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Boom! Viñales Immediately Fastest on His New Yamaha at Valencia Test

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We knew that the post-2016 MotoGP testing getting underway at Valencia today would be fascinating. The riders will be back on track tomorrow, but Day 1 was telling.

All of the riders met their new motorcycles for the first time, and with excellent track conditions pounded out numerous laps (more than 70 for a few of them). The result? New Yamaha rider Maverick Viñales was fastest … edging out 2017 teammate Valentino Rossi.

Perhaps even bigger news was Jorge Lorenzo’s debut on the Ducati, which saw him post the third quickest lap of the day. Looks like Lorenzo will not struggle much coming to grips with his new mount, and the very rich young man could even be in the hunt for his fourth MotoGP crown next year. After all, Valentino Rossi said you are “stupid” if you don’t think Lorenzo will be a title factor on the Ducati next year.

Elsewhere on the time-sheets (full results are below), Andrea Iannone appears to be getting on well with his new Suzuki, while new KTM hires Pol Espargaro and Bradley Smith (riding 109 laps between them) clearly have work to do on the Austrian machine.

Rookies like Johann Zarco (Yamaha) and Alex Rins (Suzuki) didn’t look too bad given their jump up to the monster horsepower and carbon brakes found on MotoGP weaponry. The quickest rookie was lesser-known Jonas Folger (Yamaha).

Watch for a report on tomorrow’s continued Valencia testing. Here are the results from today:

Pos Rider Team Fastest lap Lead. Gap Prev. Gap Laps Last lap
1 VIÑALES, Maverick Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 1:30.930 55 / 61
2 ROSSI, Valentino Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 1:30.950 0.020 0.020 11 / 47
3 LORENZO, Jorge Ducati Team 1:31.052 0.122 0.102 53 / 60
4 MARQUEZ, Marc Repsol Honda Team 1:31.102 0.172 0.050 33 / 53
5 DOVIZIOSO, Andrea Ducati Team 1:31.131 0.201 0.029 45 / 54
6 CRUTCHLOW, Cal LCR Honda 1:31.156 0.226 0.025 42 / 69
7 IANNONE, Andrea Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 1:31.165 0.235 0.009 29 / 41
8 REDDING, Scott OCTO Pramac Yakhnich 1:31.242 0.312 0.077 64 / 71
9 BARBERA, Hector Avintia Racing 1:31.286 0.356 0.044 25 / 43
10 PEDROSA, Dani Repsol Honda Team 1:31.306 0.376 0.020 32 / 42
11 MILLER, Jack Marc VDS Racing Team 1:31.477 0.547 0.171 31 / 62
12 BAUTISTA, Alvaro Pull & Bear Aspar Team 1:31.674 0.744 0.197 56 / 58
13 PIRRO, Michele OCTO Pramac Yakhnich 1:32.068 1.138 0.394 21 / 47
14 ESPARGARO, Aleix Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 1:32.177 1.247 0.109 33 / 61
15 BAZ, Loris Avintia Racing 1:32.315 1.385 0.138 42 / 42
16 FOLGER, Jonas Monster Yamaha Tech 3 1:32.450 1.520 0.135 51 / 52
17 ZARCO, Johann Monster Yamaha Tech 3 1:32.462 1.532 0.012 59 / 61
18 RABAT, Tito EG 0,0 Marc VDS 1:32.578 1.648 0.116 27 / 72
19 ESPARGARO, Pol Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 1:32.613 1.683 0.035 39 / 57
20 SMITH, Bradley Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 1:32.806 1.876 0.193 36 / 52
21 RINS, Alex Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 1:32.811 1.881 0.005 69 / 71
22 LAVERTY, Eugene Aprilia Test Team 1:32.935 2.005 0.124 37 / 45
23 ABRAHAM, Karel Pull & Bear Aspar Team 1:33.231 2.301 0.296 49 / 59
24 LOWES, Sam Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 1:33.359 2.429 0.128 63 / 63
25 TSUDA, Takuya Suzuki Test Team 1:34.110 3.180 0.751 36 / 41
26 BAGNAIA, Francesco Pull & Bear Aspar Team 1:36.940 6.010 2.830 8 / 9

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49 Comments

  1. Shawn says:

    Really looking forward to KTM and Aprilia’s improvements in the upcoming GP year. They’re the biggest new comers and have a lot to prove.

