The weather was the main protagonist on the first day of the Phillip Island test on Wednesday, the rain dominating proceedings, limiting track time and frustrating the work of development. The track opened with rain still falling, no one venturing out for the first hour, and only a slow trickle of riders emerging in the second hour. Some riders chose to put in some wet time to work on the common software, and gauge how it reacts in the wet, while also taking the measure of Michelin's wet tires.
The weather improved as the day went on, though the track never really reached its peak potential, damp spots remaining throughout. It did dry out reasonably well during a couple of spells, late in the afternoon and then in the final twenty minutes, allowing most of the riders to take a run out on slicks and set some sort of time. Even then, Danilo Petrucci's quickest time of the day was still well off the usual Phillip Island pace, three and a half seconds off the lap record, and two and a half seconds slower than the fastest lap of the spectacular 2015 race.
The tricky conditions rendered the timesheets even more meaningless than they are normally at a test. Pramac rider Petrucci was the fastest man on the day, leading the way ahead of Maverick Viñales on the Suzuki, with Bradley Smith on the Tech 3 Yamaha in third. Scott Redding put the other Pramac GP15 into fourth spot, ahead of Cal Crutchlow on the LCR Honda and Movistar Yamaha's Valentino Rossi in 6th. A handful of riders decided against trying to put in any laps, including Andrea Dovizioso and the two Avintia Ducatis of Loris Baz and Hector Barbera. Jack Miller, freshly back from a broken leg, only put in a total of six laps, to assess his fitness.
There was one brief flurry of excitement, at least among photographers, as Marc Marquez and Valentino Rossi encountered each other on the same piece of track for the first time since Sepang. Marquez caught Rossi, and sat on his tail for a moment, Rossi sitting up to let him pass, then pitting shortly afterwards. No drama, as in Malaysia, but a hint of the simmering resentment which remains between the two.
|1||9||Danilo Petrucci||Ducati GP15||1:31.764|
|2||25||Maverick Viñales||Suzuki GSX-RR||1:32.483||0.719||0.719|
|3||38||Bradley Smith||Yamaha M1||1:32.590||0.826||0.107|
|4||45||Scott Redding||Ducati GP15||1:32.864||1.100||0.274|
|5||35||Cal Crutchlow||Honda RC213V||1:32.948||1.184||0.084|
|6||46||Valentino Rossi||Yamaha M1||1:33.088||1.324||0.140|
|7||44||Pol Espargaro||Yamaha M1||1:33.126||1.362||0.038|
|8||68||Yonny Hernandez||Ducati GP14.2||1:33.841||2.077||0.715|
|9||43||Jack Miller||Honda RC213V||1:33.992||2.228||0.151|
|10||29||Andrea Iannone||Ducati GP16||1:34.049||2.285||0.057|
|11||53||Tito Rabat||Honda RC213V||1:35.273||3.509||1.224|
|12||93||Marc Márquez||Honda RC213V||1:35.354||3.590||0.081|
|13||41||Aleix Espargaro||Suzuki GSX-RR||1:35.584||3.820||0.230|
|14||50||Eugene Laverty||Ducati GP14.2||1:35.679||3.915||0.095|
|15||12||Takuya Tsuda||Suzuki GSX-RR||1:36.166||4.402||0.487|
|16||99||Jorge Lorenzo||Yamaha M1||1:39.825||8.061||3.659|
|17||26||Dani Pedrosa||Honda RC213V||1:40.138||8.374||0.313|