Fabio Quartararo made history on Saturday setting a record for youngest pole setter, however Sunday wasn’t to be his day with a mechanical issue putting an early end to his race, while fighting for the podium. Further proving his speed, Quartararo topped the Jerez Monday test, half a second faster than his pole winning lap time.
The 1’36.379, set near the end of play, put him 0.418 ahead of Cal Crutchlow and 0.714 ahead of Franco Morbidelli at the Official Test.
Fabio Quartararo – P1
“All the frustration from yesterday was compensated for by the excellent day of testing we had today. We tried several different setups and a new front fork. The results were very positive, and it’s something that we will continue investigating in the future. We also managed to find a very good pace with used tyres and we worked with the hard compound for many laps. At the end of the day we tried a time attack and it went very well. This was the first time that the grip has been so good at this track. On my last three laps I was on the limit and I saw that I could not improve much more, with us putting in three times in the 1m 36s. I am very happy with the work that we’ve done and I want to thank the whole team. I can’t wait to get to Le Mans, my home Grand Prix, and to carry on enjoying riding the bike.”
Quartararo did 73 laps on Monday and left it late to put in his fastest on Lap 70, following it up with another not far off the same pace. He had internal fork updates to try, the same as the factory Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP team, but set his fastest lap with the previous regardless.
Teammate Morbidelli was also late mover up the timesheets into third and his best of a 1’37.093 was set on his penultimate lap of 82. He had a Yamaha aero update to try.
Franco Morbidelli – P3
“We worked on a few very specific areas during this test, with the aim of improving the setup of the bike. We found some new solutions that I believe will be useful at upcoming rounds this season. During the race I never felt comfortable with the front end, and today we were able to improve that feeling. We also worked on rear grip, something that we lacked a little during the weekend. We have found solutions and this is important on days like today. We have pace and the feeling is pretty good now.”
Meanwhile, Maverick Viñales was the fastest Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP rider in fifth, 0.847 off the top after an impressive workload of 94 laps, with teammate Valentino Rossi ending the day in P17 after 74 laps.
Maverick Vinales – P5
“We tested many items today. I did a lot of laps on race tyres, which wasn’t bad. I was riding quite well over a race distance, but anyway we need to keep improving. Le Mans is a track where the grip level is quite good, so I’m not too worried about it. It’s a good track for me, so my mind is already there at the French GP. We have found some positives and negatives in today’s test, as always, but nothing special. There are still some things to improve, especially on my side, my riding style, and we need to find something to improve the traction. But I’m not worried because my race pace was there, I was feeling close to the top.”
Valentino Rossi – P17
“We had a programme for today. We had some things to try to improve the package, especially working on the acceleration, on the grip, all these things. The test wasn’t too bad. We didn’t find something that will change our lives, but there were some details that, if you put them all together in the package, maybe we can be stronger. I also had to try the two tyres for Michelin. These are two tyres we will use in Austria and Buriram. They are harder and stronger, but I wanted to try them, because usually we suffer a little bit with that type of tyre, but it wasn’t a time attack.”
They were working on some chassis settings but mainly electronics, aimed at improving throttle connection. Petronas Yamaha SRT also had throttle connection updates but the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP riders were working on further versions.
At Honda, one big focus for Crutchlow was the start; clutch feel and electronics. He did 78 laps, was the man deposed by Quartararo’s late lunge, and did his fastest lap on a new rear medium compound tyre from Michelin featuring new technology for improved grip and consistency.
Cal Crutchlow – P2
“It was a good day. I had no real complaints throughout the day, we just tried the setting of the bike, we didn’t try anything new. Our programme wasn’t to try anything new, we needed to concentrate on set-up. I went to a more drastic setting than I did over the race weekend and I felt maybe a bit more comfortable. I was definitely a lot faster than yesterday, consistently, and we put that down to also using the hard rear tyre and not being able to in the race. I spent a lot of time evaluating that hard rear tyre and I felt good with it. The team is pleased and I’m pleased with how the day went, but as I said yesterday I can’t be pleased with how the race panned out. I finished eighth and there’s no reward for going fast on a Monday in Jerez, but I felt good and it shows that yesterday I should have been faster and should have chosen the hard rear tyre.”
