Pirro fastest as factory test riders complete Portimao Test
Ducati, Yamaha, Suzuki, KTM, HRC and Aprilia were back lapping the Algarve circuit on Thursday as final preparations were done
Ducati Team test rider Michele Pirro ended the second and final day of the Portimao Test at the top of the timesheets, thanks to a 1:40.435, less than three tenths shy of the time set by Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) on Wednesday.
The test wasn’t about setting the fastest lap times though, with the two days providing the factories with crucial track time at a brand-new circuit before the MotoGP™ circus heads to the Algarve International Circuit in November for the season finale. Ducati’s Pirro said that he was trying some 2021 parts but his bike was a GP20 with added extras, as the Ducati riders who rode the track on superbikes on Wednesday emerged from the test apprehensive about how they’ll perform in Portimao. Will the new Grand Prix circuit suit the Desmosedicis? We’ll find out in a couple of months.
HRC test rider Stefan Bradl was second quickest on Day 2. Before jetting over to Le Mans, the German set a 1:40.833 and praised Portimao’s new asphalt, with Bradl riding – according to the man himself – a 2020 RC213V.
Suzuki’s Sylvain Guintoli was third fastest on Thursday and the Frenchman was pleased with his and the Hamamatsu factory’s work over the two days. His fastest time on the second day was a 1:41.153 set in the morning session, the former WorldSBK rider already knowing his way around Portimao would have been a phenomenal tool for Suzuki as they gather useful data before the season finale.
Aprilia’s Lorenzo Savadori took over duties in the Noale camp after Aleix Espargaro and Bradley Smith were at the RS-GP reigns on Wednesday, before the duo headed off to France for the upcoming French GP at Le Mans. Savadori is another rider who is familiar with the Algarve circuit and was able to set a 1:41.483 in the afternoon, as he and Aprilia were able to get some 2021 work done. The main work was focused on the chassis and getting vital tyre data for the Portuguese Grand Prix.
KTM’s Dani Pedrosa was impressed with Portimao’s elevation changes and unrelenting nature of the layout. The MotoGP™ Legend set a 1:41.627 and was seen lapping on a full carbon KTM RC16, but was unsure as to how well the KTM riders would go at the circuit come November time.
Five-time World Champion Jorge Lorenzo jumped back on a MotoGP™ machine for the first time since February over the two days in Portugal, the Spaniard setting a best time of a 1:43.163 as he reacquainted himself with an old companion in Portugal – the YZR-M1. Lorenzo admitted that he needed one or two more days on the bike to be able to go faster after spending so long off of a premier class thoroughbred, but he and the team worked well with the things that they needed to get done.
After two days of testing, the MotoGP™ factories will now head to the 2020 final showdown with a good platform to work off in November.