MotoGP

Misano Private MotoGP Test: Miguel Oliveira Fastest, While Aprilia & Ducati Test New Aero

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It has been a busy couple of days at Misano, with the KTM and Aprilia MotoGP teams, and test teams from Suzuki and Ducati, joined by WorldSBK representatives from the KRT Kawasaki squad, and a small army of Ducati teams.

The MotoGP and WorldSBK riders have been able to try out the new asphalt at Misano in the blistering heat of an Italian summer.

Miguel Oliviera is fastest after the first two days, the Red Bull Tech3 rider just a couple of tenths faster on Wednesday than Pol Espargaro had been on Tuesday.

Oliveira’s best time of 1’32.9 is two thirds of a second off Maverick Viñales’ pole time set last September, two tenths off the outright race lap record set by Andrea Dovizioso in 2018, and 1.3 seconds slower than Jorge Lorenzo’s pole record from the same year.

Ducati MotoGP test rider Michele Pirro is third quickest, ahead of Aleix Espargaro on the Aprilia RS-GP. The elder Espargaro is half a second slower than Oliveira, and a third of a second off the time of his younger brother on the KTM.


Rookies Brad Binder and Iker Lecuona are two thirds of a second slower than Lecuona’s Tech3 teammate Oliveira. Bradley Smith was half a second behind Aprilia teammate Aleix Espargaro, while Suzuki test rider Sylvain Guintoli was just under 1.4 seconds off the pace of Oliveira.

Aprilia seems to be less concerned about lap times, as they have come to Misano with a clear purpose. Aprilia has two different engines to assess for homologation for this season, and the start of next season, with the main objective being reliability.

At earlier tests, reliability of the brand new 90° V4 was questionable, and though the engine is a huge improvement in terms of character and performance, that means little if it cannot get across the line in one piece.

Ducati appear to be assessing new aerodynamics, as always, while Aprilia also has aerodynamic upgrades. According to photos published by GPOne.com, Ducati appears to be testing an additional aerodynamic cover for the fork leg stanchions.

With teardrop covers for the fork legs, and covers for the bottom half of the wheel, the only part of the Ducati’s front end now unfaired is the brake caliper.

Though it is a little hard to be certain, Ducati also appears to be testing a new swingarm spoiler, though with this iteration, any pretense that the spoiler is for cooling the rear tire has been dropped.

The spoiler appears to be much more of a wedge-shaped scoop, rather than a spoiler with lateral internal winglets.

This is almost certainly experimental, however. The FIM regulations appear to state that swingarm spoilers are now a part of the aero body, meaning that changes to the design are severely limited.


For Ducati, they cannot change the design of their spoiler homologated before the (now canceled) Qatar race, and will have to start 2021 with the same spoiler, before being allowed to change it during the 2021 season, as one upgrade is allowed to each area of the aero body.

The fairing over the fork stanchions falls outside of the aero body, and so Ducati are free to change that as much as they like.

Meanwhile, Aprilia’s hiring of aerodynamics engineers is also on display at Misano, Aleix Espargaro pictured on GPOne using lower front wheel covers very much in the mold of the Ducati Desmosedici’s.

Scott Redding was the fastest of the WorldSBK riders, taking to the track in earnest after a brief shakedown on Tuesday.

Redding was just a fraction faster on the factory Aruba.it Ducati than Michael Rinaldi was on the Go Eleven Panigale, while Jonathan Rea was the fastest of the Kawasakis, despite a huge crash at the fast left hander of Turn 11. Rea was unharmed, and able to continue a full testing program for the rest of the day.

Both the MotoGP and WorldSBK teams have one more day of testing at Misano, the test concluding on Thursday.

Combined times from the first two days of testing, courtesy of Speedweek.com:

Pos Rider Bike Time Diff Day
1 Miguel Oliveira KTM RC16 1:32.913   Wednesday
2 Pol Espargaró KTM RC16 1:33.070 0.157 Tuesday
3 Michele Pirro Ducati GP20 1:33.124 0.211 Wednesday
4 Aleix Espargaró Aprilia RS-GP 1:33.427 0.514 Wednesday
5 Brad Binder KTM RC16 1:33.588 0.675 Wednesday
6 Iker Lecuona KTM RC16 1:33.591 0.678 Wednesday
7 Scott Redding (WSBK) Ducati Panigale V4R 1:33.957 1.044 Wednesday
8 Bradley Smith Aprilia RS-GP 1:34.000 1.087 Tuesday
9 Michael Ruben Rinaldi (WSBK) Ducati Panigale V4R 1:34.043 1.130 Wednesday
10 Sylvain Guintoli Suzuki GSX-RR 1:34.287 1.374 Wednesday
11 Jonathan Rea (WSBK) Kawasaki ZX-10RR 1:34.381 1.468 Wednesday
12 Alex Lowes (WSBK) Kawasaki ZX-10RR 1:34.745 1.832 Wednesday
13 Chaz Davies (WSBK) Ducati Panigale V4R 1:34.900 1.987 Wednesday
14 Leandro Mercado (WSBK) Ducati Panigale V4R 1:35.183 2.270 Wednesday
15 Leon Camier (WSBK) Ducati Panigale V4R 1:35.773 2.860 Wednesday
16 Sylvain Barrier (WSBK) Ducati Panigale V4R 1:37.000 4.087 Wednesday

Photo: KTM

David Emmett

One of MotoGP's most respected journalists, David Emmett is the proprietor of the esteemed MotoMatters. We are very grateful to republish David's work here on A&R...though dread the day we ever again get in a car with him.

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