  2. Chris says:

    theres something cleansing about the bike and rider swapping going on in the premier class, I’m already excited about next season.

  3. Vrooom says:

    Interesting, you guys seem to have more up to date info than Motogp.com on day 2 testing? With 25 minutes of testing to go they show Vinales still at the top with the only 1.29 lap, with Marquez 2/10ths of second behind him and Rossi in 7 and Lorenzo in 8? Interestingly they show Dovi in 3rd 3/10ths faster than Lorenzo.

  4. Dave says:

    Top-10 as of 4pm today.
    I’m noticing the Aprilia in 9th, punching above it’s weight class. They’ve steadily improved over the season and I think we’ll see Aleix in the mix next season.

    Imagine Vinales’ confidence right now. Must be the best time of his racing life.

    1. Viñales, Maverick SPA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP (YZR-M1) 1m 29.975s
    2. Marquez, Marc SPA Repsol Honda Team (RC213V) 1m 30.267s +0.292s
    3. Dovizioso, Andrea ITA Ducati Team (Desmosedici GP16/17) 1m 30.443s +0.468s
    4. Iannone, Andrea ITA Team Suzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR) 1m 30.644s +0.669s
    5. Pedrosa, Dani SPA Repsol Honda Team (RC213V) 1m 30.686s +0.711s
    6. Crutchlow, Cal GBR LCR Honda (RC213V) 1m 30.709s +0.734s
    7. Rossi, Valentino ITA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP (YZR-M1) 1m 30.709s +0.734s
    8. Lorenzo, Jorge SPA Ducati Team (Desmosedici GP16/17) 1m 30.744s +0.769s
    9. Espargaro, Aleix SPA Factory Aprilia Gresini (RS-GP) 1m 30.885s +0.910s
    10. Zarco, Johann FRA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1) 1m 31.015s +1.040s

  5. Curly says:

    Well now, it looks like only Maverick will get into the 1:29s which is almost a second faster than his best Tuesday time. I’m really impressed by Zarco and Folger though. Riding hand me down Yamahas for the first time they are just a second off Vinales’ time and just a couple of tenths off Rossi and Lorenzo. That’s impressive.

    The track is cooling off so not many riders out there but out goes Jorge to try to save face. Oh and Maverick and Rossi going out too. Maybe we’re not quite done.

  6. Curly says:

    The times are tumbling Wednesday afternoon. Dovi is a half second under Maverick’s best lap from yesterday and there are still a couple more hours to go.

  7. VLJ says:

    Notes from today’s testing…

    -Jorge’s black and red leathers and gloves looked totally badass on that black Ducati. Finally, his red-topped helmet matches his bike and leathers. Dude looks like a samurai wizard navy seal sho-gun ninja assassin in that livery.

    -Lorenzo also looks plenty fast and happy. There was no realizing he made a mistake only four laps into his very first ride on the new machine, as with Rossi’s move to Ducati.

    -Gigi Dall’Ignia is the Theo Epstein of world championship motorcycle racing. Not only has he reinvented that red turd of a bike, he’s built a helluva team.

    -Andrea Iannone is going to be just as fast on the Suzuki as he was on the Ducati. He may even stay upright a bit more often. I realize that Dovi is the safe choice, in large part because Lorenzo would much prefer #04 to #29 as a teammate, but Iannone was far more likely to push Lorenzo to his very best. If the goal is to win the world title, a pairing of Iannone/Lorenzo is more likely to deliver one than Dovi/Lorenzo. In fact, Iannone is fast enough and crazy enough to be a decent threat to win the thing himself. Dovi never will.

    -Maverick made the easiest swap in the entire paddock. Moving from the Suzuki to Yamaha, there’s really nothing negative to which he has to adapt. He’s simply adding more corner-exit grunt to a similarly sweet-handling package, and his new team is even stronger. It’s no surprise to see him killing it right from the start. He’s always been great at firing off a single fast lap, so this is nothing new for him. What will be new for him is being on a bike that doesn’t typically fade towards the end of the race, and a bike that works both in the rain and extreme heat.

    Youth must always be served, and I feel just that slight bit more confident in my prediction of Vinales finishing runner-up to Marquez next season.

