Nakagami tops first day of MotoGP's Jerez test for Honda - The Race
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Nakagami tops first day of MotoGP’s Jerez test for Honda

Nov 18 2021
By Valentin Khorounzhiy and Simon Patterson

LCR Honda rider Takaaki Nakagami topped the opening day of the Jerez test held a few days on from the end of the 2021 season.

Nov 16 : MotoGP Valencia: Goodbye Rossi and more Ducati dominance

Nakagami spent most of the day at the top of the timing screens, and reclaimed the lead for good with two hours of running left remaining after having been overtaken by Ducati riders Enea Bastianini and Francesco Bagnaia.

Nakagami and LCR team-mate Alex Marquez, 16th-fastest, were carrying out the brunt of Honda development work for 2022 on Thursday, with factory rider Pol Espargaro working on getting back to fitness on the current bike after the shunt that ruled him out of the Valencia race, and test rider Stefan Bradl having run the day prior instead before the official test.

Honda’s usual lead rider Marc Marquez remains absent after a training injury caused a recurrence of his former double vision problem and ended his 2021 campaign early.

Pramac Ducati rider Johann Zarco moved up to second with his final flying lap, 0.043s off Nakagami, with Bastinini (pictured below, now riding a 2021-spec Ducati at Gresini) and factory man Bagnaia completing a top four split by just over a tenth.

Enea Bastianini Ducati MotoGP

Maverick Vinales led the way for Aprilia in fifth, ahead of the lead Suzuki of Alex Rins and the lead Yamaha of Franco Morbidelli.

Yamaha has brought in a new swingarm and a tweak to the anti-wheelie electronics settings to try, but its reigning champion Fabio Quartararo, who finished the day ninth-fastest behind Ducati’s Jack Miller, said beyond that the bike available here was basically the same as the prototype trialled in the in-season Misano test.

Luca Marini VR46 Ducati MotoGP

Brad Binder, who had a crash and then a mechanical issue-induced stoppage an hour later , was the lead KTM rider in 10th place, ahead of VR46 Ducati’s Luca Marini, who will become the fifth Ducati rider on factory-spec machinery next year.

Among those also crashing were Aprilia riders Aleix Espargaro and Lorenzo Savadori, Marquez, Morbidelli and VR46 debutant Marco Bezzecchi.

Moto2 runner-up Raul Fernandez (Tech3 KTM, pictured below) was the highest-placed of the field’s five rookies in 19th, 1.7s off the pace and more than half a second up on the next-fastest newcomer – Gresini Ducati’s Fabio Di Giannantonio.

Raul Fernandez Tech3 KTM MotoGP

RNF Yamaha’s Moto3 graduate Darryn Binder completed 49 test and was 27th and last, 4.4s off, as he got his first taste of MotoGP machinery.

Session results
Pos. Rider Bike Time Gap Laps
1 Takaaki Nakagami Honda 1:37.313 68
2 Johann Zarco Ducati 1:37.356 0.043 78
3 Enea Bastianini Ducati 1:37.402 0.089 51
4 Francesco Bagnaia Ducati 1:37.415 0.102 68
5 Maverick Vinales Aprilia 1:37.674 0.361 72
6 Alex Rins Suzuki 1:37.810 0.497 76
7 Franco Morbidelli Yamaha 1:37.884 0.571 56
8 Jack Miller Ducati 1:38.002 0.689 61
9 Fabio Quartararo Yamaha 1:38.020 0.707 73
10 Brad Binder KTM 1:38.086 0.773 56
11 Luca Marini Ducati 1:38.149 0.836 58
12 Jorge Martín Ducati 1:38.152 0.839 61
13 Pol Espargaro Honda 1:38.165 0.852 45
14 Joan Mir Suzuki 1:38.194 0.881 71
15 Aleix Espargaro Aprilia 1:38.207 0.894 45
16 Alex Marquez Honda 1:38.288 0.975 75
17 Miguel Oliveira KTM 1:38.312 0.999 74
18 Andrea Dovizioso Yamaha 1:38.598 1.285 53
19 Raul Fernandez KTM 1:39.083 1.770 57
20 Mika Kallio KTM 1:39.276 1.963 79
21 Sylvain Guintoli Suzuki 1:39.496 2.183 49
22 Fabio Di Giannantonio Ducati 1:39.628 2.315 48
23 Lorenzo Savadori Aprilia 1:39.727 2.414 34
24 Remy Gardner KTM 1:40.170 2.857 52
25 Marco Bezzecchi Ducati 1:40.732 3.419 53
26 Takuya Tsuda Suzuki 1:40.936 3.623 28
27 Darryn Binder Yamaha 1:41.749 4.436 49

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