The tyre was one of two additions to the race weekend allocation – the other being a medium rear with a different casing especially for Spielberg and Buriram, to be assessed further – and it will now be used in the allocation.
A little further down the timesheets, Jerez winner Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) ended the day in seventh after 75 laps, and set his quickest on the bike that wildcard and test rider Stefan Bradl rode in the race with carbon fibre chassis additions.
Jorge Lorenzo (Repsol Honda Team) had a slightly modified seat and ended the day in P9 after 93 laps, and the five-time World Champion had two crashes.
Marc Marquez – P7
“We tried many things today and it was a really positive test as we were able to focus on the concept of a few things, not the details. When we finished with everything I stopped a bit early because the feeling was good with the bike and sometimes it’s best to stop when you’re feeling good. I tried Bradl’s bike to understand the concept, it was positive and we are ready for the next round.”
Jorge Lorenzo – P9
“Today we were able to do a lot of laps and try many things. This was important for us as we are still trying to catch up on the time we missed testing at the start of the season. We found some interesting things for races to come. The day was upset by two crashes. It isn’t how we wanted to end the test with a crash. I am OK, sore but OK. Thank you to the Repsol Honda Team and HRC engineers for working hard all weekend and today during the test.”
Takaaki Nakagami was another late crasher and he ended the day in tenth, an infinitesimal 0.002 off Lorenzo.
Takaaki Nakagami – P10
“The test was going well, but unfortunately I had a crash in the last few minutes. I’m ok though and it was a really important test for us. We tested some small things back-to-back and the bike is working well, like the weekend. We didn’t focus on our performance on the first lap, but the lap time was really consistent and I had a better feeling on the bike than over the weekend. I’m pretty happy with how we worked today, so we’re ready for the next race in Le Mans. We just need to keep going.”
For KTM the timesheets made for good reading with Pol Espargaro as he ended the day in fourth, 0.735 off P1 after 63 laps, with teammate Johann Zarco in P16 after 71. They tested chassis parts, chassis settings and some engine parts.
Pol Espargaro – P4
“Tiring day but happy with the result. KTM have worked very hard in the winter and delivered some things that we could not test until Le Mans and here because of the overseas races. We improved on some areas of the engine and also the chassis and found a good balance. We tried different configurations and I think with what we did on the engine we have more room to play, which is good. I’m happy we keep developing and keep improving.”
Johann Zarco – P16
“I expected to have a good day and after a race it is useful to be on track again and have a reference from the weekend: after just three laps you are ready to start the work. We tried things looking for confirmation for the technicians and that means a bit of up-and-down and it can be hard to have a consistent feeling. Fabio did an amazing lap-time with that new rear Michelin and I tried it too and had a small improvement over qualifying. Anyway, many laps done and lots of information for the team. We made a little step to let me have more feeling on the front into the fast corners, and from that we tried to improve the rear and could work there.”
Red Bull KTM Tech 3, meanwhile, ended the test in P21 for Miguel Oliveira and P22 for Hafizh Syahrin. They had 2019 KTM tail and exhausts to test.
“Today was quite long, as we had many things to test. But finally, it has been positive because I was much faster with the ‘race condition bike’ than yesterday. I just missed the fast lap at the end. I used a medium front tyre with a soft rear, which was not the best choice, so I had to stop and change the front tyre, therefore I reused the soft rear and was not able to get this ideal lap in. I’m a bit disappointed for this, but we tested things here, which we think have great potential to help me in the future.”
Hafizh Syahrin – P22
“Today has been a very positive day, because we did a big step compared to last weekend as during the Grand Prix I was struggling, the condition of my body was not good and on the last day, I just found a good feeling with the bike and also my body was better. In the race I set my fastest time. During the test today, we tried some new parts, which were better for me. But so far, we are not able to use the advantage of the new tyre for the corner speed. We found a very small improvement, so we still need to get better with the bike. At the moment this is not easy, but I hope it’s getting better and better in the future and I give my best to improve at the next round.”
At Suzuki, Joan Mir was working on setting the bike up more for his style and he ended the day in sixth after more than 80 laps.
Joan Mir – P6
“I’m really happy with today, especially as I did so many laps. I found I was able to increase my pace and build on the lap times I set during the weekend. I feel that my settings for Le Mans will be good as we tried a lot of different things here. I had a crash today, but it was without consequences and I’m happy to have been back on my bike and always learning.”
