Following a dramatic Jerez MotoGP that shook up the points chase, nine teams remained at the Spanish circuit Monday for a one-day test. Three teams didn’t participate – Ducati Team, Team Suzuki Ecstar, and Aprilia Racing Team Gresini.Leading the way was Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Johann Zarco, who claimed second on Sunday behind Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez. This was after the men vying for the podium – Ducati Team duo of Jorge Lorenzo and Andrea Dovizioso, and Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa – crashed out during the same incident.
Zarco, who has signed with the Red Bull KTM team for 2019/2010 MotoGP, completed 63 laps while testing a new Michelin rear tire, claiming the best time of 1:37.730 aboard his YZR-M1. He was followed by LCR Honda Castrol’s Cal Crutchlow, the Argentina MotoGP winner finishing 0.217 of a second behind. Third went to Pedrosa, who finished 0.250 of a second back.“The test today was good for me and I’m pretty happy that I was that fast,” Johann Zarco says. “All the weekend in Jerez I was feeling good, so the target was to keep trying things with the setup and keep enjoying riding the bike. I think I understood many things during the race. Anyway, the target was to find more grip and use the bike well and at the moment it’s going quite good.“I didn’t try any new parts, because I wanted to keep my work simple, so we were just working and trying things personally to improve ourselves. I did the 1’37.7 in the afternoon, which means the new tyre from Michelin was working well. You never have the same mind like in Qualifying, so I’m very happy, because I’m faster than Saturday.”The top factory Yamaha rider was Maverick Vinales, the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP YZR-M1 pilot finishing fourth, 0.409 of a second off the pace. He was followed by the man who won MotoGP in both Austin and Jerez, Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez, who was a half-second slower than Zarco.Rounding out the top 10 were Marc VDS Honda’s Franco Morbidelli, Reale Avintia Racing Ducati’s Tito Rabat, LCR Honda IDEMITSU’s Takaaki Nakagami, Alma Pramac Racing Ducati’s Jack Miller, and nine-time World Champion Valentino Rossi on the other factory Yamaha.The 2018 MotoGP Championship now breaks for two weeks ahead of the Grand Prix of France at Le Mans – a home race for Zarco, who is second in points, 12 behind Marquez after four of 19 rounds.
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This week, Senior Editor Nic de Sena gives us his impression of the outrageously cool-looking new Indian Scout Rogue. The Rogue features a larger front wheel among several other changes, and the bobbed-looks and excellent 100 horsepower motor make the Scout Rogue an interesting—and very real—competitor to the offerings from Milwaukee.
In the second segment Neale Bayly brings us the third and final segment from Brian Slark—the man who helped bring Norton motorcycles to America. Having spent 27 years and counting at the Barber Museum in Birmingham Alabama, Brian talks us through the final part of his career, that of course includes how the museum got started and where it’s going.
From all of us here at Ultimate Motorcycling, we hope you enjoy this episode!