MotoGP: Return of the Mack – Viñales back on top in Misano test
Maverick Viñales has ended the official one-day test in Misano fastest, +0.271s clear of Honda’s Takaaki Nakagami and +0.367s ahead of Johann Zarco.
It was a day spent keeping a close eye on the prototype machines, looking to see what new bits were venturing out on the circuit.
Starting with Yamaha, Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP riders, Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales trialled out a new, bigger exhaust as they look to improve their mid-range power to cut the top speed deficit they have faced for the last two seasons. The team also had a chassis and a swingarm to try. The carbon fibre swingarm is something Rossi has tried before, more recently to help aid tyre wear. The KTM team have been the latest team to take a step over the winter by increasing tyre life with their 2020 swingarm.
Testing champion, Viñales, topped the session after a late time attack but did suffer a crash identical to that of Fabio Quartararo’s second spill in the 27 lap race. Team-mate Rossi was 17th fastest, focusing on improving his race pace. The Doctor was able to lap in the 1:32s, something he failed to do during his ride to fourth on Sunday.
Viñales also focused on his medium rear tyre pace. The Spanish rider chose to run the harder rear tyre for Sunday’s race, something that we saw over the weekend takes many laps to come to its own.
Over at Ducati, the Bologna manufacturer are pumped up for the forthcoming Misano race after Andrea Dovizioso cured an issue that was costing him a few tenths last weekend. The Italian looked much more comfortable aboard his GP20 and even decided to finish his day early to focus on watching his competitors in the afternoon.
The Italian team also decided to start work on 2021, looking to find a direction to go in for their 2021 chassis, one of the very few items to not be frozen in the development freeze. Over at Pramac Ducati, Jack Miller had a troubled afternoon, completing 23 laps due to a technical issue. Team-mate Francesco Bagnaia also had an uneventful afternoon, the podium sitter joined Andrea Dovizioso on the sidelines.
Johann Zarco was leading Ducati rider in third overall but suffered a fall in the pitlane in the midpoint of the afternoon session. The second Avintia rider, Tito Rabat, brought out a red flag moments after Zarco’s mishap after the Spaniard’s engine expired on the front straight. Zarco was also experimenting with a new fly-by-wire throttle system, looking to make his rear tyre performance more consistent.
Andrea Dovizioso wrapped up the day eighth fastest, just behind Bagania on combined times, while the struggling Danilo Petrucci could only manage 16th. Miller was 12th.
Moving on to Suzuki, Alex Rins and Joan Mir both had a busy day, testing new swingarms. The pair completed lots of laps, both riders finishing inside the top five.
Over at Honda, Alex Marquez and Takaaki Nakagami were the sole HRC riders after both Stefan Bradl and Cal Crutchlow were ruled out due to injury. Marquez didn’t look to be trying many new items aboard his RC213V, while Nakagami hoped to fix his chattering issues. The Japanese rider debuted a 2020 fairing on the 2019 bike in Misano, but later crashed, ending that particular test early.
KTM had a troubled day, Brad Binder suffered an early break down while Tech 3 rider Miguel Oliveira also took a tumble. Nonetheless, the Austrian manufacturer had a busy day testing new chassis and fairing. The team looked comfortable with Pol Espargaro finishing sixth and Binder in eighth.
Finally, Aprilia were testing a new chassis to help further improve the RSGP machine, whilst British rider, Bradley Smith, took to the Misano track with the new holeshot device, as Aprilia look to follow Yamaha and Ducati’s direction.
The riders were also busy testing the new radio communications device, something we saw from Stefan Bradl during the race weekend.
Misano Test – Combined Top Ten Results:
- Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) 1:31.532
- Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) +0.271
- Johann Zarco (Esponsorama Racing) +0.367
- Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) +0.522
- Alex Rins (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR) +0.582
- Joan Mir (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR) +0.630
- Francesco Bagnaia (Pramac Racing) +0.675
- Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) +0.758
- Fabio Quartararo (PETRONAS Yamaha SRT) +0.804
- Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) +0.921
The MotoGP World Championship returns on Friday for free practice one at 09:55 local time.
Featured images: MotoGP.com