Dani Pedrosa topped the timesheets once again on the second day of prototype testing at Sepang, the Repsol Honda man getting off to a flying start and cracking into the 2’00s early in the session. He was joined there by Jorge Lorenzo, the Factory Yamaha rider once again shadowing Pedrosa, ending the day just two hundredths behind the Repsol rider.
Marc Marquez confirmed his first day times were no fluke, the only other man to post a lap in the 2’00s, though the rookie was a quarter of a second slower than his teammate on Wednesday, losing a fraction of the ground.
Valentino Rossi once again took 4th spot, the Italian still just under half a second off the two title favorites. The Honda men continued to work on engine durability, while Yamaha riders Lorenzo and Rossi had new engines with more acceleration to test, and a new chassis aimed at curing the pumping from the rear wheel of the bike.
Cal Crutchlow took over the best satellite rider spot, the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha man ending three quarters of a second behind Pedrosa, but a respectable quarter of a second off the pace of Rossi.
Stefan Bradl continued to impress on the LCR Honda, nabbing 6th today, a fraction behind Crutchlow, and over a third of a second ahead of Alvaro Bautista, the Go&Fun Gresini rider continuing to work on the Showa suspension the team has elected to use instead of the Ohlins used by nearly the entire rest of the field.
Bradley Smith’s second full day of testing went a lot better than his first, the Tech 3 rookie wiping 1.5 seconds off his time from Tuesday, and closing in on Bautista.
The fortunes of the Ducatis also radically improved. Both Nicky Hayden and Andrea Dovizioso took over a second off their times from Tuesday, and improved to 9th and 10th, ahead of the Honda and Yamaha test riders, which should elicit a huge sigh of relief in Bologna. The gap to the fast men is now back to 1.5 seconds, about the same as it was for Hayden at the first Sepang test last year.
The Pramac satellite riders also improved, Ben Spies took two-whole seconds off his time from yesterday, continuing to struggle with his weak shoulder and getting to grips with the Desmosedici. Andrea Iannone took 1.3 seconds off his time from yesterday, setting the 15th time, 2.6 back from Pedrosa.
The work of dialing in the spec-ECU continues for the CRT teams, and progress is rapid. Danilo Petrucci is getting closer to the Aspar ART bikes of Aleix Espargaro and Randy de Puniet, with the FTR Kawasakis of the Blusens Avintia team now not far behind. Irish rookie Michael Laverty put in an impressive performance, slashing a second off his time from Tuesday, and closing on Karel Abraham on the ART machine, as well as the two Avintia bikes.
The weather held up well almost until the end, the rain only falling in the final hour of the test. A large number of riders took advantage of the rain to get some time in on rain tires. The forecast for the final day of testing on Thursday looks less promising, with rain looking likely all day. But at least the MotoGP men now have two solid days of testing under their belts.
Results from Day 4 of MotoGP’s Test at Sepang, Malaysia:
|1||26||Dani Pedrosa||Repsol Honda Team||2:00.549||-||-|
|2||99||Jorge Lorenzo||Yamaha Factory Racing||2:00.568||0.019||0.019|
|3||93||Marc Marquez||Repsol Honda Team||2:00.803||0.254||0.235|
|4||46||Valentino Rossi||Yamaha Factory Racing||2:01.038||0.489||0.235|
|5||35||Cal Crutchlow||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||2:01.311||0.762||0.273|
|6||6||Stefan Bradl||LCR Honda MotoGP||2:01.369||0.820||0.058|
|7||19||Alvaro Bautista||Go & Fun Honda Gresini||2:01.729||1.180||0.360|
|8||38||Bradley Smith||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||2:01.931||1.382||0.202|
|9||69||Nicky Hayden||Ducati Team||2:02.110||1.561||0.179|
|10||4||Andrea Dovizioso||Ducati Team||2:02.379||1.830||0.269|
|11||72||Kosuke Akiyoshi||HRC Test Team||2:02.526||1.977||0.147|
|12||T2||Katsayuki Nakasuga||Yamaha Factory||2:02.701||2.152||0.175|
|13||11||Ben Spies||Ignite Pramac Racing Team||2:03.002||2.453||0.301|
|14||T1||Wataru Yoshikawa||Yamaha Factory||2:03.156||2.607||0.154|
|15||29||Andrea Iannone||Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Team||2:03.169||2.620||0.013|
|16||41||Aleix Espargaro||Power Electronics Aspar||2:03.251||2.702||0.082|
|17||14||Randy de Puniet||Power Electronics Aspar||2:03.791||3.242||0.540|
|18||9||Danilo Petrucci||Came IodaRacing Project||2:04.284||3.735||0.493|
|19||37||Takumi Takahashi||HRC Test Team||2:04.559||4.010||0.275|
|20||7||Hiroshi Aoyama||Avintia Blusens||2:04.786||4.237||0.227|
|21||8||Hector Barbera||Avintia Blusens||2:04.989||4.440||0.203|
|22||17||Karel Abraham||Cardion AB Motoracing||2:05.028||4.479||0.039|
|23||33||Michael Laverty||Paul Bird Motorsport||2:05.417||4.868||0.389|
|24||71||Claudio Corti||NGM Mobile Forward Racing||2:05.721||5.172||0.304|
|25||68||Yonny Hernandez||Paul Bird Motorsport||2:05.837||5.288||0.116|
|26||5||Colin Edwards||NGM Mobile Forward Racing Team||2:06.205||5.656||0.368|
|27||67||Bryan Staring||Go & Fun Honda Gresini||2:06.898||6.349||0.693|
|28||52||Lukas Pesek||Came IodaRacing Project||2:30.243||20.963||14.614|
Lap records and 2012 Sepang 1 times:
|Pole Record||2012||Jorge Lorenzo||2:00.334|
|Lap Record||2007||Casey Stoner||2:02.108|
|2012 Sepang 1||Day 1 fastest||Jorge Lorenzo||2:01.657|
|2012 Sepang 1||Overall fastest||Casey Stoner||1:59.607|
Source: MotoGP; Photo: Honda Racing
This article was originally published on MotoMatters, and is republished here on Asphalt & Rubber with permission by the author.