Pol Espargaro set the fastest lap time on Tuesday, as the first multi-team MotoGP test since the coronavirus lockdown got underway at Misano.

Race riders from KTM (Pol Espargaro, Brad Binder, Miguel Oliveira and Iker Lecuona) and Aprilia (Aleix Espargaro, Bradley Smith) are able to ride this week due to the Concession rules, while Ducati (Michele Pirro) and Suzuki (Sylvain Guintoli) have sent their test teams.

Since it is a private test there is no official timing, but KTM's Espargaro is understood to have been quickest with a 1m 33.0s around the San Marino Grand Prix venue.

Espargaro's time compares with an official race lap record of 1m 32.678s by Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso in 2018 and pole record of 1m 31.629s, set in the same year by then team-mate Jorge Lorenzo.

But the Spaniard was three-tenths under the best race lap by 2019 winner (and rumoured 2021 Repsol Honda team-mate) Marc Marquez. Yamaha's Maverick Vinales qualified on pole at Misano last season with a 1m 32.265s.

The track has been resurfaced for this season. The new asphalt is described as having some small bumps but is not bad overall.

This week's test is the last chance for Aprilia and KTM to gain track data before having to submit their final 2020 engine designs, on June 29.

KTM, which had been content to join the non-Concession manufacturers in freezing at Qatar spec, is not thought to have any major engine developments this week.

However, Aprilia has developed a new engine design for 2020, joining the other V4s on a 90-degree V angle, and had some reliability issues to solve after an otherwise promising debut for the new bike at the official Sepang and Losail tests.

Although unwilling to confirm or deny reports that a different engine spec is available at Misano this week, Aprilia told Crash.net they have quite a clear idea about the engine spec to start the season, at Jerez on July 19.

Team leader Aleix Espargaro, riding his first MotoGP laps since the Qatar test in February, set a best Tuesday lap time of 1m 33.9s. Team-mate Bradley Smith, who completed a previous Shakedown at Misano, was a fraction slower with a 1m 34.0s

Espargaro had set a 1m 33.522s in qualifying for last September's grand prix and a fastest race lap of 1m 34.716s.

Times for the other riders present on Tuesday, all of whom were completing their first MotoGP laps since lockdown, were not available.

Temperature checks, masks and social distancing are in operation at Misano, giving teams a taster of what to expect when MotoGP's strict coronavirus protocol begins at Jerez.

MotoGP testing continues on Wednesday, alongside some Superbike teams.

 

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