MotoGP Jerez Test: Takaaki Nakagami lead as rookies make debuts
HRC rider Takaaki Nakagami led the first day of testing at Jerez.
Takaaki Nakagami led today’s tests at Jerez as Honda showed off their brand new 2022 steed which the Japanese manufacturer are hoping will lead them to glory in the shape of a MotoGP world title and more competitive riders given it took the brand four years to finish a race in a 1-2, ending the streak at Misano 2021 after waiting since Aragon 2017.
Alex Marquez – LCR Honda.
As previously mentioned Honda showcased a brand new machine with the LCR riders joined on track by Pol Espargaro who was passed fit to ride following his devastating crash in Valencia which ruled him out of the race. Honda’s new bike is completely different in every way possible and has been built from the ground up with a brand new engine, air intake, chassis and aero, noting a wider front end of the bike and a more defined tail. The bike looked to be fast out of the box with LCR Honda rider Takaaki Nakagami leading the session.
Both the 2021 and 2022 bikes were tested and compared to one another to try and gain an understanding of the strong points of the new machine, Pol Espargaro placing in P13 ahead of Alex Marquez in P16.
Raul Fernandez – Tech3 KTM.
Over at KTM the Moto2 World Champion and Vice-Champion Remy Gardner and Raul Fernandez made their full Tech3 debuts in the striking orange colours spending their time learning the carbon disks and how to ride a MotoGP bike, this follows their incredibly impressive test at Misano where both riders proved to be competitive. Raul Fernandez continued to do what he does best of instantly adapting and finished up in P19 with a 1:39.083, a full second to Remy Gardner in P24, Gardner still riding with cracked ribs.
The arrival of two rookies places the role of development firmly in the hands of the factory team with Miguel Oliveira and Brad Binder once again pairing up with Dani Pedrosa, all three trying out some new parts including an eerie-looking aero package.
Ducati’s new exhaust.
Ducati have grown again expanding their presence on the grid up to a huge 8 bikes with the arrival of Gresini Ducati with rookie Fabio Di Giannantonio stepping up and Enea Bastianini being reunited with his old Moto3 team, the VR46 Racing Team have also gained another spot with the exit of Avintia Racing which allows Marco Bezzecchi to step into the premier class with the squad alongside 2020 teammate Luca Marini. All four of the mentioned riders spending their time adapting to new bikes with Enea Bastianini taking an immediate liking finishing up in P3, 0.089 seconds from Nakagami.
As you can see from the above photo, a new exhaust was debuted by Ducati to aid them in power delivery as the Bologna-based squad focused on their engines with the factory and Pramac riders running in a new 2022 powerhouse to their machine, new aero was also spotted. Johann Zarco finished up as the fastest Ducati in P2, 0.043 from Nakagami.
Joan Mir – Suzuki Ecstar.
Alex Rins was the fastest Suzuki rider alongside two test riders namely Sylvain Guintoli and Takuya Tsuda, 2020 champion Joan Mir also making an appearance. The brand are desperately chasing more horsepower after they were stomped into the ground at Valencia by a trio of Ducati’s; Mir hopes of fighting for a win being dashed by their speed, new 2022 engines were tested with confirmation that they are more powerful and faster.
Maverick Vinales – Aprilia Racing.
Over at Aprilia Maverick Vinales looked incredibly quick, expected really given he also had track time yesterday thanks to Aprilia’s concessions status. Vinales continued to work at adapting to the machine, learning the characteristics of a V4 engine.
Lorenzo Savadori was on track trying out the new 2022 bike with both he and Aleix Espargaro suffering crashes on track.
Fabio Quartararo – Monster Energy Yamaha.
Last but not least the world champions Yamaha came home with Franco Morbidelli as their quickest man, Quartararo not enjoying his life too much and looking forward to a stronger package to arrive in later tests as Yamaha also battle to increase their horsepower to be able to battle with Ducati.
Andrea Dovizioso rode the 2019 Yamaha early in the session before swinging his leg over the 2021 machine, spending his time learning the ropes of the new bike alongside teammate Darryn Binder who finished only 4.4 seconds from P1, a strong start for the South African who has made the huge jump from Moto3.
Full Results –
Featured images – Dorna Sports