MotoGP Catalunya test: Surprise surprise, Maverick Vinales leads testing
MotoGP’s resident testing champion Maverick Vinales once again takes the testing crown.
Maverick Vinales takes the testing crown this time around in Catalunya leading the timesheets after putting in 85 total laps today, only the second most laps behind Marc Marquez who put in a total of 87 laps which is hugely positive for the eight-time champion as it proves his shoulder is improving and he is gaining more muscle after sitting out a previous test earlier this season.
For many of the Yamaha riders today it was mainly a focus on set up with Quartararo, Rossi and Morbidelli all using their time to try and understand what improvements they can make on their bikes to be able to stay consistently quick whereas Maverick Vinales spent his time trying to improve his race pace testing a new chassis and carbon fibre swingarm in an attempt to improve his races which have been falling off a cliff as of late.
For the Honda riders of Marc Marquez and Pol Espargaro who completed 159 laps in total they decided to try out some new aero on their Honda alongside a new airbox to improve airflow on their bike which continues to be the worst machine on the grid with all 4 Honda riders taking 101 points so far in 2021, the same as Johann Zarco holds placed in P2 overall in the championship. Pol would place in P6 and Marc Marquez in P11.
Marc Marquez running a wider front fairing.
Over at Aprilia we saw Aleix Espargaro sit out of the test due to some arm pump issues, he was replaced by Matteo Baiocco who alongside Lorenzo Savadori tested out a new clutch, seat units, front mudguard aero and some electronics to help stabilise the bike and improve transmission, it’s only a matter of time before we see if they come into fruition.
For KTM it was like Christmas for the Tech3 boys, they were able to get their hands on the new race-winning chassis upgrades which propelled Oliveira to a podium in Mugello and a win in Catalunya, these updates have helped to improve the bike’s tyre wear meaning it can last much longer during the race and no longer ruin tyres before the race is out, this was proved in Catalunya with a strong Oliveira battling with Quartararo and besting the Frenchman. Lecuona also tested out a new fairing with holes drilled into it.
Suzuki had a very similar day to Yamaha with Mir and Guintoli focusing on the bikes set up with the 2020 champion clocking in 65 laps which placed him in P4 overall as he chases down another podium this season to try and retain the world championship.
Ducati had a fairly uneventful day with their riders working to gain some vital data which will help them in their title push with 3 Ducati’s occupying the top 4 spots in the championship standings.
Overall we had a Monster Yamaha 1-2 with Vinales leading teammate Fabio Quartararo as Takaaki Nakagami placed in third place.
Full results –
Featured images – Dorna Sports