MotoGP

Zarco tops twice red-flagged Jerez MotoGP test despite a crash

Following Sunday’s Spanish Grand Prix – won by Ducati’s Francesco Bagnaia – the MotoGP paddock stayed at Jerez for an extra day for the first in-season test of 2022.

The day began at 10am local time, with Honda’s Pol Espargaro topping the first hour with a 1m37.556s as HRC began a vital test following its difficult 2022 season thus far on its radically revised RC213V.

But disaster struck fellow Honda rider Takaaki Nakagami around 10 minutes into hour two, when the LCR rider crashed at Turn 1 and brought out a red flag.

Nakagami was taken to the medical centre for scans on his knee, and though no fractures were found he headed to Barcelona for further scans.

Championship leader Fabio Quartararo topped hour two with a 1m37.504s after finishing a close second to Bagnaia in Sunday’s Spanish GP.

Quartararo tested a new swingarm aimed at improving rear grip, as well as trialling a new front fender and Brembo’s new 355mm brake discs that will be used at hard-braking tracks such as Red Bull Ring, Motegi and Buriram later this year.

The day proved to be crash-strewn as conditions were cooler than they were at the weekend, with Aprilia’s Maverick Vinales, RNF Racing’s Darryn Binder on two occasions, his KTM-mounted brother Brad Binder and Remy Gardner (Tech3 KTM) all taking tumbles.

Brad Binder, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

By the end of hour three, Pramac’s Zarco had taken over at the top of the timesheets with a 1m37.136s.

He too would crash with just under four hours of the session remaining, but his lap time would go unchallenged through to the chequered flag.

The session would be red-flagged for a second time with around an hour and 45 minutes to go when Aprilia test rider Lorenzo Savadori suffered an issue which left fluid on circuit.

This led to a stoppage of around 40 minutes, with Aprilia’s Vinales stopping at Turn 1 in the final hour when action resumed.

Few riders took to the track after the second stoppage, with Zarco remaining fastest of all 0.158s clear of KTM’s Binder.

Quartararo completed the top three ahead of Ducati’s Jack Miller and Pol Espargaro, while Joan Mir – who feels he improved turning on Monday – was sixth on his Suzuki.

Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro was seventh ahead of the sister Suzuki of Alex Rins, who says he was able to improve the front-end issues which led to his bike feeling like “a cat in water” on Sunday.

Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing

Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Jorge Martin was ninth on the sister Pramac Ducati, with Gresini Ducati rider Enea Bastianini rounding out the top 10.

Spanish GP winner Bagnaia only completed 24 laps on Monday before calling it a day and was 12th behind LCR’s Alex Marquez.

Marc Marquez was 15th after 60 laps of running as had three different specifications of Honda to test on Monday.

The six-time world champion edged Vinales and Yamaha’s Franco Morbidelli, while there were no laps for HRC test rider Stefan Bradl or Tech3’s Raul Fernandez – who was forced to miss the Jerez weekend due to injury.

Results:

Test Jerez

Pos. Rider Bike Time / Gap Laps
1 J.Zarco Ducati 1’37″136 54
2 B. Binder KTM +0″158 58
3 F. Quartararo Yamaha +0″302 78
4 J. Miller Ducati +0″320 53
5 P. Espargaró Honda +0″420 85
6 J. Mir Suzuki +0″620 66
7 A. Espargaró Aprilia +0″638 46
8 Á. Rins Suzuki +0″642 67
9 J. Martín Ducati +0″645 61
10 E. Bastianini Ducati +0″666 45
11 Á. Márquez Honda +0″669 80
12 P. Bagnaia Ducati +0″671 24
13 M. Bezzecchi Ducati +0″687 56
14 L. Marini Ducati +0″761 69
15

M. Márquez

Honda +0″804 60
16 M. Viñales Aprilia +0″930 59
17 F. Morbidelli Yamaha +0″941 83
18 A. Dovizioso Yamaha +1″043 66
19 F. Di Giannantonio Ducati +1″135 64
20 T. Nakagami Honda +1″153 16
21 M. Oliveira KTM +1″183 65
22 R. Gardner KTM +1″453 44
23 D. Binder Yamaha +1″761 54
24 L. Savadori Aprilia +1″791 55


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