Nakagami tops first test of 2022 MotoGP pre-season at Jerez

LCR’s Takaaki Nakagami kicked off Honda’s 2022 MotoGP pre-season preparations by topping the opening day of the Jerez test by 0.043 seconds.

Nakagami tops first test of 2022 MotoGP pre-season at Jerez

Just four days after the 2021 season concluded in Valencia, the opening two-day test of the 2022 pre-season got underway on Thursday at Jerez.

Very little running took place in the opening hour of running, with Luca Marini putting the new VR46 Ducati top of the pile with a 1m43.364s.

But by hour two the track burst into life, with Nakagami ending it fastest of all as he got to work back-to-backing the current RC213V and the 2022 prototype.

The Japanese rider’s 1m37.713s would be beaten with just under two and a half hours remaining, when 2021 championship runner-up Francesco Bagnaia guided his factory Ducati to a 1m37.415s.

He was immediately beaten by Enea Bastianini, now piloting the 2021 Ducati for Gresini Racing – who has split with Aprilia and will return to independent status for 2022.

The Italian’s 1m37.402s stood for around half an hour, before Nakagami returned to top spot with a 1m37.313s.

This would go unbeaten through to the chequered flag, with most teams calling it a day early.

Nakagami beat Pramac’s Johann Zarco, with Bastianini heading Bagnaia to complete the top three.

Johann Zarco, Pramac Racing

Johann Zarco, Pramac Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Maverick Vinales put more miles on the factory Aprilia in fifth spot, with Alex Rins the fastest of the Suzukis in sixth with a 1m37.810s.

Franco Morbidelli was seventh on the factory Yamaha, with world champion team-mate Fabio Quartararo an unhappy ninth as he admitted the test bike was basically the same as to what he used at the Misano test in September.

Quartararo has made no secret of his need for more power on the Yamaha, but no progress has been made in that area so far.

Jack Miller on the sister factory team Ducati sandwiched the Yamaha pair in eighth, while Marini ended the day 11th ahead of Pramac’s Jorge Martin and the returning Pol Espargaro – who was passed fit to test Honda’s 2022 bike following the violent crash which ruled him out of the Valencia Grand Prix at the weekend.

Joan Mir was 14th on the second of the Suzukis, while the rookie charge was led by Tech3’s Raul Fernandez – who was 19th and just 1.7s off the pace having done 57 laps on Thursday.

Team-mate and reigning Moto2 world champion Remy Gardner was over a second adrift down in 24th, as he completed 52 laps despite physical problems with the broken ribs he suffered in Portugal two weeks ago.

Remy Gardner, KTM Tech3

Remy Gardner, KTM Tech3

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Gardner headed Marco Bezzecchi, who steps up to MotoGP from Moto2 with the VR46 squad, while Gresini rookie Fabio Di Giannantonio was 22nd on his Ducati.

RNF Racing rookie Darryn Binder, who is making the step up from Moto3, was 27th and 4.436s off the pace on his Yamaha.

The day was briefly red-flagged for a crash for Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro, who ended up 15th, while KTM’s Brad Binder in 10th also took a tumble.

shares
comments

Related video

Gardner thinks Fernandez's Moto2 title claims “bullshit”
Previous article

Gardner thinks Fernandez's Moto2 title claims “bullshit”

Next article

Quartararo needs to see Yamaha progress before signing 2023 MotoGP deal

Quartararo needs to see Yamaha progress before signing 2023 MotoGP deal
Ranking the top 10 riders of MotoGP 2022 Plus

Ranking the top 10 riders of MotoGP 2022

The 2022 MotoGP season was another hotly contested championship, with Francesco Bagnaia emerging as the title winner after the campaign went to the wire. Autosport picks out the 10 best performers of the season

MotoGP
Nov 29, 2022
Was the MotoGP 2022 title won by Bagnaia or lost by Quartararo? Plus

Was the MotoGP 2022 title won by Bagnaia or lost by Quartararo?

Reigning MotoGP world champion Fabio Quartararo had a 91-point lead over rival Francesco Bagnaia after the German Grand Prix, a seemingly impregnable gap to overcome in the remaining 10 races. But as the Frenchman struggled for pace with his Yamaha, Bagnaia stormed back into contention and swept to Ducati's first riders' title since 2007

MotoGP
Nov 25, 2022
Why there's more to Honda's 2023 MotoGP bike than the Valencia test suggests Plus

Why there's more to Honda's 2023 MotoGP bike than the Valencia test suggests

After a run on Honda's 2023 prototype MotoGP bike, six-time champion Marc Marquez made his pessimism clear with his initial reaction. But the Japanese marque has made leadership changes behind closed doors - and a more representative bike promised for the Malaysia test in February could placate Marquez

MotoGP
Nov 23, 2022
Why the new MotoGP world champion has a stronger character than it seems Plus

Why the new MotoGP world champion has a stronger character than it seems

While new MotoGP champion Francesco Bagnaia might not be the loudest rider on the grid, his calm exterior belies a steely backbone. His part in turning around Ducati's fortunes at the start of the year, when displeased with a new engine concept, shows the strength of his character

MotoGP
Nov 16, 2022
Why Bagnaia's MotoGP triumph is as worthy as Stoner's Ducati breakthrough Plus

Why Bagnaia's MotoGP triumph is as worthy as Stoner's Ducati breakthrough

OPINION: Despite the superiority exhibited by the Ducati in 2022, the context in which Francesco Bagnaia became MotoGP world champion means that both the rider and the Italian marque merit the same recognition that the brand and Casey Stoner received after their 2007 title

MotoGP
Nov 9, 2022
Why the 2022 MotoGP season had a bittersweet ending Plus

Why the 2022 MotoGP season had a bittersweet ending

OPINION: MotoGP’s fifth last round showdown of the modern era delivered a tense finale despite the predictable outcome, as Francesco Bagnaia ended 15 years of pain for Ducati. But as emotions ran high for the Italian marque, a final victory for a departing Japanese rival tinged the campaign’s conclusion with sadness

MotoGP
Nov 7, 2022
Why the 2023 MotoGP title battle has already begun Plus

Why the 2023 MotoGP title battle has already begun

Since Ducati announced the arrival of Enea Bastianini to its factory team for 2023, the staging of the four-time race winner has strained the atmosphere within the Italian manufacturer, which has raised its guard in anticipation of what may happen between him and championship favourite Francesco Bagnaia

MotoGP
Nov 1, 2022
Why Yamaha has just six months to safeguard its MotoGP champion's future Plus

Why Yamaha has just six months to safeguard its MotoGP champion's future

Yamaha's decision to dispense pre-season with the 2022 engine it had intended to use due to lack of reliability, the promises of improvement to Fabio Quartararo and the advance with which the rider market moves leaves the Japanese brand with less than six months to prevent the Frenchman from starting to look for a way out

MotoGP
Oct 28, 2022