The 2022 MotoGP season is almost underway, with the rookies and test riders taking to the track for the so-called shakedown test, three days of pre-testing ahead of the official MotoGP test on Saturday and Sunday, February 5th and 6th. Though the times set don't mean a great deal at this stage in time - there are a lot of variables, and the main job of the test riders is to make sure everything is functioning correctly and to prepare the ground for the official rider this weekend - there were still some notable performances.
First and fastest of all is Raul Fernandez. The Tech3 KTM rookie was fastest on the first day of the test, his entry into MotoGP looking like being as impactful as his joining Moto2. Fernandez' time is impressive, 1.2 seconds slower than the race lap record held by Valentino Rossi set in 2019, and 2.6 seconds than the fastest outright lap at the circuit, set by Danilo Petrucci during the test in 2019.
Ducati test rider Michele Pirro is second, ahead of KTM's Mika Kallio and Aprilia's Lorenzo Savadori, while Remy Gardner is the second quickest rookie, ending the day in fifth just under a second behind his teammate. Gardner was a tenth of a second quicker than VR46 Ducati man Marco Bezzecchi, who is in turn a tenth of a second faster than RNF Yamaha rider Darryn Binder. Gresini Ducati's Fabio Di Giannantonio is the slowest of the rookies, 1.7 seconds off the pace of Fernandez.
Absent from the test was Stefan Bradl, the HRC test rider's Honda RC213V still on its way from the test at Jerez, where Bradl had been putting the radically modified 2022-spec Honda through its pace on Thursday and Friday. Bradl is expected to ride on Tuesday.
There was also news on the test rider front. Yamaha confirmed that Cal Crutchlow will continue in his role as test rider for the next 2 seasons, 2022 and 2023, with the factory.
Times, courtesy of GPOne.com:
|1||25||Raul Fernandez||KTM RC16||2:00.898|
|2||51||Michele Pirro 1||Ducati GP22||2:01.042||0.144||0.144|
|3||82||Mika Kallio 1||KTM RC16||2:01.250||0.352||0.208|
|4||32||Lorenzo Savadori 2||Aprilia RS-GP||2:01.676||0.778||0.426|
|5||87||Remy Gardner||KTM RC16||2:01.852||0.954||0.176|
|6||72||Marco Bezzecchi||Ducati GP21||2:02.012||1.114||0.160|
|7||40||Darryn Binder||Yamaha M1||2:02.146||1.248||0.134|
|8||50||Sylvain Guintoli||Suzuki GSX-RR||2:02.181||1.283||0.035|
|9||82||Mika Kallio 2||KTM RC16||2:02.297||1.399||0.116|
|10||49||Fabio Di Giannantonio||Ducati GP21||2:02.596||1.698||0.299|
|11||32||Lorenzo Savadori 4||Aprilia RS-GP||2:02.890||1.992||0.294|
|12||32||Lorenzo Savadori 1||Aprilia RS-GP||2:03.193||2.295||0.303|
|13||51||Michele Pirro 2||Ducati GP22||2:03.426||2.528||0.233|
|14||T2||Yamaha Test 2||Yamaha M1||2:03.442||2.544||0.016|
|15||T1||Yamaha Test 1||Yamaha M1||2:03.616||2.718||0.174|
|16||32||Lorenzo Savadori 3||Aprilia RS-GP||2:04.633||3.735||1.017|
|2019||20||Fabio Quartararo||Yamaha M1||1:58.303||Q2|
|2019||46||Valentino Rossi||Yamaha M1||1:59.661||Race|
|2019||9||Danilo Petrucci||Ducati GP19||1:58.239||Sepang Test|