Suzuki had a new swingarm, and a new swingarm attachment was also spotted in the Hamamatsu factory’s garage as it broke cover for the first time, but Alex Rins ran on and damaged it soon after. He nevertheless did 69 laps with a best of 1’37.275 to put him in P8. Test rider Sylvain Guintoli was also out on track and he put in 79 laps.
Alex Rins – P8
“Today we’ve done a full day of work, testing a lot of things and completing a lot of laps. We found a lot of positive things, and I liked the settings that we tried. Now we head to Le Mans with a really strong package and I’m happy with what we’ve done. I ran off when trying the new swingarm device, so I didn’t get to try it much. Instead we went back to our original plan of testing a new swingarm and focusing on electronics.”
Ducati weren’t inside the top ten by the end of the day. Andrea Dovizioso was P11 after 52 laps with a best of 1’37.601, but he wasn’t trying any particular new parts, instead focusing on big setup changes they’d not use time for during a race weekend.
Andrea Dovizioso – P11
“Post-race tests are always useful, because they allow you to work without pressure and evaluate some modifications that you usually don’t have the time to try during a race weekend, where track time is limited. Despite not having anything new, we were able to work on several details, both in terms of setup and electronics, to have a better understanding of how the bike reacts. We gathered some important data, which we’ll be able to use in all tracks from now on. Also, we tested a new medium-spec tyre, with positive outcomes. There is always room for improvement, both for the rider and the bike, and we’ll go to Le Mans with clearer ideas about how to do it.”
Dovizioso’s teammate Danilo Petrucci was P14, focused on working on setup and “some new parts” and spending the majority of his time on the hard tyre. The two were split by Pramac Racing duo Francesco Bagnaia and Jack Miller.
Danilo Petrucci – P14
“In these tests, we focused on preparing for the next round without going for a ‘time attack’. I tried some different components and several setup changes, only using hard tyres and taking them over the race distance to understand how to improve our pace. In particular, we worked to maximize both stability under braking and corner speed, finding some solutions that should work well in Le Mans. I’m quite happy with what we tried and the feeling with the bike is good, so I hope to be able to make another step forward in France.”
All four were covered by just over a tenth, and the gap from Bagnaia back to Miller was only 0.003. Another tiny gap put Tito Rabat in P17, just 0.005 off Rossi, with teammate Karel Abraham only 0.014 in further arrears. Finally, Aprilia were out on track with Aleix Espargaro and test rider Bradley Smith as Andrea Iannone missed the test due to the after effects of his Saturday crash.
Espargaro did 80 laps and was just 0.038 off Petrucci to take P15, testing rear suspension setups, traction control configurations, weight distribution and torque delivery, and Smith was only 0.002 off Abraham after 82 laps. He had some new parts and was also working on setups and tyre evaluation.
Aleix Espargaro’ – P15
“This day of testing was very important for us. In fact, I was the first one out on the track. We worked non-stop, both in anticipation of Le Mans and to continue development on the RS-GP. As always when testing, some solutions return better results than others. It will be essential to carefully analyse the data collected today to decide which line to follow in the upcoming rounds.”
Bradley Smith – P20
“It was a rather busy day. We worked on three fronts: the hard front tyre, which we confirmed as the right choice for our bike on this track, weight distribution and some components we needed to evaluate in terms of performance and reliability. Since I got close to Andrea’s and Aleix’s performance, the feeling is that I can contribute to overcoming the limits that the factory riders are highlighting. It is not an easy process. It takes time, but we have a structure capable of doing it. I think that in the coming months we’ll be able to make some targeted changes in our weaker areas.”
Andrea Iannone – NC
“I tried, but I was lacking strength in my foot to shift gears. It’s a pity because I would have liked to use the day of testing to confirm the positive note on which we had begun to work in FP4 where, before the crash, I was doing rather well. We received some confirmation from Aleix in the race and that is definitely positive. From tomorrow I’ll begin my recovery, but I am sure that I’ll be able to be at 100% for the Le Mans weekend.”
That’s it from Jerez for the one-day Official Test for the premier class, although Moto and Moto3 will be back out on track on Tuesday.
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