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Nakagami heads Honda armada as testing concludes in Jerez

Takaaki Nakagami

Jerez, November 30: Takaaki Nakagami of LCR Honda Idemitsu was impressive on Day 1 of the Official Test at the Circuito de Jerez-Angel Nieto but the Japanese rider usurped the adjective on Thursday to not only impress, but go quickest.

The Japanese rider's 1:37.945 was unmatchable on Day 2 and he put in 66 laps on his 2018 Honda.

Reigning champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) was in close pursuit, however, ending the day just 0.025 off Nakagami's best with a 1:37.970 - with Maverick Vinales (Yamaha Factory Racing) completing the top three and still within a tenth of the top.

At Honda, the devil was in the details - not just the logo on the number 99's side of the garage - although there was a new airbox on show. Marquez said he was working more on refinements, as well as different tyres, with some good and some bad to report.

Yamaha challenge

Yamaha challenge

The leading Yamaha on Day 2 was Viñales after completing 78 laps, and he seems happy with 2019 development so far.

Both he and team-mate Valentino Rossi (Yamaha Factory Racing) have been testing two different engine specs, with Vinales clear as to which one they should go with.

The Spaniard reflected after Day 2 by saying "overall we have a really competitive bike" and "the laps times were consistent" - positive from the now number 12

Impressive day

Impressive day

Jack Miller (Alma Pramac Racing) had an impressive day on track, including a lot of time spent working on different setups that "seemed to work better and better" every time they made a change.

He was fastest for a brief time in the afternoon, and ended the day in P7 overall after 57 laps, the best of which was a 1:38.207.

Suzuki charge

Suzuki charge

For Suzuki, Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) was able to continue to test the new GSX-RR engine and chassis combinations, alongside test rider Sylvain Guintoli.

Rins was able to post the 10th quickest time on Day 2, his 1:38.522 0.577 off Nakagami's pace as he completed 63 laps on Thursday.

Tough test

Tough test

It was a tough test for Aprilia Racing Team Gresini with Aleix Espargaro missing the whole of Day 1 through illness, while also missing the morning of Day 2 to complete just 11 laps.

In addition, after a crash on Day 1, Andrea Iannone (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) was riding with an injured foot as the Italian completed 36 laps by the end of the second day to finish P18 on the timesheets.

Satisfied champion

Satisfied champion

Overall though it was a satisfied seven-time world champion, happy with engine improvements. He did 56 laps - including a Marquez-style save - and says now focus will shift more towards the chassis.

New team-mate Jorge Lorenzo was also a force to be reckoned with on the timesheets. He put in a 1:38.105 and was just 0.039 off Vinales in third, with the number 99's fourth day on the Honda seeing him take P4 after 65 laps - the third Honda in the top five.

(By a special arrangement with Dorna Sports)

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    Story first published: Friday, November 30, 2018, 11:19 [IST]
    Other articles published on Nov 30, 2018
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