Vinales uses ’16 Yamaha chassis to top Valencia test, Rossi crashes – MotoGP

Written by on November 14, 2017

Maverick Vinales was quickest on the opening day of MotoGP post-season testing at Valencia with a 2016-spec Yamaha, as his team-mate Valentino Rossi suffered a big crash early on.

While 2017 champion Marc Marquez led for the majority of the day, first Johann Zarco and then Vinales demoted the Honda rider as the final hour approached.

Vinales set his benchmark time of 1m30.189s with a 2016 chassis and, while the team did not confirm the exact specification of the bike, it is believed that the Spaniard was using a development 2018 engine.

Rossi also had a competitive day in fourth, despite suffering a violent crash early in the day.

The Italian went off at Turn 10 and, while his bike suffered massive damage, he escaped the incident unhurt.

Tech3 rider Zarco finished the day as runner-up, two tenths off Vinales, having set his best time on the 2017-spec Yamaha.

Honda brought prototype 2018 chassis and engine for Marquez, Dani Pedrosa and Cal Crutchlow, and Marquez ended top rider in third – though his personal best 1m30.501s was set with his 2017 bike.

Jack Miller was Ducati’s fastest representative in fifth on his debut with Pramac, and Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro also outpaced factory Ducati riders Andrea Dovizioso and Jorge Lorenzo.

With Ducati set to wait until next year to debut the Desmosedici GP18, Dovizioso, Lorenzo and Danilo Petrucci were testing an evolution of the 2017 bike.

KTM duo Pol Espargaro and Bradley Smith were ninth and 12th respectively, sandwiching the Honda duo of Crutchlow and Pedrosa.

Tito Rabat completed his first day with Avintia Ducati in 13th, as Aprilia debutant Scott Redding was 15th.

LCR Honda’s Takaaki Nakagami was the top rookie rider in 17th, 2.5s off the pace.

Reigning Moto2 champion Franco Morbidelli was just four hundredths of a second slower in 18th, as the order was completed by Takumi Takahashi, who replaced the injured Tom Luthi at Marc VDS Honda, and Avintia Ducati’s Xavier Simeon.

Suzuki was forced to skip the day as both Andrea Iannone and Alex Rins, along with other team members, were diagnosed with minor viral infection.

Alvaro Bautista also failed to set a time due to a violent crash at Turn 1, caused by a suspected gearbox failure in his Aspar Ducati bike.

The Spaniard went to the hospital for checks, but he was cleared of any fractures.

Testing times

Pos Driver Team Gap Laps
1 Maverick Vinales Yamaha 1m30.189s 80
2 Johann Zarco Tech3 Yamaha 0.200s 53
3 Marc Marquez Honda 0.312s 70
4 Valentino Rossi Yamaha 0.330s 63
5 Jack Miller Pramac Ducati 0.446s 57
6 Aleix Espargaro Aprilia 0.567s 51
7 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati 0.661s 50
8 Jorge Lorenzo Ducati 0.870s 48
9 Pol Espargaro KTM 0.977s 56
10 Cal Crutchlow LCR Honda 1.070s 55
11 Dani Pedrosa Honda 1.139s 52
12 Bradley Smith KTM 1.226s 53
13 Tito Rabat Avintia Ducati 1.484s 70
14 Danilo Petrucci Pramac Ducati 1.532s 46
15 Scott Redding Aprilia 1.886s 64
16 Karel Abraham Aspar Ducati 2.256s 66
17 Takaaki Nakagami LCR Honda 2.534s 76
18 Franco Morbidelli MVDS Honda 2.573s 78
19 Takumi Takahashi MVDS Honda 3.380s 55
20 Xavier Simeon Avintia Ducati 4.053s 43

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