Nakagami tops first test of 2022 MotoGP pre-season in Jerez

Just four days after the 2021 season ended in Valencia, the first two-day test of the 2022 pre-season started on Thursday in Jerez.

Very little racing took place during the race’s opening hours, with Luca Marini putting the new VR46 Ducati at the top of the pile with a 1m43,364s.

But in hour two, the track broke into life, with Nakagami finishing it the fastest of all, as he got to work on the current RC213V and 2022 prototype.

The Japanese rider’s 1m37.713s would be beaten by just under two and a half hours left as 2021 Championship runner-up Francesco Bagnaia guided his factory Ducati to 1m37.415s.

He was instantly beaten by Enea Bastianini, who now leads the 2021 Ducati for Gresini Racing – which has split with Aprilia and will return to independent status in 2022.

The Italian’s 1m37.402s stood for about half an hour before Nakagami returned to the top spot with 1m37.313s.

This would go undefeated through to the checkered flag, where most teams call it a day too soon.

Nakagami beat Pramac’s Johann Zarco, with Bastianini heading for Bagnaia to complete the top three.

Maverick Vinales put several miles at the Aprilia factory in fifth place, with Alex Rins the fastest of the Suzukis in sixth place with 1m37,810s.

Franco Morbidelli was seventh at the Yamaha factory, with world champion team-mate Fabio Quartararo an unhappy ninth when he admitted the test bike was pretty much the same one he used at the Misano test in September.

Quartararo has made no secret of the need for more power on the Yamaha, but so far no progress has been made in that area.

Jack Miller of the sister factory team Ducati put the Yamaha pair in eighth place, while Marini finished 11th day ahead of Pramac’s Jorge Martin and the returning Pol Espargaro – who managed to test Honda’s 2022 bike after the violent crash that excluded him from the Valencia Grand Prix ​​this weekend.

Joan Mir was 14th on the second of the Suzukis, while the rookie attack was led by Tech3’s Raul Fernandez – who was 19th and only 1.7 seconds off the pace after driving 57 laps on Thursday.

Teammate and reigning Moto2 world champion Remy Gardner was over a second on drift down in 24th place as he completed 52 laps despite physical problems with the broken ribs he sustained in Portugal two weeks ago.

Gardner spearheaded Marco Bezzecchi, who goes up to MotoGP from Moto2 with the VR46 squad, while Gresini rookie Fabio Di Giannantonio finished 22nd on his Ducati.

RNF Racing rookie Darryn Binder, who is taking the step up from Moto3, was 27th and 4,436 seconds off the pace on his Yamaha.

The day was briefly marked with a red flag for a crash for Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro, who finished as number 15, while KTM’s Brad Binder on the 10th also took a tumbling.

Pos Rider Bike Time Gab laps
1 Takaaki Nakagami Honda 1’37.313 68
2 Johann Zarco Ducati 1’37.356 0.043 78
3 Enea Bastianini Ducati 1,337,402 0.089 51
4 F. Bagnaia Ducati 1,337,415 0.102 68
5 Maverick Vinales Aprilia 1,337,674 0.361 72
6 Alex kidneys Suzuki 1’37.810 0.497 76
7 Franco Morbidelli Yamaha 1’37.884 0.571 56
8 Jack Miller Ducati 1’38.002 0.689 61
9 Fabio Quartararo Yamaha 1’38.020 0.707 73
10 Brad Binder KTM 1’38.086 0.773 56
11 Luca Marini Ducati 1’38.149 0.836 58
12 Jorge Martin Ducati 1’38.152 0.839 61
13 Pol Espargaro Honda 1’38.165 0.852 45
14 Joan Mir Suzuki 1’38.194 0.881 71
15 Aleix Espargaro Aprilia 1’38,207 0.894 45
16 Alex Marquez Honda 1’38.288 0.975 75
17 Miguel Oliveira KTM 1’38.312 0.999 74
18 Andrea Dovizioso Yamaha 1’38.598 1,285 53
19 Raul Fernandez KTM 1’39,083 1,770 57
20 Mika Kallio KTM 1’39,276 1,963 79
21 Sylvain Guintoli Suzuki 1’39.496 2,183 49
22 F. Di Giannantonio Ducati 1’39,628 2,315 48
23 Lorenzo Savadori Aprilia 1’39,727 2,414 34
24 Remy Gardner KTM 1’40,170 2,857 52
25 Marco Bezzecchi Ducati 1’40,732 3,419 53
26 Takuya Tsuda Suzuki 1’40,936 3,623 28
27 Darryn Binder Yamaha 1’41,749 4,436 49