Jorge Lorenzo set the pace in MotoGP’s post-season test at Valencia, just a day after surrendering his championship crown to rookie Marc Marquez.
Cal Crutchlow was sixth fastest on his first day as a works Ducati rider, finishing just over one tenth of a second down on new teammate Andrea Dovizioso.
This year’s Moto2 champion Pol Espargaro made his first appearance for the Tech 3 Yamaha squad, ending the day 10th overall. His 2013 rival Scott Redding, meanwhile, gave Honda’s new prototype bike its first official run-out in what was also his first test with new team Gresini. The Briton was 11th fastest.
Honda’s newly crowned champion Marc Marquez and his teammate Dani Pedrosa opted to sit out the first day of the test, although both are expected to run tomorrow.
Valentino Rossi, now working under new crew chief Silvano Galbusera, finished second overall and just 0.093s shy of Lorenzo’s benchmark 1m31.257s, which came in the final hour of the day. Both Lorenzo and Rossi set their fastest times on a 2013-spec bike, although Rossi also trialled the 2014 development machine Yamaha has brought for both men to sample.
Stefan Bradl put Honda’s satellite LCR squad third overall, ahead of a Ducati quintet headed by Andrea Iannone, running with the satellite Pramac squad, Dovizioso and Crutchlow. The Briton has taken Italian crew chief Daniele Romagnoli across with him following his move from Tech 3. The pair were working alongside Ducati Corse’s new general manager Gigi Dall’Igna.
Official test rider Michelle Pirro was next up, with Yonny Hernandez, who will retain his Pramac ride full time for the 2014 season, in eighth. Hiroshi Aoyama, who also had a 2014 ride with Aspar confirmed in the last two days, was ninth for his new team.
The team only had one of its new Hondas ready for the first day of testing, meaning 2006 world champion Nicky Hayden did not participate. He is expected to join tomorrow.
Bradley Smith and Randy de Puniet are also set to join the test tomorrow, for the Tech 3 and Paul Bird teams, respectively. 2008 125cc champion Mike di Meglio, who has not ridden since suffering a serious injury in a Moto2 crash at Brno in August, made a surprise outing for Avintia, finishing 14th.
Pos Rider Bike Time Gap Laps 1. Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 1m31.257s 48 2. Valentino Rossi Yamaha 1m31.350s +0.093s 42 3. Stefan Bradl LCR Honda 1m31.751s +0.494s 40 4. Andrea Iannone Pramac Ducati 1m31.925s +0.668s 49 5. Andrea Dovizioso Ducati 1m31.943s +0.686s 36 6. Cal Crutchlow Ducati 1m32.054s +0.797s 39 7. Michele Pirro Ducati 1m32.698s +1.441s 32 8. Yonny Hernandez Pramac Ducati 1m32.745s +1.488s 37 9. Hiroshi Aoyama Aspar Honda 1m33.020s +1.763s 3810. Pol Espargaro Tech 3 Yamaha 1m33.187s +1.930s 4511. Scott Redding Gresini Honda 1m34.195s +2.938s 3412. Michael Laverty PBM Aprilia 1m34.378s +3.121s 1713. Martin Bauer Remus Suter-BMW 1m35.115s +3.858s 2714. Mike di Meglio Avintia-FTR Kawasaki 1m36.304s +5.047s 26