Written by Andrew Lwanga, Edited by Harshi Vashee
The chequered flag fell earlier today in Sepang Malaysia to conclude the first day of MotoGP's pre-season testing. Aleix Espargaro was at the head of the time sheets as the Aprilia man led fellow Spaniard and teammate by one thousandth of a second.
With the tests not being televised and track access limited to team personnel and a select few journalists, not much of the information and track ongoings was accessible. Keen observers however noted several aero package changes throughout the session across most of the factory bikes.
Alex Rins was but a tenth off the time set by Aprilia's, Enea Bastianini trailed the trio with "The Beast" being the fastest of the Ducatis. This despite the Gresini Racing man being on a Desmosedici 21, last year's Ducati spec.
Zarco trailed his teammate ahead of fellow Frenchman Fabio Quartararo. The 2021 world champion was ahead of 2020 world champion Joan Mir who was ahead of 2019 world champion Marc Marquez.
The 8 times world champion was back on a MotoGP machine for the first time since last year where the Spaniard had to miss the last couple of rounds due to an injury sustained during training. Marquez crashed twice during the session but the Spaniard walked away fine from each encounter. Both Red Bull KTMs were also reported to have crashed at some point during the session but were thankfully fine.
Pol trailed his teammate whilst rookie Marco Bezzechi was the highest running rookie and completed the top ten.
With it being the first day of testing it is important to note that the times set are not representative of performance. With multiple fuel loads, tyre pressures and setups being trialled, the true interpretation of those times is only available to the men and women in the garage.