    -What to make of Dani Pedrosa? Flying under the radar as he most certainly will next season, riding with zero pressure to be a threat to win the world championship, what sort of effort will he give? Will he stick his neck out and ride on the ragged edge in order to win, as most of the others will, or will he be content merely to collect his paycheck while letting the young guns risk life and limb in their futile attempts to beat #93? I have no doubt that there will be certain weekends when everything is clicking for Dani and he’ll be right up there at the pointy end of the spear, but how often will this be the case, and how often will he quietly soldier on in eighth place?

    Also, what will he do the next time he sneezes and breaks that fragile collarbone again? Knowing his ship has sailed, in terms of ever winning the title, thoughts of a safe, comfortable retirement have to be growing in his mind.

    -You have to feel for Cal Crutchlow. He’s going to work his ass off, as always, and try like crazy, as always. And he’s going to finish off the podium more often than not, as always. Give #26 the fighting spirit of #35, and #93 might actually have a fight on his hands. Referring back to Dirck’s article, yes, Cal should have gotten Dani’s ride for 2017.

    -Pol and Bradley have to be thinking, “Oh, crap. This is not good.” Any chance either of them ever had of landing a full factory ride on a truly competitive bike is gone now.

    -Ditto, the elder Espargaro brother.

    -Why on earth did Suzuki tab Alex Rins rather than Johann Zarco? A matter of passports again, perchance?

    In any case, good job, Suzuki. Instead of having the extremely fast and metronomic Johann Zarco to provide a consistent, steady hand to your continuing development, you’ve placed all your eggs in the mercurial basket of one Andrea Iannone.

    Brilliant.

    If you weren’t going to take Zarco, okay, you should have backed up the Brinks truck to the door of another far better (than Rins) Spanish rider, Dani Pedrosa. Who knows whether such a move might have lit whatever fire Dani still possesses, but he certainly would have proven to be a far superior contender/development rider than Alex Rins.

    -With Vinales coming on board, Rossi always knew 2017 was going to be just as much of a bear as 2016 or 2015 were. He won’t be sleeping easy tonight.

    -Mark Marquez sure will. Vinales will doubtless prove a threat, but there is no way #93 isn’t happier to see #99 on the red bike rather than on that confounded blue one. Rossi is Rossi, he’ll always be there, and adding Vinales to the mix only makes things that much more difficult, but if Lorenzo couldn’t get on with his Yamaha from week to week, how will he avoid his usual conniption fits on the Ducati?

    -I foresee the occasional win for Lorenzo next season, along with many more DNFs than he’s accustomed to. He will be his usual unbeatable self a couple/few times next season, but when things aren’t just right he’s not going to finish third or fourth, like before. Nope, now he’s going to finish eighth or ninth, or he’ll be watching the finish from the comfort of his palatial trailer.

    -The best battle next season will not be Marquez vs the Yamahas, or even Vinales vs Rossi. Sit back and enjoy, as it’s going to be a hellbent-on-revenge Andrea Iannone vs a frustrated Jorge Lorenzo riding Crazy Joe’s old bike. Iannone is going to do everything possible to make Ducati regret their decision to let him go, especially when it means he has the opportunity to duff up Jorge Lorenzo, and Jorge doesn’t deal particularly well with adversity of any sort, never mind the impudence of cocky, impudent Italian riders who don’t kneel to kiss his ring.

    Really looking forward to those two going at it.

    • mickey says:

      Thoughtful analysys and predicting. Don’t see any glaring issues to debate.

      I also wonder what Dani is going to do with that ride next year. The last 2 have not been stellar for him and the competiton is getting stiffer not easier. He was a heck of a competitor at one time, for a couple years he was almost guaranteed to take the hole shot from his front row starting position and although he has rarely been an over taker, he was fast enough to stay ahead of the ones that were most of the time. Without the yearly injury who knows what might have been, but doubt seriously it will ever happen now.

      Crutchlow is such a crasher, not sure he would do any better with Dani’s ride. Sure he’d win a race or two, but he’d wad up a bunch of Repsol Hondas. Maybe he tries too hard. At least when he wads it up he doesn’t get hurt.

