Honda’s Espargaro fastest on final day of MotoGP pre-season testing

Pol Espargaro. Picture: Repsol Honda Team Twitter

Repsol Honda’s Pol Espargaro has pipped Fabio Quartararo to top spot in MotoGP’s final pre-season test, at Indonesia’s Mandalika street circuit.

Pol Espargaro clocked a 1:31.060s in the first hour of Day 3 of the test and no one would go any quicker thereafter.

Quartararo, who said on the day prior that his future is “wide open” due to ongoing frustration with the YZR-M1, came up just shy of #44’s time when he rode his Monster Energy Yamaha entry to a late 1:31.074s.

The Frenchman had been second on the timing screen for most of the eight hours and Aprilia Racing’s Aleix Espargaro stayed in third with the 1:31.385s which he set inside the first 60 minutes of proceedings.

That state of affairs can be attributed to the focus on race runs for much of the field, although Franco Morbidelli (Monster Energy Yamaha) climbed to fourth near the end with a 1:31.416s.

The Italian edged his compatriot at the Ducati Lenovo Team, Francesco Bagnaia, by 0.020s, with the rest of the top 10 being Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar) in sixth, from Maverick Viñales (Aprilia Racing), Johann Zarco (Pramac Ducati), Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM), and Alex Marquez (Castrol LCR Honda).

Luca Marini had been quickest on the second day with a 1:31.289s, and he ended up 12th on Day 3 with a personal best 1:31.665s on his Mooney VR46 Ducati, while Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) was 14th with a 1:31.793s.

The Ducati Lenovo Team’s Jack Miller was 15th on a 1:31.870s and Tech3 KTM Factory Racing’s Remy Gardner 21st on a 1:32.860s with a relatively low 42 laps under his belt.

Gardner’s team-mate Raul Fernandez notched up even fewer kilometres, pulling out of proceedings early due to still feeling the effects of a big crash on Day 2.

Suzuki’s Joan Mir did not ride at all due to suffering gastrointestinal problems, the cause of which is believed to be food poisoning.

Round 1 of the season is the Qatar Grand Prix, on March 4-6 (local time).

Day 3: Mandalika Official test

Pos Num Rider Nat Team Bike Time Gap 1st/Prev Laps
1 44 Pol ESPARGARO ESP Repsol Honda Team Honda 1:31.060   10/38
2 20 Fabio QUARTARARO FRA Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 1:31.074 0.014/0.014 77/79
3 41 Aleix ESPARGARO ESP Aprilia Racing Aprilia 1:31.385 0.325/0.311 11/51
4 21 Franco MORBIDELLI ITA Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 1:31.416 0.356/0.031 68/69
5 63 Francesco BAGNAIA ITA Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati 1:31.436 0.376/0.02 13/57
6 42 Alex RINS ESP Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 1:31.477 0.417/0.041 27/46
7 12 Maverick VIÑALES ESP Aprilia Racing Aprilia 1:31.478 0.418/0.001 18/78
8 5 Johann ZARCO FRA Pramac Racing Ducati 1:31.488 0.428/0.010 42/82
9 33 Brad BINDER RSA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 1:31.574 0.514/0.086 64/68
10 73 Alex MARQUEZ ESP LCR Honda Castrol Honda 1:31.603 0.543/0.029 16/75
11 88 Miguel OLIVEIRA POR Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 1:31.620 0.560/0.017 71/73
12 10 Luca MARINI ITA Mooney VR46 Racing Team Ducati 1:31.665 0.605/0.045 7/50
13 30 Takaaki NAKAGAMI JPN LCR Honda IDEMITSU Honda 1:31.687 0.627/0.022 88/91
14 93 Marc MARQUEZ ESP Repsol Honda Team Honda 1:31.793 0.733/0.106 52/74
15 43 Jack MILLER AUS Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati 1:31.870 0.810/0.077 19/78
16 04 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team Yamaha 1:31.890 0.830/0.020 19/62
17 72 Marco BEZZECCHI ITA Mooney VR46 Racing Team Ducati 1:31.901 0.841/0.011 10/42
18 49 Fabio DI GIANNANTONIO ITA Gresini Racing MotoGP Ducati 1:31.915 0.855/0.014 15/38
19 23 Enea BASTIANINI ITA Gresini Racing MotoGP Ducati 1:32.010 0.950/0.095 19/35
20 89 Jorge MARTIN ESP Pramac Racing Ducati 1:32.544 1.484/0.534 10/18
21 87 Remy GARDNER AUS Tech3 KTM Factory Racing KTM 1:32.860 1.800/0.316 39/42
22 40 Darryn BINDER RSA WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team Yamaha 1:33.049 1.989/0.189 22/61
23 25 Raul FERNANDEZ ESP Tech3 KTM Factory Racing KTM 1:34.896 3.836/1.847 3/7
  36 Joan MIR ESP Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki      

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