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Quartararo tops Catalunya Test; Marquez back in Spain

Fabio Quartararo

Bengaluru, June 9: Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP's Fabio Quartararo flexed his speed around the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya once agai, putting in the fastest lap of the official Catalunya Test just one day on from victory at the track.

The Frenchman's 1:39.447 in the opening part of the eight-hour official test was enough for him to cling on to top spot by the narrowest of margins, with Ducati Lenovo Team's Francesco Bagnaia only 0.004sec adrift in second.

Completing the top three was Prima Pramac Racing's Johann Zarco, who, despite claiming the final podium place in the Catalan GP, nevertheless completed a whopping 93 laps during the day.

Catalan GP: Fabio Quartararo back to winning ways, Aleix Espargaro misses on podium after celebrating early Catalan GP: Fabio Quartararo back to winning ways, Aleix Espargaro misses on podium after celebrating early

A small crash at Turn 2 did not deter Aprilia Racing's Aleix Espargaro, as he quickly put Sunday's embarrassment behind him by finishing the day fourth on the timesheets and only a tenth away from his title rival Quartararo.

Repsol Honda will be hopeful that they have managed to make a breakthrough on the new RC213V after Pol Espargaro grabbed the final place inside a top five split by only a quarter of a second.

Ducati Lenovo Team's Jack Miller posted a 1:39.742 inside the opening hour to end up sixth, half a tenth clear of Aprilia Racing's Maverick Vinales.

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP's Franco Morbidelli suffered a crash late in the day at Turn 5 but showed positive signs of improvement by closing out the official test in eighth.

Completing the top ten was the Gresini Racing duo of Enea Bastianini and Fabio Di Giannantonio, while top KTM was Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) in eleventh, ahead of the top, and only, Suzuki present: Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar).

All six factories unveiled a raft of brand-new parts throughout the course of the day as they look to springboard themselves towards glory in the pivotal middle part of the 2022 FIM World Championship.

Francesco Bagnaia

Fresh from the top step, Quartararo was focussing his work on a revised swingarm - the one he used to great effect in Sunday's race. The Frenchman was swapping between the updated version and the one he started the year on as Yamaha's search for more rear grip continues.

Speaking afterwards, Quartararo and team boss Maio Meregalli confirmed that 'El Diablo' has permanently reverted back to the original 2022 aero package and will not use the upgrade first seen at Mugello for the rest of the season.

WithU Yamaha RNF's Andrea Dovizioso was also seen with the latest swingarm, plus the aerodynamic upgrade as they try to get the Italian comfortable on the Yamaha M1. Morbidelli, meanwhile, was working with a carbon swingarm, plus continued to use the upgraded aerodynamics package.

Marquez back in Spain

Meanwhile, Repsol Honda Team's Marc Marquez has returned to Spain following a fourth surgery on his problematic right humerus.

The six-time MotoGP world champion had gone under the knife at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, USA in a bid to rectify the issue in the immediate aftermath of the Italian Grand Prix.

A return date for Marquez is still unknown, with the Spaniard set for regular check-ups to monitor the situation.

The MotoGP caravan now moves to Sachsenring on June 19 as the stage is set for the Liqui Moly Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland. Bring it on!

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Story first published: Thursday, June 9, 2022, 10:48 [IST]
Other articles published on Jun 9, 2022