Moto GP

Marc Marquez tops crash filled final day of testing at Phillip Island

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The MotoGP test at Australia's Phillip Island has concluded after three days of inclement weather with Repsol Hond's Marc Marquez topping Friday times but with Maverick Vi̱ales holding the top aggregated spot for the three day test.

The final morning of testing at Phillip Island got off to the best start of the three-day test with clear conditions allowing riders to immediately get out on track. Although clouds loomed in the distance, the top seven riders were able to get below the 1‰Ûª30 barrier within just a handful of laps. Loris Baz saw one of the biggest improvements, the Avintia Racing rider‰Ûªs early time already half a second faster than his best from Thursday.

As riders pushed harder and harder to improve their times a number of falls occurred. Tito Rabat was the first, the MotoGP rookie falling at the incredibly fast Turn 1 before being taken to the medical centre for checks on his left wrist. No injuries were reported for Rabat, but in the meantime his Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS teammate, Jack Miller, suffered a fall at Turn 6 with Thursday leader, Maverick Vi̱ales unfortunately following soon after. Both were unharmed, but Vi̱ales‰Ûª Team Suzuki Ecstar GSX-RR sustained heavy damage. There was also a fall at Turn 2 from Pol Espargaro, the Spaniard was unharmed and was the fourth fall in the first two hours of the day.
Cla Crutchlow was at the pointy end of the field over the three days finishing the final day with the third fastest time and some good knowledge to work with.
Difficulties continued for the Suzuki team as Aleix Espargaro also fell at Turn 6 and although he was unharmed, rain soon set in on the circuit and limited his track time again. The weather caused a delay of over two hours to proceedings with Scott Redding the first rider to head out as the track began to dry, the Brit returning to the pits immediately. With just a few hours of the final day of testing in Australia remaining, the circuit was suitable for action once more.

Yet more falls followed as Tito Rabat had his second crash of the day, this time at Turn 4. Again he was uninjured. Aleix Espargaro also had a second crash at Turn 4, with Bradley Smith sliding off at the tight corner and reporting some discomfort in his shoulder after. Turn 4 continued to claim victims throughout the afternoon with LCR Honda‰Ûªs Cal Crutchlow coming off.

Late in the day there was a brief red flag as Danilo Petrucci crashed at Turn 8, the Italian heading to the medical centre with right wrist pain. The Italian was later diagnosed with multiple fractures in his right hand. Fellow Ducati rider Eugene Laverty crashed with 45 minutes remaining, the Aspar MotoGP Team man avoiding any serious injuries having only just returned to full fitness after his Sepang crash.
Maverick Vi̱ales consistently within the fastest riders, ending in top position in the combined classification due his lap of 1:29.131 scored yesterday.
With just over half an hour remaining, Jorge Lorenzo suffered a fall at Turn 10, suffering no major injuries and walking back to the pits. Marc Marquez also suffered a fall without consequence in the final minutes of the test.

Leading the timesheets on Friday was Repsol Honda Team‰Ûªs Marc Marquez who was 0.141s clear of overall leader Maverick Vi̱ales.

"Overall, these three days have been very good. I‰Ûªm especially happy with today, because we have taken a big step forward," Marquez enthused.

"In the afternoon I managed to maintain a consistently fast pace, and this was the first time this preseason that I've started to feel good with the bike and the new tyres. It‰Ûªs a pity that at the end of the session when we wanted to try something else, it was too late. I was pushing hard at the same time, I lost the front and crashed.

"The important thing is that I was unhurt and the work we‰Ûªve done has been positive. Yesterday we focused on adjusting the electronics and finding a good base, and today I think we did a good job looking for balance in the setup of the bike," the young Spaniard concluded.

World Champion Jorge Lorenzo struggled by his standards and was not completly happy with the three days.
A late charge put Cal Crutchlow third in the dying minutes of the test. One of the most impressive results of the day came from Hector Barbera in fourth with a 1‰Ûª29.361s, he and his teammate Baz, in sixth, were split by Valentino Rossi. In seventh, Dani Pedrosa made steady improvements throughout the day to end ahead of Pol Espargaro and Jorge Lorenzo, Andrea Dovizioso rounded out the top ten on Friday and was 0.702s back on Marquez‰Ûªs best time.

Thanks to his stunning 1‰Ûª29.131 on Thursday, Maverick Vi̱ales leaves the test as the overall fastest rider ahead of Marc Marquez. With less than 18 minutes to go on the final day, LCR Honda‰Ûªs Cal Crutchlow set the third fastest time of the test.

Despite a difficult third day, Lorenzo leaves Australia as the fourth fastest rider just 0.004s ahead of Hector Barbera who proved that the GP14.2 is still competitive despite being several generations behind the factory bikes. Rossi‰Ûª s 1‰Ûª29.404 from Thursday sees him end the test in sixth, continuing the strong form the factory Yamaha team have shown in recent tests.

The second fastest Ducati at the end of the Phillip Island test was Loris Baz on the Avintia Ducati, a new seat unit allowing him to get comfortable on the bike and end the test seventh overall. Dani Pedrosa ended the three days with a best time of 1‰Ûª29.606, 0.023s back on Baz .

Rounding out the top ten on combined times, Pol Espargaro and Andrea Iannone both completed significant distance on their machines over the three days. Iannone was closely followed by Ducati Team teammate Andrea Dovizioso with Octo Pramac Yakhnich‰Ûªs Scott Redding just behind.

