The MotoGP season is officially underway, and as is apparently traditional, after a dry and sunny day yesterday, it rained on the morning of the test leaving the track soaking. The rain stopped shortly after 10am, but the track is drying slowly, with most riders giving up on the track before noon, with track conditions in between wet and dry, rendering testing pointless. Only Tom Luthi, Maverick Viñales, and Sylvain Guintoli continue to circulate: Luthi, because he missed the November tests due to injury; Viñales, because a wet and damp track has been his Achilles heel; and Guintoli, because he is Suzuki's test rider and Suzuki suffered in damp conditions too.
Conditions have rendered the current times fairly meaningless. Johann Zarco led at noon, ahead of Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo, while Tito Rabat continues to impress on the Avintia Ducati. But there is a long list of riders who have chosen to remain in the pits so far this morning, including Andrea Dovizioso, Cal Crutchlow, and Andrea Iannone.
There is plenty to see in the pits, however. In the factory Ducati garage, both riders have a GP17 and what is the first version of the GP18 featuring a revised chassis. Another chassis step is expected at Buriram, but whether this new chassis turns faster will be an important test.
At Honda, the Repsol riders have three bikes each, two 2018 bikes and the first version of the 2017 RC213V machine. Cal Crutchlow has three 2018 bikes, his new contract directly with HRC bringing an extra workload. No sign of the updated Honda aero package yet, the Repsol bikes sporting the old aero fairing used last year.
At Yamaha, the bikes are clad in their new fairing, though the factory machines have yet to try the new aero winglets. The new fairing features an indentation just above the point where the winglets attach. The new package is being used by the Yamaha test team, so no doubt it will make its debut with Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales at some point during the test. Rossi and Viñales are also evaluating the carbon Ohlins versus the standard Ohlins once again.
Times at noon:
|1||5||Johann Zarco||Yamaha M1||2:11.863|
|2||26||Dani Pedrosa||Honda RC213V||2:12.527||0.664||0.664|
|3||99||Jorge Lorenzo||Ducati GP18||2:12.897||1.034||0.370|
|4||53||Tito Rabat||Ducati GP17||2:12.942||1.079||0.045|
|5||19||Alvaro Bautista||Ducati GP17||2:13.061||1.198||0.119|
|6||45||Scott Redding||Aprilia RS-GP||2:13.156||1.293||0.095|
|7||25||Maverick Viñales||Yamaha M1||2:13.395||1.532||0.239|
|8||93||Marc Marquez||Honda RC213V||2:13.406||1.543||0.011|
|9||46||Valentino Rossi||Yamaha M1||2:13.406||1.543||0.000|
|10||42||Alex Rins||Suzuki GSX-RR||2:13.591||1.728||0.185|
|11||30||Takaaki Nakagami||Honda RC213V||2:14.091||2.228||0.500|
|12||21||Franco Morbidelli||Honda RC213V||2:14.149||2.286||0.058|
|13||36||Mika Kallio||KTM RC16||2:14.312||2.449||0.163|
|14||50||Sylvain Guintoli||Suzuki GSX-RR||2:14.382||2.519||0.070|
|15||44||Pol Espargaro||KTM RC16||2:14.942||3.079||0.560|
|16||17||Karel Abraham||Ducati GP16||2:15.025||3.162||0.083|
|17||33||Yamaha Test 3||Yamaha M1||2:16.177||4.314||1.152|
|18||38||Bradley Smith||KTM RC16||2:16.763||4.900||0.586|
|19||32||Yamaha Test 2||Yamaha M1||2:17.431||5.568||0.668|
|20||10||Xavier Simeon||Ducati GP16||2:17.492||5.629||0.061|
|21||12||Tom Luthi||Honda RC213V||2:18.980||7.117||1.488|