MotoGP Catalunya Test: Quartararo maintains command

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Picture: GeeBee Images

Monster Energy Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo maintained his Catalan dominance on Monday by heading the MotoGP test times.

Having set the 1’39.447 target on just his 13th lap of the morning, the Frenchman closed the day just 0.004s ahead of Ducati Lenovo’s Pecco Bagnaia after the pair’s 67 and 80 lap respective workload.

Prima Pramac’s Johann Zarco concluded the programme as he had done on Sunday, in third position with Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro just 0.111s adrift of the reigning champion and a quarter of a second faster than his younger brother Pol, as the Repsol Honda closed out the top five after having three different chassis at his disposal.

Each of the six factories were seen evaluating upgrades across the day with Yamaha’s championship leader switching between the aluminium swingarm he won Sunday’s race with and the one he started the season on. Teammate Franky Morbidelli - who concluded the day eighth in the overall times - meanwhile, was working on a carbon variation while WithU RNF’s Andrea Dovizioso concentrated on the updated aluminium swingarm, with his best effort sitting him 19th ahead of team-mate Darryn Binder.

Aprilia brought out the rear wing first seen in Mugello, tested an updated aero package but also revealed a radically different side fairings as Maverick Viñales continued his run in the top seven, while Ducati put Zarco to work testing a fully revamped chassis and Bagnaia analysed an updated aerodynamics package. Jack Miller and Enea Bastianini sat sixth and ninth by the close of play with Gresini rookie Fabio di Giannantonio continuing to impress at the edge of the top ten. Mooney VR46’s Luca Marini and Marco Bezzecchi completed the day in 13th and 21st respectively.

Miguel Olivera had three KTM’s to play with on his way to 14th in the times, narrowly tailed by Tech3 rookie Remy Gardner while Brad Binder, got to grips with a new swingarm pivot, setting the 11th fastest lap just half a second off the M1 benchmark.

Suzuki had only one rider on track after Alex Rins confirmed a fractured wrist following Sunday’s turn one collision - and Sylvain Guintoli was recovering from 24-hour EWC duty at Spa-Francorchamps. Joan Mir therefore focused his attention on the two different aero packages available throughout the day, concluding his efforts in 12th.

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