MotoGP Jerez Test: Bagnaia dominates Friday action

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Picture: GeeBee Images

The final day of 2021 MotoGP action saw Ducati Lenovo’s Pecco Bagnaia head the times early as he dominated on the 2022 spec Desmosedici.

The bikes hit the Jerez track early as testing got up to speed on Friday. Pol Espargaro was the first to head out of pitlane, with fellow Honda rider Takaaki Nakagami leading the times much as he had done the previous day. It was Bagnaia, however, who would command proceedings, thanks to an impressive 1’36.872 lap - just three-tenths adrift of the all-out record and almost a second clear of the LCR rider - on just his 12th of the morning.

Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo continued his strong championship winning form by running top three from the outset before sitting second with two hours of the final session still to run. Suzuki’s Alex Rins claimed a confident third with Espargaro fourth as the day drew to a close. Aprilia’s Maverick Viñales secured top five as his Noale education developed with Joan Mir heading Thursday’s pace-setter Nakagami.

Enea Bastianini continued to impress on his switch to the 2021 Ducati from eighth, just eight-tenths adrift of his factory colleague, with Jack Miller on the second factor GP22 narrowly behind. Alex Marquez completed the top 10 from the first KTM of Brad Binder while VR46’s Luca Marini headed Andrea Dovizioso as both Italians enjoyed their own upgraded machinery in 12th and 13th respectively.

Amongst the developments seen on track were a raft of new aero and air intake progressions on the Ducati and KTM bikes, with the Italian factory unleashing an impressive new exhaust. Suzuki is rumoured to have settled on the 2022 engine, with additional tweaks to areo, exhaust, swingarm and two different ride hight devices being spotted throughout the two days.

Aprilia rolled out new front wings, with both Viñales and Aleix Espargaro running different bikes with upgraded chassis, engine and exhaust. A confident looking HRC fielded two new chassis - tested by Stefan Bradl earlier in week - with Repsol’s Espargaro running top five in the times from the outset on the 2022 machine tested by both Marquez and Nakagami on Thursday.

Yamaha brought a radical new chassis, alongside the two versions seen on Thursday, with a subdued Quartararo retaining his pace without showing too many positive signs of progress when in the garage.

Rookie Darryn Binder suffered his first crash on the WithU RNF Yamaha with a morning highside at turn nine, before improving by almost two seconds on his times from the opening day.

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