Motorcycle Racing News MotoGP Thailand MotoGP Test Begins: Crutchlow on Top During Debut Test

Thailand MotoGP Test Begins: Crutchlow on Top During Debut Test

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.

Thailand MotoGP Test Begins: Honda's Cal CrutchlowClaiming 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…!”

Thailand MotoGP Test Begins: Suzuki's Alex RinsCrutchlow 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.

Thailand MotoGP Test Begins: Honda's Marc MarquezFinishing 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

Ron Lieback
Ron Lieback
One of the few moto journalists based on the East Coast, Ron Lieback joined the motorcycle industry as a freelancer in 2007, and is currently Online Editor at Ultimate Motorcycling.

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