Muddy conditions make for bizarre day of MotoGP testing at Mandalika

Pol Espargaro. Picture: Repsol Honda Team Twitter

Repsol Honda’s Pol Espargaro has set the fastest lap on MotoGP’s first day of testing at Indonesia’s Mandalika circuit, after a long stoppage due to track conditions.

Overnight rain and construction work in the tourism estate in which the Mandalika International Street Circuit is located left the track covered in mud at the start of the morning.

With just over an hour elapsed, proceedings were suspended so that the track could be cleaned, resulting in a delay of around 90 minutes.

Riders were even told to go out and cut laps for the express purpose of cleaning the circuit, before the test properly got going again.

Even then, the field ran on wet tyres until the surface was good enough to switch to slicks.

With the earlier delay, the session finish was extended by 45 minutes, and it was only in that additional time that the aforementioned Espargaro managed a lap quicker than the World Superbike record from last November when he set a 1:32.466s.

More rain subsequently meant he would be the only rider to do so, with brother Aleix Espargaro finishing the day second on his Aprila with a 1:32.937s.

All six manufacturers were represented in the top six, with Red Bull KTM’s Brad Binder third from Suzuki Ecstar’s Alex Rins, Monster Energy Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo, and the Ducati Lenovo Team’s Jack Miller.

Rounding out the top 10 were Aprilia Racing’s Maverick Viñales, from Suzuki Ecstar’s Joan Mir, WithU RNF Yamaha’s Andrea Dovizioso, and Pramac Ducati’s Jorge Martin.

Tech3 KTM’s Remy Gardner was slowest of the 24 riders at 2.137s off the pace.

Testing continues tomorrow (Saturday).

Day 1: Mandalika Official test

Pos Num Rider Nat Team Bike Time Gap 1st/Prev Laps
1 44 Pol ESPARGARO SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 1:32.466   68/69
2 41 Aleix ESPARGARO SPA Aprilia Racing Aprilia 1:32.937 0.471/0.471 59/60
3 33 Brad BINDER RSA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 1:32.943 0.477/0.006 61/64
4 42 Alex RINS SPA Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 1:33.058 0.592/0.115 69/72
5 20 Fabio QUARTARARO FRA Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 1:33.108 0.642/0.050 85/86
6 43 Jack MILLER AUS Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati 1:33.114 0.648/0.006 70/72
7 12 Maverick VIÑALES SPA Aprilia Racing Aprilia 1:33.147 0.681/0.033 37/56
8 36 Joan MIR SPA Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 1:33.244 0.778/0.097 57/58
9 04 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team Yamaha 1:33.245 0.779/0.001 48/57
10 89 Jorge MARTIN SPA Pramac Racing Ducati 1:33.358 0.892/0.113 38/51
11 30 Takaaki NAKAGAMI JPN LCR Honda IDEMITSU Honda 1:33.394 0.928/0.036 51/54
12 21 Franco MORBIDELLI ITA Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 1:33.518 1.052/0.124 67/75
13 5 Johann ZARCO FRA Pramac Racing Ducati 1:33.592 1.126/0.074 83/96
14 49 Fabio DI GIANNANTONIO ITA Gresini Racing MotoGP Ducati 1:33.683 1.217/0.091 53/54
15 73 Alex MARQUEZ SPA LCR Honda CASTROL Honda 1:33.700 1.234/0.017 59/62
16 88 Miguel OLIVEIRA POR Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 1:33.748 1.282/0.048 66/77
17 93 Marc MARQUEZ SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 1:33.776 1.310/0.028 63/64
18 23 Enea BASTIANINI ITA Gresini Racing MotoGP Ducati 1:33.954 1.488/0.178 44/45
19 25 Raul FERNANDEZ SPA Tech3 KTM Factory Racing KTM 1:33.966 1.500/0.012 53/57
20 10 Luca MARINI ITA Mooney VR46 Racing Team Ducati 1:34.165 1.699/0.199 33/53
21 72 Marco BEZZECCHI ITA Mooney VR46 Racing Team Ducati 1:34.173 1.707/0.008 61/63
22 63 Francesco BAGNAIA ITA Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati 1:34.318 1.852/0.145 57/75
23 40 Darryn BINDER RSA WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team Yamaha 1:34.495 2.029/0.177 56/58
24 87 Remy GARDNER AUS Tech3 KTM Factory Racing KTM 1:34.603 2.137/0.108 48/64

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