Thailand MotoGP Test Results, Day One
The Chang International Circuit in Thailand joined the World Superbike schedule for 2015, and its sweltering temps and short layout challenged riders.
The 2.83-mile circuit, located near Buriram, which means to “City of Happiness,” lacks hills, and features 12 corners. The temps are triple-digit hot this time of year, and so far the best lap posted in World Superbike is a 1:32.957 (2017 March qualifying, Jonathan Rea, Kawasaki ZX-10R).
For 2018, the track joins the MotoGP Championship, and riders completed their first laps at Chang Friday during the first day of a three-day test. The season is nearing; this is the third of four official test ahead of the 2018 MotoGP Championship opener at Qatar March 18.
Claiming the top time Friday was LCR Honda Castrol pilot Cal Crutchlow, who posted a best time of 1:30.797 under 100+ (F) degree temperatures. The Brit RC213V pilot completed 70 laps, and finished a mere 0.012 of a second ahead of Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Alex Rins and the reigning MotoGP Champion, Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez.
“I had a not too bad day considering we’ve not been to the circuit before, I think only a couple of guys have, but I think we’ve continued to ride well after Malaysia,” says Cal Crutchlow.
“I didn’t have a good day this morning and I’ve had jet lag. I didn’t feel great. I didn’t feel psychically tired but I wanted to sleep! But maybe if I did that on a race weekend I could go a lot quicker…!”
Crutchlow did crash at the bumpy circuit, taking a few out with him including Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa: “I crashed this morning on the fifth lap or something but I wasn’t concentrating so well. There are a few bumps on the last corner and it’s a tricky corner. But that’s why we’re here to test.”
The top 20 were all within a second of each other, with Rins finishing just behind Cruchlow, and 0.103 seconds ahead of Marqeuz.
Finishing 0.33 of a second behind Marquez was Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso, who, along with teammate Jorge Lorenzo, tested a new aero fairing on the Desmosedici. Pedrosa finished fifth, 0.163 of a second off the top time, followed by two Alma Pramac Racing Ducati pilots, Danilo Petrucci and Jack Miller.
Rounding out the top 10 were Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Valentino Rossi (-0.392), turns 39 today, and the man who topped the Sepang MotoGP test, Lorenzo.
The riders return Friday for the second day of MotoGP testing at Chang International Circuit, which will host in October round 15 of 18.
2018 Thailand MotoGP Test Results, Day 1
|Pos||Rider||Team||Fastest lap||Lead. Gap||Prev. Gap||Laps||Last lap|
|1||CRUTCHLOW, Cal||LCR Honda CASTROL||1:30.797||57 / 70|
|2||RINS, Alex||Team SUZUKI ECSTAR||1:30.809||0.012||0.012||66 / 70|
|3||MARQUEZ, Marc||Repsol Honda Team||1:30.912||0.115||0.103||30 / 78|
|4||DOVIZIOSO, Andrea||Ducati Team||1:30.945||0.148||0.033||30 / 60|
|5||PEDROSA, Dani||Repsol Honda Team||1:30.960||0.163||0.015||70 / 75|
|6||PETRUCCI, Danilo||Alma Pramac Racing||1:31.003||0.206||0.043||70 / 74|
|7||MILLER, Jack||Alma Pramac Racing||1:31.044||0.247||0.041||78 / 83|
|8||ROSSI, Valentino||Movistar Yamaha MotoGP||1:31.189||0.392||0.145||68 / 74|
|9||IANNONE, Andrea||Team SUZUKI ECSTAR||1:31.235||0.438||0.046||70 / 78|
|10||LORENZO, Jorge||Ducati Team||1:31.246||0.449||0.011||60 / 64|
|11||VIÑALES, Maverick||Movistar Yamaha MotoGP||1:31.294||0.497||0.048||67 / 70|
|12||ZARCO, Johann||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||1:31.305||0.508||0.011||35 / 67|
|13||RABAT, Tito||Reale Avintia Racing||1:31.523||0.726||0.218||70 / 85|
|14||BAUTISTA, Alvaro||Ángel Nieto Team||1:31.525||0.728||0.002||76 / 84|
|15||ESPARGARO, Aleix||Aprilia Racing Team Gresini||1:31.662||0.865||0.137||57 / 62|
|16||REDDING, Scott||Aprilia Racing Team Gresini||1:31.685||0.888||0.023||55 / 59|
|17||NAKAGAMI, Takaaki||LCR Honda IDEMITSU||1:31.692||0.895||0.007||55 / 87|
|18||ABRAHAM, Karel||Ángel Nieto Team||1:31.698||0.901||0.006||75 / 82|
|19||MORBIDELLI, Franco||EG 0,0 Marc VDS||1:31.729||0.932||0.031||67 / 72|
|20||SMITH, Bradley||Red Bull KTM Factory Racing||1:31.741||0.944||0.012||58 / 67|
|21||LUTHI, Thomas||EG 0,0 Marc VDS||1:32.716||1.919||0.975||73 / 79|
|22||SIMEON, Xavier||Reale Avintia Racing||1:32.720||1.923||0.004||47 / 50|
|23||KALLIO, Mika||Red Bull KTM Factory Racing||1:32.749||1.952||0.029||21 / 48|
|24||SYAHRIN, Hafizh||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||1:33.165||2.368||0.416||63 / 70|