Morbidelli – P18
“Today we had the chance to do about 30 laps. I was able to appreciate the bike more and improve my feeling on it a little bit. We made some steps forward. Of course, we didn’t do many laps to spare the leg a little. It was sore after the race. Now we are trying to manage these two days of testing without upsetting it too much. Today this was the case: I was able to improve my feeling without stressing my leg too much, so I am happy about Day 1.”
Valentino Rossi (Petronas Yamaha SRT) was another rider who was able to go faster than he did in qualifying at the San Marino GP. The Doctor finished 11th with a 1:32.170. New team-mate Andrea Dovizioso continued to get to grips with the YZR-M1 after his debut weekend at Misano, the experienced Italian ended the day 19th, 1.1s shy of Bagnaia. An important and – from the outside – successful day for Dovizioso, who needs as much track time as possible to get back up to speed on very different machinery.
Test rider Dani Pedrosa was on track for KTM, with Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team Manager Mike Leitner explaining to motogp.com that the MotoGP Legend was testing some future ideas. Brad Binder, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing teammate Miguel Oliveira and Tech3 KTM Factory Racing’s Danilo Petrucci and Iker Lecuona were working on the current bikes. Oliveira trying to find the feeling with the bike that he had once before but has been missing most of this season.
Danilo Petrucci – P22
“We tried to find some solutions for the issues we encountered during the weekend here, but to be honest, it was not easy to understand where to begin and what the main thing is. I always struggle to be faster with the new tyres, whereas I feel better with the used one, which is not easy. We found something, which was in terms of setup, so we hope to be able to improve when we are back here in October.”
Tomorrow, meanwhile, is a big day for the Austrian factory and their new 2022 recruits. Moto2 World Championship leader Remy Gardner and Red Bull KTM Ajo teammate Raul Fernandez will be getting their first taste of a MotoGP machine, a “treat” from the factory ahead of their full-time debuts.
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