Following's Sunday's Valencia season finale, MotoGP teams have travelled to Jerez for a two-day test and the last official track action of 2021.

Testing began at 10am and concludes at 6pm, with Takaaki Nakagami dominating the top of the timesheets for much of the day, courtesy of an early lap time on the 2021 Honda, before switching to the 2022 prototype.

New Gresini rider Enea Bastianini, upgraded from a GP19 to GP21 next season, Ducati title runner-up Francesco Bagnaia and Aprilia's Maverick Vinales briefly moved ahead of the Japanese before Nakagami responded with a 1m 37.313s just after 4pm.

That lap time ultimately kept Nakagami as fastest, with Pramac Ducati's Johann Zarco having moved into a close second just before the finzl hour began. Bastianini completed a top three covered by just 0.089s ahead of Bagnaia and Vinales (quickest at the previous Jerez test for Yamaha) with Alex Rins the leading Suzuki in sixth.

Franco Morbidelli led the Yamaha challenge, with team-mate and world champion Fabio Quartararo (eighth) later explaining that the prototype 2022 M1 was the same as he tested last time at Misano, in September.

Brad Binder completed the top ten, with fellow KTM rider Raul Fernandez (Tech3) the fastest of the five rookies. As well as enjoying MotoGP power, Fernandez said he was especially impressed by the braking performance of the RC16.

Marc Marquez is absent as he continues treatment for double-vision problems, while Repsol Honda team-mate Pol Espargaro is back on track after withdrawing from Valencia due to rib pain from a huge Saturday highside.

The main task for the factory riders is to continue development work on their 2022 prototypes, which in the case of Yamaha, Ducati, Suzuki and Honda can feature engine upgrades for the first time since the Covid technical freeze at the start of 2020. KTM's engine was frozen at the start of 2021, when it left Concessions, while Aprilia has been free to develop this year.

The test marks the debut of the new VR46 Ducati team, plus the heavily revised RNF Yamaha (formerly SRT) and Gresini Ducati (formerly partnered with Aprilia) squads.

After finishing the 2021 season on an A-Spec bike, Andrea Dovizioso has a 2022-spec M1 at RNF, with Darryn Binder on the 2021 model. The South African, jumping straight from Moto3, enjoyed his debut in the premier-class, adding that it's "still a bike" but also that at such an early stage he is yet to change the set-up, electronics or try the ride-height device.

All of next year's rookies are in action, reigning Moto2 champion Remy Gardner and Tech3 team-mate Raul Fernandez making their second appearances on the RC16 after some laps at the Misano test, while Binder (RNF), Fabio di Giannantonio (Gresini) and Marco Bezzecchi (VR46) get their first taste of MotoGP.

Testing concludes on Friday evening...

2021 Jerez MotoGP Test - Thursday (FINAL)
Pos RiderNatTeamTimeLap
1=Takaaki NakagamiJPNLCR Honda (RC213V)1m 37.313s51/68
2=Johann ZarcoFRAPramac Ducati (GP)+0.043s78/78
3=Enea BastianiniITAGresini Ducati (GP)+0.089s38/51
4=Francesco BagnaiaITADucati Lenovo (GP)+0.102s47/68
5=Maverick VinalesSPAAprilia Racing (RS-GP)+0.361s56/72
6=Alex RinsSPASuzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR)+0.497s28/76
7= Franco MorbidelliITAMonster Yamaha (YZR-M1)+0.571s46/56
8=Jack MillerAUSDucati Lenovo (GP)+0.689s53/61
9=Fabio QuartararoFRAMonster Yamaha (YZR-M1)+0.707s34/73
10^6Brad BinderRSARed Bull KTM (RC16)+0.773s54/56
11˅1Luca MariniITAVR46 Ducati (GP)+0.836s50/58
12˅1Jorge MartinSPAPramac Ducati (GP)+0.839s52/61
13˅1Pol EspargaroSPARepsol Honda (RC213V)+0.852s19/45
14˅1Joan MirSPASuzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR)+0.881s59/71
15˅1Aleix EspargaroSPAAprilia Racing (RS-GP)+0.894s18/45
16^1Alex MarquezSPALCR Honda (RC213V)+0.975s74/75
17˅2Miguel OliveiraPORRed Bull KTM (RC16)+0.999s61/74
18=Andrea DoviziosoITAWithU Yamaha RNF (YZR-M1)+1.285s40/53
19=Raul FernandezSPAKTM Tech3 (RC16)*+1.770s56/57
20=Mika KallioFINKTM Test Rider (RC16)+1.963s6/79
21=Sylvain GuintoliFRASuzuki Test Rider (GSX-RR)+2.183s20/49
22=Fabio di GiannantonioITAGresini Ducati (GP)*+2.315s48/48
23=Lorenzo SavadoriITAAprilia Test Rider (RS-GP)+2.414s25/34
24=Remy GardnerAUSKTM Tech3 (RC16)*+2.857s34/52
25=Marco BezzecchiITAVR46 Ducati (GP)*+3.419s52/53
26=Takuya TsudaJPNSuzuki Test Rider (GSX-RR)+3.623s22/28
27=Darryn BinderRSAWithU Yamaha RNF (YZR-M1)*+4.436s35/49

Key:
^X Rider is X positions higher than previous hour.
= Rider is same position as previous hour.
˅X Rider is X positions lower than previous hour.


* Rookie

Official Jerez MotoGP records:
Best lap:
Maverick Vinales SPA Yamaha 1m 36.584s (2020)
Fastest race lap:
Fabio Quartararo FRA Yamaha 1m 37.770s (2021)

By Peter McLaren