Fabio Quartararo has put the disappointment of Sunday’s Spanish Grand Prix behind him by smashing the circuit record at Jerez and topping the official test.
The Petronas Yamaha rider blitzed his own circuit record (1:36.880), which he set to become the youngest pole-sitter in MotoGP history at last weekend’s race meeting, by just over half a second – 1:36.379.
This was the perfect response from the young Frenchman, who suffered heartbreak on the same circuit just one day prior to the test. He was in second and looking good for a potential podium finish when he was forced to retire with a gear shifter problem.
Speaking after the official test, Quartararo said:
“All the frustration from yesterday was compensated for by the excellent day of testing we had today. We tried several different setups and a new front fork. The results were very positive, and it’s something that we will continue investigating in the future. We also managed to find a very good pace with used tyres and we worked with the hard compound for many laps.
“At the end of the day we tried a time attack and it went very well. This was the first time that the grip has been so good at this track. On my last three laps I was on the limit and I saw that I could not improve much more, with us putting in three times in the 1m 36s. I am very happy with the work that we’ve done and I want to thank the whole team. I can’t wait to get to Le Mans, my home Grand Prix, and to carry on enjoying riding the bike.“
In total, Quartararo completed 73 laps of the Jerez circuit, setting the new circuit record on lap 70.
Cal Crutchlow ended the day in second, +0.413s seconds behind the leader. One of the main points of focus for Crutchlow and Honda was the clutch and electronics.
Franco Morbidelli continued his impressive form to complete the top three on the second Petronas Yamaha machine. Like his team-mate, Morbidelli also left it late to move up the order and set his quickest time on his 83rd lap.
Pol Espargaro was next in a respectable fourth position for the factory KTM team, whilst Maverick Viñales made it three Yamahas in the top five on the factory bike. The Spaniard was +0.847 off the leader, spending time working on some chassis settings and electronics aimed at improving throttle connection.
Joan Mir was the fastest Suzuki in sixth, whilst his team-mate, Alex Rins, ended the day in eighth. In-between the two Suzuki riders was reigning champion Marc Marquez. He was riding the bike that wildcard and test rider Stefan Bradl rode in Sunday’s race, with carbon fibre chassis additions.
Jorge Lorenzo and Takaaki Nakagami completed the top 10 on their respective Honda machines. It was a rough day for Lorenzo, with the five-time champion crashing on two occasions.
All four Ducati riders were covered by just over a tenth, with Andrea Dovizioso leading the way in 11th. Francesco Bagnaia and Jack Miller ended the day in 12th and 13th, whilst Danilo Petrucci was t the back of the Ducati train in 14th.
Valentino Rossi completed 73 laps on his way to 17th overall.