As the dust settles in the wake of the Czech GP, it’s nevertheless time for bikes to get back on track on Monday for an Official Test day at the venue. From 10:00 to 18:00, the premier class will be working hard ahead of the Austrian GP.
For race winner Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) and teammate Jorge Lorenzo, it’s chance to fine-tune. Lorenzo says they still lack in corner speed – with straight line braking stability a real forte but room to improve elsewhere. Alma Pramac Racing’s Danilo Petrucci and Jack Miller will also be on track.
Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team), meanwhile, says he’ll have some bigger things to try – looking to stay a step ahead and defend his Championship lead in the latter half of the year. Teammate Dani Pedrosa will be out, too – as well as LCR Honda Castrol’s Cal Crutchlow. HRC test rider Stefan Bradl, who crashed out from his wildcard in the race early on, will also be present but he won’t be on track because of pain and he will be replaced by Hiroshi Aoyama.
Yamaha will be continuing their mission to improve, although Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) impressed to take a well-fought fourth after the ‘Doctor’ had worried about his race pace. The Italian rider confirmed on Thursday that he doesn’t have anything big to try but his progress has been impressive and step by step since some more serious early-season woes. Teammate Maverick Viñales crashed out and he would have been glad of the extra track time, but he’ll stay at the box because of arm pain.
For fellow Yamaha rider Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) there won’t be anything new but the Independent Team rider will be looking to keep his good feelings after saying on Sunday he’d gone from feeling like “someone riding on the street to fetch bread” to feeling like a ‘proper’ rider again. Rookie teammate Hafizh Syahrin will be putting in the laps to continue his learning, as will fellow debutants Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu), Franco Morbidelli (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) and teammate Tom Lüthi.
Suzuki will, like Honda, also field their wildcarding test rider on Monday. As well as Team Suzuki Ecstar’s race riders Andrea Iannone and Alex Rins, Sylvain Guintoli will be on track – despite recovering from broken ribs – to continue his sterling job for the Hamamatsu factory. Aprilia Racing Team Gresini will remain with Aleix Espargaro riding through the pain barrier a little on the search for improvements, and Scott Redding gets back on track after a rare crash out of the race.
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing are having a bit of a tough time ahead of their home GP next weekend at the Red Bull Ring in Austria. Test rider Mika Kallio was injured last time out in Germany and won’t be at the test or on track anytime too soon, and then Pol Espargaro crashed in Warm Up at Brno and sat out the Czech GP. He won’t be out for testing on Monday, either. Bradley Smith had a good qualifying with some new parts in Czechia but then was involved in an early race incident, too, but he will at least be back out on Monday for test duty and fully fit for the job.