Takaaki Nakagami was the surprise pacesetter as MotoGP testing came to a close for 2018 at Jerez on Thursday. The LCR Honda rider, riding alone for the team in the absence of the injured Cal Crutchlow, led a fiercely competitive second day in Spain with less than half a second covering the top nine riders overall, with Honda, Ducati and Yamaha all showing promise.
The times tumbled throughout the afternoon at Jerez with Andrea Dovizioso taking over at the top ahead of morning pacesetter Marc Marquez. With just over two hours remaining, Jack Miller hit the front for Pramac Ducati but the overall times were still slower than factory rider Danilo Petrucci’s overall benchmark from Wednesday’s running.
Ultimately, a late time-attack saw Nakagami with his 63rd lap of a marathon day launching him to the top on a 1:37.945, two hundredths inside Petrucci’s day-one time. Marquez also broke into the 1:37s to secure second on the day, and third overall, while Maverick Vinales took fourth as Yamaha looked to decide on the direction of the development with their 2019 engine.
Jorge Lorenzo’s progress has proven one of the major stories of the test, as the five-times champion finished fifth overall with only 0.135s separating him from team-mate Marquez, all this despite his recent injury problems. Franco Morbidelli kept up his strong winter for Petronas Yamaha in sixth ahead of Andrea Dovizioso while the late flurry of improvements relegated Miller to eighth, one spot ahead of Moto2 champion Francesco Bagnaia on the 2018 Ducati whose fine start to life in the premier class continues.
2019 MotoGP Testing – Jerez (Combined Times)
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