      • VLJ says:

        Riders who are forced to “try too hard” tend to crash more often. See: Kevin Schwantz. Smooth and precise is good. It’s fast, and it’s also safe. Smooth and precise doesn’t cut it on a less competitive bike, however, and those are the only rides Crutchlow has ever had during his MotoGP career.

        Same old argument. Give Crutchlow a career’s worth of Repsol Honda factory rides and his crash numbers go down while his podiums and wins go up. Give Dani a career’s worth of satellite rides and his crash numbers go up while his podiums and wins basically disappear.

        There is no escaping this most basic fact.

        I heard Nick Harris and the other guy talking today about how Tito Rabat is a former Moto2 champion who hasn’t had the same sort of MotoGP success that other former Moto2 winners like Mark Marquez and Maverick Vinales have enjoyed. Well, duh. Marquez went straight to a full factory Repsol Honda ride, and Maverick went to the full factory Ecstar Suzuki ride. Rabat went to a bottom-tier satellite team. He didn’t even get a somewhat competitive Tech 3 Yamaha or LCR Honda ride, like Pol Espargaro, Stephan Bradl, and Cal Crutchlow received. The Mark VDS team is a decided step below those others.

        Point being, of course he hasn’t produced like Marquez or Vinales. I’m not saying he would have matched their success had he been given their rides—I highly doubt it—but it’s a certainty that his MotoGP numbers would look entirely different than they do now. It’s equally certain that Vinales and Marquez would not have produced anything like their current numbers had they been relegated to second-tier satellite teams at the beginning of their MotoGP careers.

        • mickey says:

          Wasn’t the top crasher in in 2014 and 2015 Marquez? (Although most of his are in practice) I think sometimes the most crashes come from those most willing to take risks. Marquez is a risk taker. Crutchlow is a risk taker. Doesn’t matter what bike Cruthlow is on, he’s going to crash fairly often, whether it wold be an LCR Honda or a Repsol Honda. DIdn’t he wad one up today too?

          Lorenzo, Rossi and Pedrosa are not much into taking unnecessary risks and end up in the gravel less often.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      A very good dissertation and not many points I would argue with, though I believe that Lorenzo will be a greater threat weekend to weekend.

      I hated to see Zarco go to Tech3. Here is a guy that I think could have hit the scene Vinales style on a competitive bike, and yet he has been relegated to a C-team. Maybe if Pedrosa or Rossi retire in the next couple of years he might get a shot at a factory ride, but I think that is unlikely even if that duo leave the scene. When is the last time the A teams tapped the satellite teams for talent?

      • VLJ says:

        Exactly. Being forced to begin your career on a non-competitive bike essentially scuttles any chance a rider may have had of ever landing a full factory ride on a top-tier team. This is more true now than ever before.

        Other than Valentino Rossi, who started off on the Nastro Azzurro Honda, all the other so-called “aliens” achieved that status in large part by bypassing the usual route of beginning their MotoGP careers on non-competitive bikes. Dani and Mark started with Repsol Honda. Jorge started with MoviStar Yamaha.

        I’m trying to recall anyone in recent years that started on a lower-level team and somehow progressed to a full factory ride on one of the top teams. Dovi? I suppose his inaugural 2008 MotoGP season on the Team Scot Honda would be one such example. Stoner put in one season on an LCR Honda before moving to the factory Ducati, so there’s another.

        Hasn’t happened in a decent while, though. Of the current crop of riders, I’d say Crutchlow stands the best chance, since he may very well get Dani’s seat next season. Perhaps Zarco could force himself to the front of the line to replace Rossi at Yamaha in 2019, but it’s going to be difficult to build a strong enough resume while riding that Tech3 Yamaha.

        Alex Rins is the guy who was handed the golden ticket. He’s the only one out of the new crop who was fortunate enough to go straight from Moto2 to a full factory ride on a strong(ish) team. If he can duplicate Vinales’ success at Suzuki, Rins may leapfrog Crutchlow and find himself in line to replace Pedrosa or Rossi.

        All in all, however, it’s very rare these days to see someone ascend to a top ride from a lower team. It just doesn’t happen anymore.

        • Vrooom says:

          Ben Spies comes to mind, though I believe there was a rule in place at that preventing rookies from starting with a factory ride when he came into GP.