Fellow Brit Bradley Smith leaves Phillip Island in 13th ahead of Wednesday‰Ûªs leader Danilo Petrucci and Jack Miller, the Australian rounding out the top fifteen on his return from injury. Tito Rabat ended the test in 16th but within a second of the fastest time while Aleix Espargaro finished a disappointing 17th ahead of Aspar MotoGP Team duo Yonny Hernandez and Eugene Laverty. Takuya Tsuda rounded out the top 20.

MotoGP riders and teams will be back on track on the second of March for their final pre-season test in Qatar.

Main Photo: Marc Marquez went fastest on the final day
Credit: Repsol Honda

MotoGP Test Phillip Island Day 3 - Final
1. Marc Marquez ESP Repsol Honda Team (RC213V) 1m 29.158s [On Lap 48/64]
2. Maverick Vi̱ales ESP Team Suzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR) 1m 29.299s +0.141s [On Lap11/39]
3. Cal Crutchlow GBR LCR Honda (RC213V) 1m 29.348s +0.190s [On Lap58/58]
4. Hector Barbera ESP Avintia Racing (Desmosedici GP14.2) 1m 29.361s +0.203s [On Lap57/65]
5. Valentino Rossi ITA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP (YZR-M1) 1m 29.435s +0.277s [On Lap43/56]
6. Loris Baz FRA Avintia Racing (Desmosedici GP14.2) 1m 29.583s +0.425s [On Lap11/54]
7. Dani Pedrosa ESP Repsol Honda Team (RC213V) 1m 29.606s +0.448s [On Lap37/42]
8. Pol Espargaro ESP Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1) 1m 29.718s +0.560s [On Lap43/44]
9. Jorge Lorenzo ESP Movistar Yamaha MotoGP (YZR-M1) 1m 29.760s +0.602s [On Lap16/41]
10. Andrea Dovizioso ITA Ducati Team (Desmosedici GP16) 1m 29.860s +0.702s [On Lap49/65]
11. Scott Redding GBR Octo Pramac Yakhnich (Desmosedici GP15) 1m 29.922s +0.764s [On Lap57/61]
12. Andrea Iannone ITA Ducati Team (Desmosedici GP16) 1m 29.932s +0.774s [On Lap39/53]
13. Danilo Petrucci ITA Octo Pramac Yakhnich (Desmosedici GP15) 1m 29.995s +0.837s [On Lap53/57]
14. Jack Miller AUS Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS (RC213V) 1m 30.023s +0.865s [On Lap37/37]
15. Tito Rabat ESP Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS (RC213V)* 1m 30.119s +0.961s [On Lap56/56]
16. Bradley Smith GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1) 1m 30.188s +1.030s [On Lap43/45]
17. Aleix Espargaro ESP Team Suzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR) 1m 30.198s +1.040s [On Lap34/38]
18. Yonny Hernandez COL Aspar MotoGP Team (Desmosedici GP14.2) 1m 30.492s +1.334s [On Lap48/54]
19. Eugene Laverty IRL Aspar MotoGP Team (Desmosedici GP14.2) 1m 31.055s +1.897s [On Lap25/45]
20. Takuya Tsuda JPN Suzuki Test Rider (GSX-RR) 1m 33.532s +4.374s [On Lap32/46]

Overall Results: Phillip Island Official MotoGP Test
1. Maverick Vi̱ales, ESP, Team Suzuki Ecstar, 1'29.131s
2. Marc Marquez, ESP, Repsol Honda Team, 1'29.158s, +0.027s
3. Cal Crutchlow, GBR, LCR Honda, 1'29.348s, +0.217s
4. Jorge Lorenzo, ESP, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP, 1'29.357s, +0.226s
5. Hector Barbera, ESP, Avintia Racing, 1'29.361s, +0.230s
6. Valentino Rossi, ITA, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP, 1'29.404s, +0.273s
7. Loris Baz, FRA, Avintia Racing, 1'29.583s +0.452s
8. Dani Pedrosa, ESP, Repsol Honda Team, 1'29.606s, +0.475s
9. Pol Espargaro, ESP, Monster Yamaha Tech 3, 1'29.718s, +0.587s
10. Andrea Iannone, ITA, Ducati Team, 1'29.857, +0.726s
11. Andrea Dovizioso, ITA, Ducati Team, 1'29.860s, +0.729s
12. Scott Redding, GBR, Octo Pramac Yakhnich, 1'29.922s, +0.791s
13. Bradley Smith, GBR, Monster Yamaha Tech 3, 1'29.992s, +0.861s
14. Danilo Petrucci, ITA, Octo Pramac Yakhnich, 1'29.995s, +0.864s
15. Jack Miller, AUS, Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS, 1'30.023s, +0.892s
16. Tito Rabat, ESP, Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS, 1'30.119s, +0.988s
17. Aleix Espargaro, ESP, Team Suzuki Ecstar, 1'30.198s, +1.067s
18. Yonny Hernandez, COL, Aspar MotoGP Team, 1'30.492s, +1.361s
19. Eugene Laverty, IRL, Aspar MotoGP Team, 1'30.617s, +1.486s
20. Takuya Tsuda, JPN, Suzuki Test Rider, 1'32.599s, +3.468s

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