Barcelona MotoGP testing: Maverick Vinales fastest as times tumble – MotoGP


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Yamaha rider Maverick Vinales set the pace during Wednesday’s MotoGP in-season test at Barcelona.

Vinales set a late effort of 1m38.974s to end up 0.277 seconds ahead of Tech3 Yamaha rider Johann Zarco, while Ducati’s Jorge Lorenzo completed the top three, a further six thousandths of a second down.

A combination of the old Turn 12 downhill right-hander being restored – and the chicane installed for last year’s race being abandoned – and a new surface at the Catalunya circuit have made lap times considerably faster than in previous years.

Vinales’ lap was a full five seconds quicker than Dani Pedrosa’s pole time from last year, and almost two seconds faster than Aleix Espargaro’s benchmark from 2015 – the last time the original Turn 12 was used during a MotoGP race weekend.

The old version of the Turn 10 left-hander at the end of the back straight was still in use then, meaning lap times around the current layout are not directly comparable.

The purpose of the test was to help Michelin to define its tyre range for next month’s Catalan Grand Prix, and therefore does not count towards riders’ allocation of five private test days per year.

Cal Crutchlow was quickest in the morning session aboard the LCR Honda, but was only fourth-fastest in the afternoon, 0.547s off the pace set by Vinales.

Andrea Dovizioso was fifth fastest on the second of the works Ducatis, followed by Valentino Rossi’s Yamaha and championship leader Marc Marquez on the quicker of the factory Hondas.

Suzuki rider Andrea Iannone, who topped Tuesday’s rain-affected running that involved only the three manufacturers not subject to in-season test limits, was eighth fastest on Wednesday.

Tito Rabat did not a set time in the afternoon after being hospitalised following a crash during the morning running in which his Avintia Ducati burst into flames.

As well as Marc VDS Honda, the Pramac and Nieto Ducati teams did not take part in the test.


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