Johann Zarco is really becoming a concern for Valentino Rossi and Maverick Vinales. After finishing the race in second place, the Frenchman proved to be the quickest in testing at Jerez, setting a best of 1’37”730, around a tenth slower than Cal Crutchlow's pole time on Saturday.
The Frenchman is increasingly confident on board his M1 and made the most of the soft tyre that Michelin will bring to the Mugello round. Before that, there is the French Grand Prix to tackle, the Tech3 rider keen to reach the highest step of the rostrum at his home race. During today's test, Johann has once again proved to have an extra gear with respect to the two factory Yamahas, Vinales having to settle for fourth place, four tenths from the front (+0.409).
Things were even worse for Valentino Rossi (+0.943), who does not appear impressed with the new material provided by the team for this test. The Doctor closes the day in tenth place, one second from Zarco, his best time set on his very last lap. Times were probably not #46's priority today, but there are definitely some questions that still require answers.
The Hondas of Cal Crutchlow (+0.217) and Dani Pedrosa (+0.250) had their sights set on Zarco, just 0.033 of a second separating them from each other. The Brit, having crashed in the race, had soe issues with rear grip while the Spaniard was using a new fairing. Marc Marquez worked on something similar (+0.502), fifth and half a second from the front. it should be noted that the Spaniard chose not to use the soft tyre used by Zarco.
Another positive is Franco Morbidelli's sixth place (+0.558). The The Italian was the quickest of the rookie, preceding Tito Rabat and Japanese rider Nakagami, and then Jack Miller (+0.856), who was pleased with the performance of the GP17, especially on exiting the corners. The Australian rode the only Pramac Ducati today, Danilo Petrucci absent from the test.
The KTMs of Bradley Smith, Mika Kallio and Pol Espargarò close outside of the top ten, while Tom Luthi suffered a crash, finishing fiteenth ahead of Simeon.