The Petronas Yamaha SRT squad went out hard during the first day of the MotoGP Sepang Test aka “Winter Test” today by clocking the fastest times. With Quartararo riding the factory-spec Yamaha M1 and Morbidelli on board the ‘A-spec’ machinery, they were the only ones who managed to break into the 1 minute 58 seconds barrier at Sepang International Circuit.
While most folks would think that MotoGP testing is just a bunch of teams and riders testing out new bikes, parts and getting the right setup for the upcoming season (you’d be right, btw), the top 15 riders were only separated withing just one second.
Quartararo set the fastest time of 1:58.945 while Dani Pedrosa (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing test rider) sits at P15 with his fastest time of the day at 2:00.017; only 1.072 seconds behind Quartararo. Franco Morbidelli was just as fast on his ‘A-spec’ Yamaha M1 with a time of 1:58.996; 0.051 seconds behind his teammate.
Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) was impressive all day long and was comfortably in P3 at the end of Day 1 with a time of 1:59.195. It looks like the 2020 Suzuki GSX-RR is not just good looking but fast as well. Rins’ teammate, Joan Mir, is not far down the grid at P9 with a time of 1:59.568; just 0.373 seconds separating the two.
Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) showcased his talent as the fastest Honda rider of Day 1 with a time of 1:59.234. Sitting at P4, he’s not too far from his good friend and competitor, Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) at P5 with a gap of only 0.094 seconds. And yes, Miller is the fastest Ducati rider of the first day of the Sepang MotoGP Test.
Maverick Vinales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) was a bit slow off the line but managed to find his rhythm after 33 laps and an impressive time of 1:59.367. Despite being only 0.422 seconds behind Quartararo, Vinales was placed in P6 whereas his teammate, Valentino Rossi, rounded up the top 10 riders of Day 1.
Surprisingly, Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) was among the first riders today to break the 1 minute 59 seconds barrier on board the new 2020 Aprilia RS-GP. At the end of Day 1, he’s less than half a second slower than Quartararo. Not a bad start for the Aprilia rider.
His brother, Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing), sits at P8 behind his older brother who also happened to be one of the riders to break into the 1:59s earlier in the day. Andrea Dovizioso finished the day in P11 while Danilo Petrucci rode his Ducati Desmosedici GP20 to P14.
Last but not least, the Marquez brothers of Repsol Honda completed Day 1 in P12 and P13 (Marc and Alex respectively) onboard the 2020 Honda RC213V. It might be the usual place for a Repsol Honda rider but we’re pretty sure that their positions will rapidly change by the end of Day 3 (for Marc, at least). Stay tuned to Bikes Republic for more Winter Test updates.