Photography by Gold & Goose
The final MotoGP test of the pre-season kicked off today at the Circuit de Jerez in Spain, but heavy rain on and off throughout the day translated to no dry track time for the teams anxious to test in preparation for the start of the season in Qatar on April 7.
The first half of the day featured a lot of sitting around in the intermittent conditions and after four hours only nine riders head elected to cut laps. But when conditions at least started to stay consistent, it was Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo leading the way, the defending World Champion clocking a best of 1:47.423 – some eight seconds slower than his best dry time at Jerez. Lorenzo did 39 laps on the day with his best coming on his 24th lap.
Lorenzo’s best was over a second better than the rest of the field, led by his rival Dani Pedrosa on the Repsol Honda. Pedrosa’s best was a 1:48.474 – just .050 of a second faster than his rookie teammate Marc Marquez.
“We stayed on the track the whole day in the wet conditions and it was good to see how the bike performed," Lorenzo said in a team release. "We improved a little
bit but then the rear tire dropped so we have to calm the bike down a little bit in the acceleration. We are quite good in the wet here in Jerez. It’s the first time we are
in these conditions so it's important to understand what our levels are.
It’s important to be competitive in this situation. We proved when the track was drying up that we could keep the
performance of the rear tire over distance. It doesn't matter how fast
you are in one lap, if you can’t keep the level over the whole race you
Fourth place was a bit of a surprise with Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Ducati’s Andrea Iannone clicking off a 1:48.494 (1.561 behind Lorenzo) on his final lap of the day.
Ducati test rider Michele Pirro was next, the Italian turning in the most laps of anyone with 48.
Valentino Rossi put the second factory Yamaha in sixth, 2.020 seconds slower than his teammate Lorenzo. Then came Ducati’s Nicky Hayden, Monster Tech 3 Yamaha’s Cal Crutchlow, LCR Honda’s Stefan Bradl (who suffered a crash, but was unscathed) and Hayden’s teammate Andrea Dovizioso.
Ben Spies rode his Ignite Pramac Ducati to the 11th best time with fellow Texan Colin Edwards 20th on the NGM Mobile Forward Racing entry.
The weather forecast is also iffy for the next two days of the three-day test.
Jerez Test Day 1
1. Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) 1:47.423
2. Dani Pedrosa (Honda) 1:48.474
3. Marc Marquez (Honda) 1:48.524
4. Andrea Iannone (Ducati) 1:48.984
5. Michale Pirro (Ducati) 1:49.292
6. Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) 1:49.443
7. Nicky Hayden (Ducati) 1:49.643
8. Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha) 1:49.692
9. Stefan Bradl (Honda) 1:49.790
10. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati) 1:50.266
11. Ben Spies (Ducati) 1:50.957
20. Colin Edwards (FTR/Kawasaki) 1:53.992