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Petrucci Tops the First Test Day at Phillip Island in the Rain

Danilo Petrucci shows once more that his riding and his Ducati GP14.2 are better than ever before, topping a rainy first day of testing at the Phillip Island circuit in Melbourne, Australia. To make things even more interesting, we have two satellite Ducati and three English riders in top five.
Danilo Petrucci 36 photos
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The first day of the second IRTA test of the year greeted the MotoGP riders with an overcast sky and mixed weather conditions. The track was wet in the morning and not exactly inviting, so only a few riders ventured on the Aussie asphalt.

Given the conditions, the teams could hardly put their machines to the test too seriously, but some riders took advantage of the damp track to test Michelin's new wet tires and to get acquainted with how the Marelli ECU software reacts in the rain.

The lap times were nothing to write home about, as expected, but some of the teams sent their riders on the track with intermediate tires when the asphalt started to dry out.

Rain finally stopped around two hours before the end of the session and left a track dry enough for slicks one hour ahead of the checkered flag. Naturally, a flurry of bikes appeared on the track, with the riders trying to improve as much as possible.Three Brits in the top five, and two satellite Ducati
The time sheets for the first test day at Phillip Island look much different than what we've been used to until this year. This includes only one of the "aliens" and only three factory riders in the top ten.

As we said at the beginning, the day belonged to Danilo Petrucci, who put in a 1:31.764 lap time in the penultimate of the 12 laps he ran and finished over seven-tenths ahead of the second-fastest rider. Suzuki's Maverick Vinales also had a good day, finishing 0.71s behind the Octo Pramac Yakhnich rider.

Bradley Smith was third, one tenth slower than Vinales and almost three-tenths faster than Scott Redding on the satellite Ducati. The top five was rounded with another satellite bike, Cal Crutchlow's LCR Honda, with his 21st and last lap being the fastest.

Rossi posted the sixth time of the day, 1.3 seconds adrift Petrucci, followed by Pol Espargaro, Yonny Hernandez, returning Jack Miller and Andrea Iannone.

Marc Marquez was 12th, while Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa had the 16th and the 17th lap times of Day 1 at Phillip Island. The time sheet saw Andrea Dovizioso last, without completing a lap.

As a side note, we saw that Dovizioso and Crutchlow grew a beard, even though the hipster/lumbersexual looks are almost out of fashion. Are they planning to bring badass fashion to the Grand Prix? Surely hope so; and while waiting to see who else is following their example, get ready for some top-notch action in the upcoming movie about Barry Sheene's life and career.

 
 
 
 
 

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