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 Aruba.it 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 Aruba.it teammate.
Times at the end of three days of testing:
|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|
|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