Fabio Quartararo leads opening day of pre-'20 Valencia test, Alex Marquez 23rd
Fabio Quartararo led the first day of 2020 preparations for Petronas SRT at Valencia, heading factory Yamaha Maverick Vinales as most riders suffered crashes throughout the day.
Vinales spent a lot of the day testing a ’20 prototype specification M1, eventually closing the day marginally behind Quartararo’s 1:30.163 benchmark.
Franco Morbidelli slotted in behind in third, while Andrea Dovizioso enjoyed his new GP20 Ducati as he managed the fourth quickest time.
Rounding out the top five was Marc Marquez on a new-for-’20 Honda chassis despite a crash early on, while Joan Mir was sixth fastest on the Suzuki ahead of team-mate Alex Rins-both on ’19 spec GSX-RR’s.
Pol Espargaro meanwhile put the development ’20 KTM RC16 to good use to end the day eighth overall, with Valentino Rossi and Jack Miller completing the top ten times of the day.
Alex Marquez had a difficult first day as a factory Honda pilot, suffering a crash at Turn 10 after just eight laps on the ’19 spec RC213-V-ultimately ending the day 23rd and last of today’s runners-albeit a respectable 2.7 seconds down on the fastest time and just 0.040 away from HRC tester Stefan Bradl.
Other’s to have spills at the bend throughout the day included Bradl, with even the pace-setting Quartararo going into the gravel as most struggled with the cold temperatures.
Iker Lecuona continued to build on the impressive speed he displayed across the Valencia GP weekend with the 13th quickest effort on the Tech 3 KTM, just ahead of the first Aprilia machine of Andrea Iannone.
Both the Italian and team-mate Aleix Espargaro have to make do with this year’s RS-GP as Aprilia continue to work on and develop the all-new bike, thought to be making its world debut early next year at the Sepang test.
Dani Pedrosa was the fastest of the test riders as he banged in the 17th quickest tour on his KTM just ahead of Michele Pirro’s Ducati, while Brad Binder completed his first day in the factory KTM squad 21st on the timesheets with 70 laps completed.