Honda’s Nakagami Tops Marquez in Jerez MotoGP Test

Jerez MotoGP Test Takaaki Nakagami
Honda's Takaaki Nakagami

2018 Jerez MotoGP Test Results

The final day of MotoGP testing in 2018 wrapped up Thursday at Spain’s Jerez circuit. When the two-day test was complete, only three riders got under the 1:38 mark, including the 2018 MotoGP Champion Marc Marquez.

But the Repsol Honda rider wasn’t quickest. Leading the test was Takaaki Nakagami, who begins his sophomore year with the LCR Honda team in 2019 MotoGP.

Jerez MotoGP Test Takaaki Nakagami
Honda’s Takaaki Nakagami

Second fastest on the combined time sheets was Ducati Team’s Danilo Petrucci, the day-one leader. The new factory Ducati rider trailed Nakagami by 0.023 of a second.

Marquez slotted into third, only 0.002 of a second behind Petrucci.

Nakagami posted the quickest time of 1:37.945 on his 63rd of 66 laps during Thursday’s session. He was riding his injured teammate Cal Crutchlow’s 2018 RC213V when he posted his fast lap.

To put that time into perspective the fastest lap set at Jerez is a 1:37.653 set by Crutchlow in 2018.

“Of course, it was a great day and I’m really happy to finish with the top time,” Takaaki Nakagami says. “The time was good, today our target was to get into the high 37s and we did that. I’m really happy with my feeling on the bike and we are improving day by day.

“The lap time is at a good level, obviously only me and Marc (Marquez) did a 37. It’s a great way to finish for the season and now I’ll relax at home. But I’m already looking forward to the 2019 season and can’t wait to ride this bike again in Sepang.”

Jerez MotoGP Test Ducat's Danilo Petrucci
Ducati’s Danilo Petrucci

Yamaha Factory Racing’s Maverick Vinales finished fourth, 0.121 of a second off the pace, making for four different manufacturer’s in the top four.

Vinales and teammate Rossi tested different engine specs. Vinales say “overall we have a really competitive bike,” but Rossi, who finished 11th overall, 0.651 of a second behind, said Yamaha needs to find more to challenge the others in 2019.

Repsol Honda’s newest rider – Jorge Lorenzo – finished the test in fifth, 0.160 of a second behind Nakagami, and 0.013 of a second ahead of Petronas Yamaha SRT’s Franco Morbidelli.

Rounding out the top 10 in combined results were Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso; Alma Pramac Ducati’s Jack Miller; Alma Pramac Ducati’s Francesco Bagnaia; and Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Alex Rins.

MotoGP reports that it was a tough test for Aprilia Racing Team Gresini with Aleix Espargaro missing the whole of Day 1 through illness, while also missing the morning of Day 2 to complete just 11 laps. In addition, after a crash on Day 1, Andrea Iannone (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) was riding with an injured foot as the Italian completed 36 laps by the end of the second day to finish P18 on the timesheets.

Jerez MotoGP Test Honda's Marc Marquez
Honda’s Marc Marquez

This left new test rider Bradley Smith with the majority of the testing duties, the British rider getting 59 laps done on Thursday, and Matteo Baiocco was also on circuit for the Italian factory once again – with 48 laps completed for the latter.

At KTM, Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) was once again the quickest Austrian machine as the Spaniard put in a best of 1:39.144 after 60 laps – placing him 15th. Work continued on many different parts of the RC16, with Espargaro testing what Team Manager Mike Leitner called “bigger items.” Johann Zarco, meanwhile, was getting to better grips with his switch to the machine – with Leitner confirming his adaptation to the bike and vice versa. The Frenchman was seven tenths off his teammate on Day 2.

The MotoGP Championship now takes its official winter break, and won’t return until February 1-2 for the Sepang tests.

2018 Jerez MotoGP Testing Results (courtesy of Yamaha)

1.T. NAKAGAMILCR HONDA IDEMITSU1’37.945
2.D. PETRUCCIDUCATI TEAM1’37.968
3.M. MARQUEZREPSOL HONDA TEAM1’37.970
4.M. VIÑALESMOVISTAR YAMAHA MOTOGP1’38.066
5.J. LORENZOREPSOL HONDA TEAM1’38.105
6.F. MORBIDELLIPETRONAS YAMAHA SRT1’38.118
7.A. DOVIZIOSODUCATI TEAM1’38.185
8.J. MILLERALMA PRAMAC RACING1’38.207
9.F. BAGNAIAALMA PRAMAC RACING1’38.333
10.A. RINSTEAM SUZUKI ECSTAR1’38.522
11.V. ROSSIMOVISTAR YAMAHA MOTOGP1’38.596
12.F. QUARTARAROPETRONAS YAMAHA SRT1’38.761
13.A. BAUTISTADUCATI TEST TEAM1’38.830
14.T. RABATREALE AVINTIA RACING1’38.876
15.J. MIRTEAM SUZUKI ECSTAR1’38.931
16.A. IANNONEAPRILIA RACING TEAM GRESINI1’39.008
17.P. ESPARGARÒRED BULL KTM FACTORY RACING1’39.144
18.K. ABRAHAMREALE AVINTIA RACING1’39.744
19.J. ZARCORED BULL KTM FACTORY RACING1’39.864
20.A. ESPARGARÒAPRILIA RACING TEAM GRESINI1’40.156
21.B. SMITHAPRILIA RACING TEAM GRESINI1’40.174
22.S. GUINTOLISUZUKI TEST TEAM1’40.498
23.H. SYAHRINKTM TECH3 RACING1’40.520
24.M. OLIVEIRAKTM TECH3 RACING1’40.577
25.M. BAIOCCOAPRILIA RACING TEST TEAM1’41.907