Jerez MotoGP Saturday Round Up: Record Breakers, A Close Field, And Tires That Will Go the Distance

We came to Jerez expecting records. A new surface with most of the bumps removed meant the bikes were always going to be quicker around the track. A weekend of stable weather conditions promised ideal conditions for realizing unbelievably quick laps around the track. And a field which is closer than ever ramps up the pressure on the riders to extract the absolute maximum from their bikes. In FP3, for example, there were 16 riders within a second, and the gap between Andrea Dovizioso in fourth and Pol Espargaro in thirteenth was precisely two tenths of a second.

So records were always on the cards, but we were not to know just how many records would be obliterated at Jerez. Thanks to the Triumph Moto2 engines, and a new profile Dunlop tire with a larger contact patch, the Moto2 pole record was smashed by eight tenths of a second. And in fact, Jorge Navarro's Moto2 pole time would have put him second on the grid for the 2004 MotoGP race, between Valentino Rossi on the Yamaha M1, and Sete Gibernau on Honda's fearsome RC211V, a fire-breathing 990cc V5.

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2019 Jerez MotoGP FP4 Result: Marquez Back On Top

One final practice prancing for the premier class before things get fast and furious for qualifying and durable hard rubber was out in force. Marc Marquez took it on a couple of runs and got it to post a set of high 1:37s and low 1:38s on his way to top position. Perhaps surprisingly given practice results, his main challenger on the timesheets was Maverick Viñales, the Yamaha man swapping roles with his teammate and taking his turn at the business end of proceedings, only one hundredth of a second slower than the reigning world champion.

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