RideFast December 2019

RobRidefast

SA's best motorcycle magazine!

Marc Marquez with the new

‘Hammer Head’ aero package

ahead of his brother and new

team-mate Alex Marquez.

was once again ninth, and

‘The Doctor’ did 68 laps on the

Wednesday. He was within

0.968 of the top and suffered

a mechanical problem in the

afternoon, but got back out.

Quartararo and Morbidelli,

meanwhile, didn’t say much

about what they were working

on – “some small things” and

the Frenchman said it was more

a day of riding than testing as

yet. For a man only just starting

his second season, the 64

laps were doubtlessly useful,

however, and Morbidelli added

another 52 to the team’s count.

For Crutchlow it was a

mammoth day of work. The Brit

headed out on the ‘2020’ bike,

suffered a crash but managed

to prove Yamaha’s closest

competitor on the timesheets

and improve his laptime from

the weekend after 73 laps.

Speaking of the number 73,

Alex Marquez, on the other side

of the LCR Honda garage, was

the only man to do more laps.

The rookie did 79 on his second

day as an HRC MotoGP rider,

shaving six tenths off his time

from Tuesday.

Reigning Champion Marc

Marquez made some more

Honda headlines, however.

The number 93 premiered the

aero seen on Crutchlow the day

before, with the all-black Honda

breaking cover bearing a 93 in

the afternoon, and he ended the

day in seventh after 71 laps. He

also suffered a failed getaway

earlier in the day, and his

teammate for the test – in the

garage at least – also suffered

an issue on the Wednesday as

Stefan Bradl ground to a halt.

Nevertheless the German was

able to complete 53 laps by the

end of play.

Team Suzuki Ecstar were fifth

and sixth on Wednesday. The

new engine previously having

been put through its paces by

test rider Sylvain Guintoli was

a big focus for the Hamamatsu

factory as they look for a step

forward in terms of outright

speed, and Joan Mir was the

quickest Suzuki on Day 2. He

put in a 1:30.427 and did 61 laps,

teammate Alex Rins was just

0.076 off and did 47 laps. They

plan to continue testing the

The new 2020 KTM chassis

looking good with Pol...

engine at the Jerez test.

KTM stole a few headlines on

Day 2. For their speed – Pol

Espargaro’s impressive showing

and that of Red Bull KTM Tech

3’s Iker Lecuona – and they had

the new kids on the block, Brad

Binder and Lecuona, taking some

tips from the veterans. But there

were also a few crashes, with

each of the three racers all going

down. Espargaro first, Lecuona

later and Binder even later in

the day. Espargaro’s crash,

however, led to his fastest lap

as he was then forced to switch

bike to another new chassis –

and found immediate positives.

He was eighth and did 46 laps,

Pedrosa 14th after 48 laps and

Lecuona just 0.045 off the threetime

World Champion by the

end of play. Binder did 66 laps

on Day 2.

The Ducati Team’s Andrea

Dovizioso, meanwhile, was

focused on gathering more

information on what they

tested on Day 1, one big thing

of note being a new chassis.

Some sensors were spotted on

the rear of the Borgo Panigale

machine too on the Wednesday,

and the ‘salad box’ was back.

Danilo Petrucci, however, was

not back. The Italian remained

sidelined by his bothersome

shoulder, although Michele

Pirro was once again on track

to put the laps in – 40 of

them – and Jack Miller was all

action stations too. The Aussie

explained he’d been doing

back to back comparisons with

the first version of the 2020

machines because the number

09 was ruled out. Miller was

fastest Ducati in 10th, just

ahead of Dovizioso. Tito Rabat

was 12th, ahead of Pirro.

For Aprilia, it was another day

of track action working with

their 2019 machines. Aleix

Espargaro was 16th after 43

laps, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini

teammate Andrea Iannone in

19th. Espargaro crashed at the

final corner, and Iannone ran on

at Turn 1 with the RS-GP then

catching alight – rider ok. Test

rider Bradley Smith was also

on track and did another 32

laps to add to the informationgathering

tally.

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