The tests at Sepang marked the first extended contact of riders who changed bikes this year with the new machines. Among them, Alex Marquez was the fastest.
Every year, new challenges. This is a «rule» especially suited to the riders that follow, having changed machines for this year. This count is not taking into account riders like Enea Bastianini, who changed teams and now has a factory bike, for example, or even Augusto Fernandez, who will obviously have a new bike but debut in the category. That is, riders who were already in the category and change bikes entirely, like Jack Miller, who moves from the Desmosedici to the RC16.
The youngest of the Marquez brothers was the fastest at this level, even being the only one to finish in the top ten on the combined three-day timesheets. Interestingly, he is the only one to move to the machine that has dominated the championship, the Ducati Desmosedici.
Next up is the top ten Raul Fernandez, who leaves the KTM RC16 to bet on the Aprilia RS-GP. The spaniard gave positive signs of adapting to Noale’s machine and ended up just ahead of Joan Mir, who moves to Repsol Honda. Among the Honda riders, only Marc Maquez was ahead of Mir in the leaderboard.
This is followed by Pol Espargaro, back on the RC16, now with GasGas Tech3, and Miguel Oliveira, who is also still giving the first steps aboard the RS-GP. The portuguese closed the tests in 15th and fifth among the riders who changed bikes.
Also worthy of note are Jack Miller and Alex Rins, two riders who lapped around the same second as Alex Marquez but were the slowest, both at the bottom of the top twenty.
Here are the fastest riders in the Sepang test among riders who change bikes:
1. Alex Marquez, 1:58.385s (9th)
2. Raul Fernandez, 1:58.710s (11th)
3. Joan Mir, 1:58.784s (12th)
4. Pol Espargaro, 1:58.797s (13th)
5. Miguel Oliveira, 1:58.839s (15th)
6. Jack Miller, 1:58.901s (18th)
7. Alex Rins, 1:58.932s (19th)
Here’s the overall combined table of the three days of testing: