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Sepang MotoGP testing: Quartararo tops day one as Vinales crashes

Lewis Duncan
·4 mins read
Quartararo tops first 2020 test day, Vinales crashes
Quartararo tops first 2020 test day, Vinales crashes

Petronas SRT rider Fabio Quartararo topped the first day of 2020 MotoGP pre-season testing in Malaysia, while his factory Yamaha counterpart Maverick Vinales crashed.

Last season's top rookie Quartararo was the first out on track at Sepang on Friday morning, though it was Aprilia's Aleix Espargaro who set the initial pace in the opening hour.

Espargaro, who took part in the shakedown earlier in the week, guided his radically redesigned RS-GP to a time of 1m59.427s to dip underneath the existing race lap record.

The outright lap record of 1m58.303s belongs to Quartararo, who posted that on his way to pole for last year's Malaysian Grand Prix.

After two hours, the SRT rider put his 2019-spec M1 top of the pile with a 1m58.945s, which would ultimately go unchallenged.

Quartararo will ride the full 2020-spec M1 on Saturday, but will have just one of those at his disposal.

The morning running was briefly halted by a red flag for an incident involving one of the Yamaha test riders, though a greater lull would follow later in the day as a burst of rain kept the track quiet for some time.

Another shower late on brought running the day to a premature end with just under 10 minutes to go.

Quartararo tops first 2020 test day, Vinales crashes
Quartararo tops first 2020 test day, Vinales crashes

The Pramac Ducati pairing of Francesco Bagnaia and Jack Miller signalled the resumption of running with just under two hours to go, though Quartararo's benchmark remained intact.

Quartararo's team-mate Franco Morbidelli trailed him heading into the lunch break by 0.051 seconds, and held onto second place come the chequered flag.

Morbidelli will not have machine parity with Quartararo or the works team Yamaha riders anymore this year, and is instead riding the 'A-spec' M1 - essentially, the bike the factory Yamaha riders finished last November's tests with.

Alex Rins led the Suzuki charge in third spot as he worked through his programme on the new-spec GSX-RR, while LCR's Cal Crutchlow was top Honda rider in fourth ahead of Miller.

Vinales ended the day sixth spot, having crashed earlier in the day at the Turn 11 right-hander.

He, along with team-mate Valentino Rossi - who was 10th fastest - had three M1s at his disposal: two 2020-spec machines, and the 'A-spec' bike from November.

Early pacesetter Espargaro was seventh ahead of his KTM-mounted brother Pol, who also took part in the shakedown earlier this week.

Joan Mir was ninth on the sister Suzuki, with Rossi rounding out the top 10 ahead of the first of the works team Ducatis of Andrea Dovizioso.

Reigning world champion Marc Marquez shadowed Dovizioso, as he marks his first MotoGP outing since undergoing surgery on a right shoulder injury in the winter.

Admitting ahead of the test he'd only be at "70%" strength, Marquez only completed 37 laps and managed a best time of 1m59.675s.

His brother and new team-mate Alex was just a further 0.021s adrift in 13th, while Johann Zarco was 1.5s off the pace in 19th on his first outing on the Avintia Ducati GP19.

Sepang day one times

Pos

Driver

Team

Bike

Gap

Laps

1

Fabio Quartararo

Petronas Yamaha

Yamaha

1m58.945s

52

2

Franco Morbidelli

Petronas Yamaha

Yamaha

0.051s

62

3

Alex Rins

Suzuki

Suzuki

0.250s

56

4

Cal Crutchlow

LCR Honda

Honda

0.289s

39

5

Jack Miller

Pramac Ducati

Ducati

0.291s

47

6

Maverick Vinales

Yamaha

Yamaha

0.422s

49

7

Aleix Espargaro

Aprilia

Aprilia

0.482s

43

8

Pol Espargaro

KTM

KTM

0.591s

48

9

Joan Mir

Suzuki

Suzuki

0.623s

51

10

Valentino Rossi

Yamaha

Yamaha

0.624s

48

11

Andrea Dovizioso

Ducati

Ducati

0.721s

35

12

Marc Marquez

Honda

Honda

0.731s

37

13

Alex Marquez

Honda

Honda

0.973s

38

14

Danilo Petrucci

Ducati

Ducati

0.994s

42

15

Dani Pedrosa

KTM

KTM

1.072s

45

16

Miguel Oliveira

KTM

KTM

1.186s

49

17

Francesco Bagnaia

Pramac Ducati

Ducati

1.191s

53

18

Sylvain Guintoli

Suzuki

Suzuki

1.426s

48

19

Johann Zarco

Avintia Ducati

Ducati

1.519s

54

20

Iker Lecuona

KTM

KTM

1.566s

44

21

Brad Binder

KTM

KTM

1.574s

58

22

Tito Rabat

Avintia Ducati

Ducati

1.805s

54

23

Takaaki Nakagami

LCR Honda

Honda

1.870s

31

24

?

Yamaha

Yamaha

2.135s

50

25

?

Yamaha

Yamaha

2.799s

22

26

Lorenzo Savadori

Aprilia

Aprilia

4.205s

31


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