Marc Marquez is currently fastest on the second day of the test at Valencia, the Repsol Honda rider continuing work on the 2020 bike. Pol Espargaro is in an impressive second place, working on the second iteration of the new steel chassis which KTM have brought for the RC16.
What conclusions can we draw from the first day of testing for the 2020 season? Not much, other than a lot of factories have brought a lot of new parts. And it really does feel like a lot of new parts, with new chassis for KTM, Yamaha, Honda, Ducati, new engines all round, and a host of other bits and pieces in preparation for the new season. New riders, too, with Brad Binder, Iker Lecuona, and Alex Márquez all moving up to MotoGP for 2020.
It is particularly tempting to jump to early conclusions about the rookies. There is a clear pecking order, an easy way of deciding who is adapting quickly, and who is taking their time. By that measure, Iker Lecuona is the man to beat, the Red Bull Tech3 KTM rider finishing just under 1.5 seconds off the leading gaggle of Yamahas at the test. Brad Binder, in the factory Red Bull KTM team, is just under 2.4 seconds behind quickest rider Fabio Quartararo, while the latest addition to the class, Alex Márquez, was last, 2.7 seconds slower than the Petronas Yamaha rider, and nearly 2.2 seconds slower than his brother Marc.
King of the rookies
Fabio Quartararo has ended the first day of the 2020 MotoGP test at Valencia as fastest, despite a big crash in the late afternoon. The Petronas Yamaha rider was a few thousandths faster than the factory Yamaha of Maverick Viñales, and a few hundredths faster than teammate Franco Morbidelli.
Andrea Dovizioso ended the test in fourth, ahead of Marc Marquez and Joan Mir. Alex Rins was seventh quickest, a fraction behind his Suzuki teammate, and just ahead of Pol Espargaro. With Espargaro in eighth, that puts five of the six manufacturers in the top eight.
Fabio Quartararo is fastest at 3:30 at the Valencia test, but the Frenchman crashed shortly afterward. It was a fast tumble, and he banged his shoulder in the crash.
Times at 3:30pm
The Yamahas are currently fastest at the Valencia MotoGP test, Maverick Viñales leading the way ahead of the two Petronas Yamahas of Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli. Viñales is testing new parts for the 2020 Yamaha M1, the fairing featuring a higher and narrower air intake, and the frame in plain aluminum, rather than painted black like the old frames.
Marc Marquez suffered a strange crash in Turn 13 on the black test Honda RC213V, the rear gripping then spitting the Repsol Honda rider off. That left the new prototype exposed, fairings having been torn off.
It has been a busy start to 2020 so far, the MotoGP riders going out to start testing as soon as the track got warm enough to ride safely. Marc Marquez was fastest shortly before lunch, a fraction ahead of Maverick Viñales. Andrea Dovizioso is currently third, with Alex Rins fourth, making it four manufacturers in the top four.
In these subscriber notes:
- The dangers of motorcycle racing
- Marc Márquez' remarkable season
- Andrea Dovizioso's remarkable season
- Jack Miller rides again
- Why Danilo Petrucci is staying in factory Ducati
- What riders think of Johann Zarco
- Yamahas lacking grip, with one exception
- Joan Mir on why being a rookie at Suzuki is harder than on a Yamaha
The last race of 2019 was a demonstration of just how dangerous motorcycle racing can be (although footage from the crashes at the Macau Grand Prix puts that into some perspective). The cold, the wind, and to be frank, allowing a rider who should have been black flagged for spewing liquids all over the track on three separate occasions this week to start a race created a host of situations which could have turned out really badly. But we got lucky.
Let's start with Aron Canet. The Moto3 rider had white smoke leaking from his Sterilgarda KTM during FP1 on Friday. He had white smoke leaking from his bike on the sighting lap before the race, which caused him and then Ayumu Sasaki to crash at Turn 6, and the race to be delayed. Despite the problem with Canet's KTM, the Spaniard was allowed to start the race, and more white smoke emerged from the bike, the KTM containing a seemingly endless supply.
MotoE standings after Valencia:
Results and summary of the MotoE race at Valencia: