Maverick Viñales is once again the king of testing, though in this case, it is specifically the king of shakedown testing, the Aprilia RS-GP rider ending the final day of the pre-test on top of the timesheets. Viñales and his teammate, Aleix Espargaro, set respectable times, Viñales dipping into the 1'58s - six tenths off the fastest ever lap of Sepang, but a very good time - while Espargaro was just over a tenth of a second slower.
Raul Fernandez was once again the fastest rookie, with a lap of 1'59.468. To put that into context, when KTM were last here in 2020, then rookie Brad Binder ended the three-day test with a time of 1'59.104, though there was a lot more rubber on the track by then.
Marco Bezzecchi was second-best rookie, a quarter of a second behind Fernandez, while Remy Gardner was half a second off his Tech3 KTM teammate's time. Darryn Binder was the last of the rookies, nearly a second and a half slower than Fernandez, and nearly two seconds slower than Viñales.
Binder still has a mountain to climb in his adaptation from Moto3 to MotoGP. The WithU Yamaha rider improved his time by 1.2 seconds over the three days, the smallest improvement of the rookies. Marco Bezzecchi was most improved, beating his Monday time by 2.3 seconds, and taking a second off his time from Tuesday. Remy Gardner improved by 1.8 seconds over the three days, while Raul Fernandez made little progress between Monday and Tuesday, but made up for it all on Wednesday, finding over 1.4 seconds over his time on Monday.
The paddock now has two days to settle in, before work starts in earnest on Saturday. The full paddock will be present then, and should give the first hint of the shape of 2022.
Times on Day 3:
|1||12||Maverick Viñales||Aprilia RS-GP||1:58.942|
|2||41||Aleix Espargaro||Aprilia RS-GP||1:59.086||0.144||0.144|
|3||25||Raul Fernandez||KTM RC16||1:59.468||0.526||0.382|
|4||72||Marco Bezzecchi||Ducati GP21||1:59.711||0.769||0.243|
|5||51||Michele Pirro 2||Ducati GP22||1:59.805||0.863||0.094|
|6||87||Remy Gardner||KTM RC16||2:00.046||1.104||0.241|
|7||6||Stefan Bradl||Honda RC213V||2:00.449||1.507||0.403|
|8||50||Sylvain Guintoli||Suzuki GSX-RR||2:00.491||1.549||0.042|
|9||40||Darryn Binder||Yamaha M1||2:00.928||1.986||0.437|
|10||51||Michele Pirro 1||Ducati GP22||2:01.060||2.118||0.132|
|11||82||Mika Kallio 1||KTM RC16||2:01.074||2.132||0.014|
|12||82||Mika Kallio 2||KTM RC16||2:01.505||2.563||0.431|
|13||T1||Yamaha Test 1||Yamaha M1||2:01.819||2.877||0.314|
|14||T2||Yamaha Test 2||Yamaha M1||2:02.257||3.315||0.438|
|15||85||Takuya Tsuda||Suzuki GSX-RR||2:02.661||3.719||0.404|
Improvements for the rookies over the three days:
|No.||Rider||Bike||Day 1||Day 2||Day 3||Day 2-3||Day 1-3|
|72||Marco Bezzecchi||Ducati GP21||2:02.012||2:00.734||1:59.711||1.023||2.301|
|87||Remy Gardner||KTM RC16||2:01.852||2:01.177||2:00.046||1.131||1.806|
|25||Raul Fernandez||KTM RC16||2:00.898||2:00.819||1:59.468||1.351||1.430|
|40||Darryn Binder||Yamaha M1||2:02.146||2:01.297||2:00.928||0.369||1.218|