It was an Espargaro one, two today at the official MotoGP test at Mandalika, with Pol and his Honda on top, and Aleix and his Aprilia almost half a second behind. In fact, all six manufacturers in MotoGP were represented in the top six, Honda, Aprilia, KTM, Suzuki, Yamaha and Ducati (in that order). Nice.
Perhaps that means we’ve got a circuit that doesn’t favour one particular brand of MotoGP machine. Or perhaps I’m reading too much into it.
My personal favourite for the ’22 championship, Francesco Bagnaia, only managed 22nd fastest, so I’m hoping, if only for the sake of my integrity, that tomorrow and Sunday will be a different story. There are only two days of testing left before the 2022 season starts, and they’re both this weekend.
Today’s test sessions didn’t really begin in earnest until the afternoon when the rain had abated and the track had been cleared of standing water. I’m sure everyone involved will be hoping for drier weather tomorrow, and a chance to get the hammer down; although the outlook doesn’t look good.
I suppose that’s what happens when you build a race circuit on a tropical Indonesian island on the edge of the pacific ocean. World Superbike fans will remember heavy (and I mean HEAVY) rain showers causing long delays, cancelations and general chaos at the final WSBK round of 2021.
So because there’s absolutely no guarantee anyone will get the chance to do any more laps on their MotoGP bikes over the rest of the weekend, I thought I’d share today’s times; as they might be the only ones we get.
Just on a rookie-note, big up to Fabio Di Giannantonio, the fastest newbie on his Gresini Racing Ducati. He was 14th fastest, only 1.2 seconds off the pace.
If you’re desperate to see some real racing (I know I am) you’ve only got three weeks left to wait until the first round of the 2022 MotoGP Championship, at Losail in Qatar. But for now, here are today’s results from the official test…
Mandalika Test Day 1
|1||Espargaro Pol||44||SPA||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||1’32.466|
|2||Espargaro Aleix||41||SPA||Aprilia Racing||Aprilia||0.471|
|3||Binder Brad||33||RSA||Red Bull KTM Factory Racing||KTM||0.477|
|4||Rins Alex||42||SPA||Team Suzuki Ecstar||Suzuki||0.592|
|5||Quartararo Fabio||20||FRA||Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP||Yamaha||0.642|
|6||Miller Jack||43||AUS||Ducati Lenovo Team||Ducati||0.648|
|7||Vinales Maverick||12||SPA||Aprilia Racing||Aprilia||0.681|
|8||Mir Joan||36||SPA||Team Suzuki Ecstar||Suzuki||0.778|
|9||Dovizioso Andrea||4||ITA||WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team||Yamaha||0.779|
|10||Martin Jorge||89||SPA||Pramac Racing||Ducati||0.892|
|11||Nakagami Takaaki||30||JPN||LCR Honda||Honda||0.928|
|12||Morbidelli Franco||21||ITA||Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP||Yamaha||1.052|
|13||Zarco Johann||5||FRA||Pramac Racing||Ducati||1.126|
|14||Di Giannantonio Fabio||49||ITA||Team Gresini Racing MotoGP||Ducati||1.217|
|15||Marquez Alex||73||SPA||LCR Honda||Honda||1.234|
|16||Oliveira Miguel||88||POR||Red Bull KTM Factory Racing||KTM||1.282|
|17||Marquez Marc||93||SPA||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||1.31|
|18||Bastianini Enea||23||ITA||Team Gresini Racing MotoGP||Ducati||1.488|
|19||Fernandez Raul||25||SPA||Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing||KTM||1.5|
|20||Marini Luca||10||ITA||Mooney VR46 Racing Team||Ducati||1.699|
|21||Bezzecchi Marco||73||ITA||Mooney VR46 Racing Team||Ducati||1.707|
|22||Bagnaia Francesco||62||ITA||Ducati Lenovo Team||Ducati||1.852|
|23||Binder Darryn||40||RSA||WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team||Yamaha||2.029|
|24||Gardner Remy||87||AUS||Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing||KTM||2.137|