Misano Private Test: Aleix Espargaro Fastest on Final Day, Redding Smashes WorldSBK Record

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Testing has concluded at the Misano private test, with a few changes to the riders present on Thursday. KTM skipped the final day, while a group of WorldSSP riders entered the fray.

Aleix Espargaro was the fastest rider on the final day, getting to within a couple of hundredths of Miguel Oliveira’s best time from the day before, demonstrating the potential of the 2020 Aprilia RS-GP.

Espargaro was happy with both the speed and the pace of the bike, though the reliability of the bike remains a question mark, which will only be removed once the racing begins. 

Bradley Smith closed the gap to the front by half a second, the Englishman preparing to take the place of Andrea Iannone for the first races of 2020, while the Italian is waiting for his appeal against a doping ban to be heard.

Among the more interesting items being tested by Ducati was the COVID-19 protocol to be used at the opening MotoGP round at Jerez. Ducati was also testing microphones and headsets for use in the pits, to prevent riders and engineers getting too close during debriefs.

Aprilia has already been using this system, adopting it at the Valencia and Jerez tests in November 2019, with the aim of improving communication. But it also allows riders and mechanics to keep their distance while working together.

Teams and riders will only be allowed to use communications systems in the pits. Communication between the rider and the pits while the rider is on track is still explicitly banned in the rules.

Scott Redding finished as fastest of the WorldSBK riders, demolishing the pole record from 2018 set by Tom Sykes, then still riding the Kawasaki.

The rider was impressive overall, given that he finished just fifteen hundredths slower than Oliveira’s best time on the KTM MotoGP machine, and ahead of the best time set by Pol Espargaro on the KTM.

Jonathan Rea made a big step forward, finishing as second quickest WorldSBK rider, another fifteen hundredths of a second behind Redding, while Michael Ruben Rinaldi was third fastest of the WorldSBK riders, a quarter of a second behind Rea.

Rea’s Kawasaki teammate Alex Lowes was half a second behind Rea, and six tenths slower than Redding, while Chaz Davies was nearly a second slower than his teammate.

Times at the end of three days of testing:

Pos Rider Bike Time Diff Day
1 Miguel Oliveira KTM RC16 1:32.913   Wednesday
2 Aleix Espargaró Aprilia RS-GP 1:32.932 0.019 Thursday
3 Michele Pirro Ducati GP20 1:33.038 0.125 Thursday
4 Scott Redding Ducati Panigale V4 R 1:33.067 0.154 Thursday
5 Pol Espargaró KTM RC16 1:33.070 0.157 Tuesday
6 Jonathan Rea Kawasaki ZX-10RR 1:33.206 0.293 Thursday
7 Bradley Smith Aprilia RS-GP 1:33.536 0.623 Thursday
8 Michael Ruben Rinaldi Ducati Panigale V4 R 1:33.560 0.647 Thursday
9 Brad Binder KTM RC16 1:33.588 0.675 Wednesday
10 Iker Lecuona KTM RC16 1:33.591 0.678 Wednesday
11 Alex Lowes Kawasaki ZX-10RR 1:33.694 0.781 Thursday
12 Chaz Davies Ducati Panigale V4 R 1:34.053 1.140 Thursday
13 Sylvain Guintoli Suzuki GSX-RR 1:34.287 1.374 Wednesday
14 Leandro Mercado Ducati Panigale V4 R 1:34.859 1.946 Thursday
15 Leon Camier Ducati Panigale V4 R 1:35.773 2.860 Wednesday
16 Sylvain Barrier Ducati Panigale V4 R 1:36.752 3.839 Thursday
WorldSSP times      
1 Andrea Locatelli Yamaha YZF-R6 1:37.664    
2 Raffaele De Rosa MV Agusta 675 F3 1:38.444 0.780 Thursday
3 Randy Krummenacher MV Agusta 675 F3 1:38.813 1.149 Thursday
4 Federico Fuligni MV Agusta 675 F3 1:39.325 1.661 Thursday

Photo: Aprilia Racing

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.