Sepang Shakedown Test Day 3 Times: Viñales Cracks The 1'58s

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:

Pos No. Rider Bike Time Diff Previous
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
Round Number: 
0
2022
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Comments

Binder says he was feeling quite drained today and didn't do a time attack in the afternoon, so perhaps some untapped potential there. 

Pretty impressive work by the rookies though.

He apparently had stomach problems

Trap speeds Sepang shakedown:

1) Aprilia 334.4km/h
2) 2021 Duc 333.3km/h 
3) Suzuki 332.3km/h
4) Honda tied with 2022 Duc 331.3km/h
5) KTM 330.3km/h
6) Yamaha 325.3km/h

(Everyone at Aprilia and Fabio Quartararo are still staring at this right now). V   Love the back and forth here Wavey, Larry et al!

1kph worse to the Ducati than Fabio versus the Ducati in 2019 Q2. Not bad for test riders. Although Rossi was 2kph faster than Fabio in that 2019 session also. Rossi was 6th on the grid, the front row was a Yamaha lock out. Funny old game.

200 miles an hour for Yamaha. 202 at times.

The other Five manufacturers are in the over 330s only club. Will be faster at Mugello, Aragon etc.

Aprilia more motor (maybe enough) and less between the knees, both factors good. Better Aero & gadgets.

Suzi with a little more grunt & top end. Ride height devices? Should work better than last year, I hope. Qualifying???

Franky Morbidelli slowest top speed of all on average. FM 21 isn't trying too hard just now. Let's see in the races.

Marc Marquez has had his first front end crash of 2022. I bet a T-shirt it won't be his last of the season!