    • DaveA says:

      I agree that Pedrosa would have been a great fit at Suzuki (for both rider and for the team) from an experience perspective, but I disagree a lot that Iannone was a bad choice. Ya, he’s brash, but he’s also a) regularly faster than Dovi, and b) has the heart and fight in him that a new team like Suzuki needs. They don’t need a guy who will take what the bike will give him, but rather a rider who will get everything there is on offer that day and more, fighting for every inch of track, every lap, every race. That rider is Ianonne.

      As for KTM, don’t count them out. By many accounts, the development of that effort has been unprecedented as far as speed and pace of advancement. KTM are serious about MotoGP, and the bike is already vastly better than the Suzuki was at the same place in the dev cycle…and Suzuki is doing pretty well, thank you. Pol and Bradley may have made a better move than you think.

      My vote for the rider nobody ever talks about who will ride above the level of his equipment this year: Hector Barbera. Look for multiple top 6 finishes for him.

      • VLJ says:

        I don’t think Iannone was a bad hire at all. He was clearly the best available rider for Suzuki, once they lost Maverick.

        I just don’t like the idea of pairing him with Rins rather than with Zarco, who is not only faster than Rins but also steadier. Iannone crashes too often to count on when you’re still developing your bike. So does Rins. Iannone/Zarco would have been much better for Suzuki than Iannone/Rins.

  8. Jeremy in TX says:

    Lorenzo looked really comfortable on the Ducati. And that time was posted on the GP16. He hasn’t even put the GP17 through its paces yet. The times for the top seven riders are really tight. Maverick was very fast from the get go, which didn’t surprise me at all. Iannone looks solid on the Suzuki. The testing season is going to be interesting.

  9. Trpldog says:

    I wonder if Ducati bought a weather machine when they signed Lorenzo. What happens if it rains on 4 or 5 of the 2017 season races?
    In addition, looking at the testing, it looks like they should have also bought a Vinales doll to stick pins in for 2017. It will be interesting.Maybe they can borrow Rossi’s Maverik doll. – ha ha

  10. RRocket says:

    Wings and spoilers are banned for 2017, yet the 2017 Ducati still had them for this test.

    Any reason why? Not enough time to make new bodywork for this test perhaps?

    • Curly says:

      The teams were running a mix of 16 and 17 bikes so some had 17 engines in the 16 chassis and some of the satellite teams were just running the 16 bikes.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “Any reason why? Not enough time to make new bodywork for this test perhaps?”

      ironically, nothing a sawzall or the swing of a hammer couldn’t cure.

  11. Brian says:

    Can someone explain why Suzuki passed on Zarco to go with “Ruins”? It’s not like they just gave up the most talented new rider in years….ooops Mav at the top of the chart…Someone at Suzuki should be on the unemployment line…Atleast Iannone looks strong.

    • VLJ says:

      Agree with you regarding Zarco vs Rins. That one’s a real head-scratcher. Regarding Maverick, however, Suzuki didn’t give up on him. They tried to retain him, but he opted to move to Yamaha.

      His call, not Suzuki’s.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      I had read in an interview that Suzuki wanted a young hotshot on the seat of bike two. Is Zarco at 26 years old past young hot shot status? Surely not (and to be fair, Suzuki didn’t state that as the reason outwardly.). And Zarco has cleaned house in Moto2 for the past two seasons. Like you guys, I can’t believe he didn’t get the seat. Still, that doesn’t mean Rins won’t figure it out.

      As far as Maverick leaving for Yamaha, there is nothing Suzuki could have done to keep him. If factory Honda our Yamaha come calling, how can one not heed it?

      • Dave says:

        Could’ve been budgetary? They couldn’t keep Vinales. This isn’t a draft, after all. Zarco may have gotten a better offer on the tech-3?

        Find has done well to get on the Suzuki. They on an upward trajectory.

        • Jeremy in TX says:

          Pretty sure outwardly read that Suzuki passed on Zarco for Rins. It still could possibly be budgetary in that Zarco asked for more than Suzuki could pay.

          • Curly says:

            That was probably a mistake on their part as of Wednesday afternoon Zarco has dropped a full second off his best Tuesday lap and is only a second off Dovi’s best lap of the day so far. He’s going to be fast on the Tech-3 bike next season.

