Fabio Quartararo tops day one of crash-strewn Valencia MotoGP test

Fabio Quartararo leads the opening day of MotoGP testing at Valencia despite crashing, along with Marc Marquez and Alex Marquez

Fabio Quartararo - Petronas SRT Yamaha

Fabio Quartararo topped the timesheets on the first day of MotoGP testing in Valencia as the countdown to the 2020 MotoGP season kicked off in earnest just two days after the conclusion of the 2019 campaign.

A chance to get a glimpse at the early prototypes of the 2020 MotoGP machines lining up next season, each manufacturer – with the exception of Aprilia – is present in Spain with new models to sample, while a small handful of newcomers also made their official MotoGP debuts.

An eventful day all round littered with sizeable crashes, even pace setter Quartararo was a victim of an accident on the Petronas SRT Yamaha as one of several riders to tumble at the slippery turn ten. Walking away unharmed, his earlier benchmark of 1m 30.163secs effort was still enough to round out the day on top.

A strong start to proceedings for Yamaha, the Iwata manufacturer locked out the top three positions with Maverick Vinales and Franco Morbidelli as they got their hands on the 2020 M1, which the firm says addresses the compromised top speed complaints of the 2019 model.

Andrea Dovizioso got out on the Ducati GP20 with its supposed improved turning-in abilities and went fourth best, ahead of Marc Marquez, who had to rely on the best time he set on the 2019-spec Honda RC213V when a high-speed crash at Turn 13 in the afternoon saw it destroyed.

Indeed, it was a sobering twist in fortunes for Honda compared with Sunday’s celebrations as Marquez’s new team-mate Alex Marquez crashed after only eight laps and didn’t return to the track until the afternoon, while Stefan Bradl also dropped his bike at the same Turn 10. Alex Marquez - who rode the LCR bike but with HRC engineers - ended his day 2.7s shy of the top spot.

Joan Mir and Alex Rins were closely matched on the Suzuki Ecstar in sixth and seventh, while Pol Espargaro pumped in some encouraging times on the new KTM RC16, the first model to be developed under the watchful eye of its experienced test rider Dani Pedrosa. The former MotoGP front runner was also out on track for the Tech 3 KTM team in place of the injured Miguel Oliveira, while KTM’s new signing Brad Binder got in his first big bike laps too.

Elsewhere, Danilo Petrucci managed only ten laps before calling quits due to an injury, Avintia Ducati sampled the GP19 for the first time and Valentino Rossi was ninth fastest.

2019 Valencia MotoGP Test RESULTS [Day 1 – 19 November]

Valencia 2019 MotoGP Test Results - Day 1 [Tuesday]
1Fabio QuartararoFRAPetronas Yamaha SRT1m 30.16382
2Maverick ViñalesSPAMonster Energy Yamaha MotoGP1m 30.32766
3Franco MorbidelliITAPetronas Yamaha SRT1m 30.65071
4Andrea DoviziosoITADucati Team1m 30.66558
5Marc MarquezSPARepsol Honda Team1m 30.69860
6Joan MirESPTeam Suzuki Ecstar1m 30.81163
7Alex RinsSPATeam Suzuki Ecstar1m 30.95876
8Pol EspargaroSPARed Bull KTM Factory Racing1m 30.97458
9Valentino RossiITAMonster Energy Yamaha MotoGP1m 31.01273
10Jack MillerAUSPramac Ducati1m 31.13043
11Cal CrutchlowGBRLCR Honda1m 31.18369
12Danilo PetrucciITADucati Team1m 31.43310
13Iker LecuonaESPRed Bull KTM Tech31m 31.64557
14Andrea IannoneITAAprilia Racing Team Gresini1m 31.67454
15Tito RabatESPReale Avintia Racing Ducati1m 31.77553
16Aleix EspargaroSPAAprilia Racing Team Gresini1m 31.81545
17Dani PedrosaESPRed Bull KTM Tech31m 31.86352
18Michele PirroITAPramac Ducati1m 32.01638
19Karel AbrahamCZEReale Avintia Racing Ducati1m 32.03446
20Bradley SmithGBRAprilia Factory Racing1m 32.09050
21Brad BinderRSARed Bull KTM Factory Racing1m 32.64570
22Stefan BradlGERRepsol Honda Team1m 32.83325
23Alex MarquezESPLCR Honda1m 32.87353
NCMika KallioFINRed Bull KTM Factory Racing-