Aprilias on top on Day 1 of Sepang MotoGP test

Aleix Espargaro

Aprilia duo Aleix Espargaro and Maverick Viñales have come out on top on Day 1 of MotoGP’s first Official Test at Sepang, during which Marc Marquez crashed twice.

Espargaro was fastest courtesy of a first-hour 1:58.371s on his RS-GP, with Viñales eventually closing to just 0.013s adrift right near the end of the eight hours of running.

Both had already been in action at the Malaysian Grand Prix venue just days earlier in the Shakedown Test, which they were eligible for by virtue of Aprilia’s concession status, and then for another day of private testing.

Espargaro’s time was less than a tenth away from Fabio Quartararo’s 2019 qualifying lap record, and more than half a second quicker than the benchmark 1:58.942s which Viñales had set in the Shakedown Test when they were also one-two, in the opposite order.

Alex Rins, who had a spill of his own, put his Suzuki Ecstar entry third on the timesheet at exactly a tenth off the pace, from Gresini Racing’s Enea Bastianini.

The latter, who is riding a GP21-model Ducati this year, went as quick as a 1:58.638s while Pramac Racing’s Johann Zarco, who will have the Bologna marque’s latest machinery, was fifth on a 1:58.946s.

Quartararo was sixth for Monster Energy Yamaha, from Alex Rins on the second of the Suzukis, and Marquez in eighth on his return to MotoGP action after missing the last two rounds of 2021 and the post-season test.

The six-time premier class champion, who suffered double vision after a training crash at the end of October, wound up 0.916s off the pace after dropping his Repsol Honda twice.

Marquez’s factory Honda team-mate Pol Espargaro was last of those within a second of his brother Aleix’s fastest lap, with Mooney VR46 rookie Marco Bezzecchi rounding out the top 10.

Yamaha Test Rider Cal Crutchlow was 11th, with Tech3 rookie Raul Fernandez first of the KTM contingent in 13th.

Jack Miller had an early technical problem and would eventually take just 22nd on 2:00.177s, three spots behind Ducati Lenovo team-mate Francesco Bagnaia.

Tech3 KTM Factory Racing’s Remy Gardner, who is suffering with a fractured wrist, was 24th of the 27 riders on a 2:00.470s.

The second and final day of the Sepang Official Test takes place on Sunday, before the field moves to Indonesia’s Mandalika for more mileage from Friday.

Day 1: Sepang Official test

Pos Num Rider Nat Team Bike Time Gap 1st/Prev Laps
1 41 Aleix ESPARGARO ESP Aprilia Racing Aprilia 1:58.371   9/42
2 12 Maverick VIÑALES ESP Aprilia Racing Aprilia 1:58.384 0.013/0.013 54/56
3 42 Alex RINS ESP Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 1:58.471 0.100/0.087 71/72
4 23 Enea BASTIANINI ITA Gresini Racing MotoGP Ducati 1:58.638 0.267/0.167 23/44
5 5 Johann ZARCO FRA Pramac Racing Ducati 1:58.946 0.575/0.308 47/59
6 20 Fabio QUARTARARO FRA Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 1:59.002 0.631/0.056 49/57
7 36 Joan MIR ESP Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 1:59.067 0.696/0.065 63/68
8 93 Marc MARQUEZ ESP Repsol Honda Team Honda 1:59.287 0.916/0.220 55/62
9 44 Pol ESPARGARO ESP Repsol Honda Team Honda 1:59.353 0.982/0.066 25/64
10 72 Marco BEZZECCHI ITA Mooney VR46 Racing Team Ducati 1:59.468 1.097/0.115 49/49
11 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR Yamaha Factory Yamaha 1:59.558 1.187/0.090 29/47
12 30 Takaaki NAKAGAMI JPN LCR Honda IDEMITSU Honda 1:59.634 1.263/0.076 60/62
13 25 Raul FERNANDEZ ESP Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing KTM 1:59.682 1.311/0.048 66/69
14 33 Brad BINDER RSA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 1:59.784 1.413/0.102 49/58
15 73 Alex MARQUEZ ESP LCR Honda CASTROL Honda 1:59.913 1.542/0.129 51/65
16 88 Miguel OLIVEIRA POR Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 1:59.945 1.574/0.032 38/60
17 89 Jorge MARTIN ESP Pramac Racing Ducati 1:59.949 1.578/0.004 19/49
18 10 Luca MARINI ITA Mooney VR46 Racing Team Ducati 1:59.966 1.595/0.017 50/52
19 63 Francesco BAGNAIA ITA Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati 2:00.027 1.656/0.061 22/61
20 49 Fabio DI GIANNANTONIO ITA Gresini Racing MotoGP Ducati 2:00.047 1.676/0.020 39/42
21 21 Franco MORBIDELLI ITA Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 2:00.107 1.736/0.060 25/61
22 43 Jack MILLER AUS Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati 2:00.177 1.806/0.070 48/55
23 04 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team Yamaha 2:00.342 1.971/0.165 24/60
24 87 Remy GARDNER AUS Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing KTM 2:00.470 2.099/0.128 59/60
25 40 Darryn BINDER RSA WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team Yamaha 2:00.818 2.447/0.348 43/45
26 50 Sylvain GUINTOLI FRA Suzuki Test Team Suzuki 2:01.390 3.019/0.572 37/46
27 32 Lorenzo SAVADORI ITA Aprilia Racing Test Team Aprilia 2:04.385 6.014/2.995 6/15
  85 Takuya TSUDA JPN Suzuki Test Team Suzuki      

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