          • Jeremy in TX says:

            I think just about every MotoGP fan is scratching their heads over that one. I was certain Zarco would get the ride. He more than any of the Moto2 guys had earned it. It could be that Ecstar put pressure on Suzuki to have at least one Spanish rider on the grid.

          • Dave says:

            Do remember that Rossi is old and can’t go on forever. Perhaps Zarco’s Tech3 position is developing him to take the other factory Yamaha in a season or two. This was Spies’ path when it looked like he would be a big winner.

          • Jeremy in TX says:

            I had proposed in another post that the possibility of both Rossi and Pedrosa may be vacating seats in the near future possibly presenting an opportunity to Zarco. But will Zarco be able to impress on a C-level bike? It has been a long time since Honda or Yamaha have tapped the satellites for talent. They either go straight for the shining stars in Moto2 or rob a smaller factory of their star. There is a good chance that Zarco will never reach MotoGP zenith.

          • Dave says:

            You’re right, the satellite yamaha’s and honda’s are “C” level bikes now. What a difference a year or two makes..

            I wonder if Honda and Yamaha will reinvest in support of the factory teams? There must be pressure on both of them from the teams that they supply.

  12. mickey says:

    Bikes look strange in flat black don’t they? Hard to tell the players and what bikes they were on. Just realized what a difference the livery makes on the bikes.

    Its cool that they can test a 16, then a 17, then go back out on 16 with 17 motor, and 17 on 16 motor. The mechanics must be magic mechanical elves to swap stuff out so fast.

    That new Honda motor does sound strange. Must have messed with firing order.

    Next year is shaping up to be fantastic already

  13. Scott says:

    Lorenzo was 3rd Fastest. At Valencia. In perfect weather. On a bike that was on the podium two days ago. And already he’s a championship contender?

    Okaaaay…

    • Dirck Edge says:

      … and you know more than Rossi about his chances next year? Okaaaay…

      • Scott says:

        If Rossi thought Lorenzo didn’t stand a chance next year, would he come out publicly and say so? Of course he’s going to say he’s a factor. Why would he say otherwise?

        All I’m saying is, given Lorenzo’s track record when the bike and/or the weather and/or tires aren’t perfect, I wouldn’t exactly pencil his name onto the trophy just yet…

        • Dave says:

          The bike can win and Lorenzo has 3 titles in a field where only two other riders have won the championship at this level.

          I wouldn’t pencil his name on it either, but I’d make sure the plaque was long enough to fit his name, all the same.

  14. Craig says:

    True Curly… no doubt they did well and looked smooth. Honda has a different sounding motor for sure on the new bike… all working to deal with no wings and better power to the ground.

    • Curly says:

      And don’t those bikes look cleaner without all those winglets? I mis-spoke about Mav being a tenth ahead of Rossi. It was only 2 hundreths. I hope the weather holds up for tomorrow so we get to see more of the 2017 Trailer.

  15. Curly says:

    Vinales was instantly fast and wound up the first day at the top of the heap a tenth ahead of Vale. Not surprised by that. What did surprise me was how smooth and comfortable Jorge was on the Ducati. If they can get tires to last as long as the other guys then he will be a force next year with all that power. Down the list a ways I think Folger and Zarco did really well for first outings on the big boy bikes.

    • Dave says:

      Re: “Vinales was instantly fast and wound up the first day at the top of the heap a tenth ahead of Vale. Not surprised by that.”

      Mav is faster, the first time he throws a leg over the thing, than the title contender who it was developed for? Maybe AMAZED is the better word. Talent at that level is usually called “magic”.

      • Curly says:

        I already had him down as an Alien so it was not surprising that he would be faster yet on the Yamaha. “Magic Mav”, not bad.

    • VLJ says:

      To be fair, Vinales wasn’t a tenth ahead of Vale. He was 2/100ths ahead, 1:30.930 vs 1:30.950. Still fantastic, regardless.

      Safe to say, Jorge left him a pretty decent bike, especially for Valencia.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      Actually he was only 2/100ths ahead of Rossi. About 1/10th faster than Lorenzo.

    • notarollingroadblock says:

      I thought the Ducs were easier on tires, despite the HP advantage? Speaking of tires, isn’t the experience gained by Michelin this year going to result in better tires, which seem to benefit JL the most? Also, why does Rabat still have his ride?