Jerez MotoGP testing: LCR Honda's Takaaki Nakagami fastest

LCR rider Takaaki Nakagami topped the final day of MotoGP testing of 2018 at Jerez, edging out Honda stablemate Marc Marquez by just 0.025 seconds.

Nakagami, riding injured team-mate Cal Crutchlow’s old 2018-spec Honda, logged his fastest time of the day, a 1m37.945s, with a little over an hour to run to displace Marquez at the head of the order.

That was a fraction quicker than Wednesday’s benchmark, set by factory Ducati man Danilo Petrucci.

Nakagami was at the forefront of a late host of improvements, with Yamaha’s Maverick Vinales jumping to third around the same time with a time just 0.121s off the pace.

Jorge Lorenzo made it three Honda riders in the top four with a 1m38.105s shortly after the seven-hour mark.

Petrucci was once again the best of the Ducati runners in fifth, three places ahead of Andrea Dovizioso, who despite suffering pain after his Wednesday crash was able to take part in Thursday’s running as normal.

Splitting the two factory Ducati runners were Franco Morbidelli on the Petronas SRT Yamaha and another GP19 rider in Pramac’s Jack Miller.

Top rookie Francesco Bagnaia on the second Pramac bike and Alex Rins (Suzuki) completed the top 10.

Valentino Rossi was half a second slower than Yamaha team-mate Vinales and ended the final day of 2018 running in 11th, one place ahead of another rookie – Fabio Quartararo (Petronas).

Pol Espargaro was the quickest of the KTMs in 15th, four places ahead of new team-mate Johann Zarco, while Andrea Iannone led the way for Aprilia in 18th.

Iannone’s team-mate Aleix Espargaro made a brief appearance having sat out most of the test due to illness, but Bradley Smith spent the majority of the day on the #41 machine that was 20th fastest.

No crashes were reported in an incident-free day of running, although Ducati tester Alvaro Bautista did stop on track after running out of fuel.

MotoGP now goes into a two-month winter shutdown, with the first official pre-season test of 2019 taking place at Sepang on February 6-8, following a shakedown for test riders on February 1-3.

Thursday test times

Pos Driver Team Car Time Gap Laps
1 Takaaki Nakagami LCR Honda Honda 1m37.945s 66
2 Marc Marquez Honda Honda 1m37.970s 0.025s 56
3 Maverick Vinales Yamaha Yamaha 1m38.066s 0.121s 78
4 Jorge Lorenzo Honda Honda 1m38.105s 0.160s 65
5 Danilo Petrucci Ducati Ducati 1m38.109s 0.164s 68
6 Franco Morbidelli Petronas Yamaha Yamaha 1m38.118s 0.173s 68
7 Jack Miller Pramac Ducati Ducati 1m38.207s 0.262s 57
8 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati Ducati 1m38.292s 0.347s 44
9 Francesco Bagnaia Pramac Ducati Ducati 1m38.333s 0.388s 50
10 Alex Rins Suzuki Suzuki 1m38.522s 0.577s 63
11 Valentino Rossi Yamaha Yamaha 1m38.596s 0.651s 67
12 Fabio Quartararo Petronas Yamaha Yamaha 1m38.761s 0.816s 58
13 Tito Rabat Avintia Ducati Ducati 1m38.876s 0.931s 60
14 Joan Mir Suzuki Suzuki 1m38.931s 0.986s 55
15 Pol Espargaro KTM KTM 1m39.144s 1.199s 60
16 Alvaro Bautista Ducati Ducati 1m39.338s 1.393s 65
17 Karel Abraham Avintia Ducati Ducati 1m39.744s 1.799s 40
18 Andrea Iannone Aprilia Aprilia 1m39.826s 1.881s 36
19 Johann Zarco KTM KTM 1m39.864s 1.919s 64
20 Aleix Espargaro Aprilia Aprilia 1m40.156s 2.211s 11
21 Bradley Smith Aprilia Aprilia 1m40.325s 2.380s 59
22 Sylvain Guintoli Suzuki Suzuki 1m40.498s 2.553s 65
23 Hafizh Syahrin Tech3 KTM KTM 1m40.520s 2.575s 54
24 Miguel Oliveira Tech3 KTM KTM 1m40.577s 2.632s 61
25 Matteo Baiocco Aprilia Aprilia 1m41.907s 3.962s 48

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