Teruel MotoGP Subscriber Notes Part 2: The Strangeness Of Who Gains, KTM’s Progress, And Yamaha’s Engine Situation | MotoMatters.com

by Oct 31, 20200 comments

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It being 2020, last weekend’s Teruel round of MotoGP at the Motorland Aragon circuit threw up plenty of surprises, more than can be covered in just a single article. In Monday’s subscriber notes, I covered the early crashers, Takaaki Nakagami’s lead lasting just five corners, Franco Morbidelli’s perfect race, why Alex Rins and Joan Mir came up short, and whether it matters if Mir doesn’t win a race this season, the odd fortunes of the Yamahas in 2020, and Andrea Dovizioso as best of the Ducatis.

But there is more to cover. It is worth taking a look at who made the biggest gains between Aragon 1 and Aragon 2, how KTM went from nowhere to nearly on the podium, and the mystery of Yamaha’s engine situation.

First, a comparison of how the riders fared between the Aragon and Teruel rounds at Motorland Aragon. In theory, you might believe that being at the same track would mean there would be little to no difference. But as previous back-to-back races at the same circuit has shown, this is very much not the case. Results have varied massively from week to week, as some riders have improved, others have stood still.

Faster second time around

The Aragon and Teruel back-to-back shows a similar picture. The Suzukis were on the podium at both rounds, and in the same order. They even improved by almost the same amount, Alex Rins going 4.5 seconds quicker at Aragon 2 than he did at Aragon 1, Joan Mir being 4 seconds quicker. Confusingly, Alex Rins stuck with soft tires for both races, while Mir switched to mediums front and rear, and got no closer.

The third man on the podium at Aragon 1, Alex Márquez, crashed out of contention in Aragon 2, as did Takaaki Nakagami, making comparisons for Honda difficult. Cal Crutchlow was 4 seconds slower in the second Aragon round.

The fortunes of the Yamaha riders are the hardest to explain based on their performance in the first week. Franco Morbidelli was the third most improved rider between Aragon 1 and Aragon 2, finishing the Teruel race 11.5 seconds faster than the Aragon round. But those 11.5 seconds made a huge difference, lifting Morbidelli up from sixth into first place. Morbidelli put his improvement down to switching to the medium rear for Aragon 2.

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