Nearly 41% of the MotoGP grid hit the track at the Circuit de Catalunya in Montmelo near Barcelona on Wednesday, as the riders gathered together for what would essentially become the world's fastest track day. Nine MotoGP riders were joined by a handful of stars from Moto2, Moto3, and the WorldSBK paddock to get some track time, all on production machines.
The MotoGP stars on track included the Espargaro brothers, Pol and Aleix, both LCR Honda riders Alex Marquez and Takaaki Nakagami, Ecstar Suzuki riders Joan Mir and Alex Rins, factory Yamaha rider Fabio Quartararo, and the Ducatis of Jack Miller and Johann Zarco. Bikes used included the Ducati Panigale V4S, Yamaha YZF-R1, Suzuki GSX-R1000, Aprilia RSV4, the Honda RC213V-S, and a Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade ridden by Repsol Honda rider Pol Espargaro. On track in other classes were Ana Carrasco, Remy Gardner, Raul Fernandez, Tito Rabat, Albert Arenas, and Jaume Masia.
It was the first time some of the riders had gotten to sample the revised layout of Turn 10 at Barcelona, the corner having been restored to its former sweeping glory, if moved a little further away from the barriers on the other side of the F1 chicane at Turn 14. The responses to the revised corner were positive, as riders spoke to the official MotoGP.com website.
Jack Miller was perhaps the most enthusiastic. "The Montmelo circuit is fantastic and to have similar like the old layout is fantastic at Turn 10, you can carry the speed a lot, the asphalt has a lot of grip so 10/10 job for them," the factory Ducati rider said. "The turn layout is quite different, but it feels good," factory Yamaha rider Fabio Quartararo told MotoGP.com. "It's between the old one and the F1 layout. I like it, and I'm happy to be back, one step closer to Qatar."
The day of riding was a warm up for when MotoGP testing starts in earnest in just over a week. The MotoGP rookies and test riders kick off the official preseason on March 5th at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar, with the full MotoGP grid joining them for the two days after that.