MotoGP Sepang Test – Day 5: Hat-Trick for Pedrosa

02/07/2013 @ 10:53 am, by David Emmett10 COMMENTS

MotoGP Sepang Test – Day 5: Hat Trick for Pedrosa dani pedrosa repsol honda motogp sepang test1

The first test of the 2013 MotoGP season is completed, and Dani Pedrosa has completed a clean sweep, topping the timesheets on all three days. The Repsol Honda man confirmed his role as title favorite by posting a fast lap under the existing pole record set by Jorge Lorenzo last year.

He also opened-up a serious gap to the trio who have been chasing him all test long, putting nearly a third of a second on Jorge Lorenzo, the Yamaha man falling just short of his own pole record. However, what may worry Lorenzo more is the fact that Pedrosa declared at the end of the day that his objective was not to be fastest, but test the bike.

Valentino Rossi closed the gap to his teammate, ending the test a tenth from the time set by Lorenzo, though still four tenths from Pedrosa’s best lap. Rossi also leapfrogged over Marc Marquez, finally finishing ahead of the Repsol Honda rookie after ending the first two days behind him. Marquez finished as 4th fastest, six tenths behind Pedrosa, and the young Spaniard also had his first crash of the season, losing the front end on the way into the final corner. Marquez walked away unhurt, his Repsol RC213V did not fare quite so well.

Cal Crutchlow picked up his speed on the final day, closing to within a tenth of Marquez, and less than two tenths behind Valentino Rossi. Despite having a bike which is virtually unchanged since 2012, the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha man has closed the gap to the front runners, and looks on course to bag a few more podiums this season.

Stefan Bradl was the fastest of the satellite Honda riders, the LCR Honda man nine tenths slower than Pedrosa, and a quarter of a second behind Crutchlow, and the last man within a second of the leader Pedrosa. Alvaro Bautista continued to work on the Showa suspension of his Gresini Honda, while Bradley Smith ended his first full test on the Yamaha M1 in good shape, 1.9 seconds behind Pedrosa.

The Ducatis continue to make slow progress, but still remain two seconds off the pace. Nicky Hayden was once again fastest, his teammate Andrea Dovizioso closing to within a tenth of a second of the American. Both factory Ducati men finished ahead of the Yamaha and Honda test riders once again, but behind all eight Honda and Yamaha factory and satellite machines.

Slightly more worrying will be the fact that Aleix Espargaro closed the gap significantly to the Ducatis. The Aprilia ART bike, entered as a CRT machine, was less than a third of a second behind Dovizioso, and a quarter of a second quicker than Andrea Iannone on the satellite Pramac Ducati. The new tire Bridgestone brought especially for the CRT machines is proving to be a real improvement, and in the CRT bikes are showing serious improvement in their second year of competition.

Perhaps even more impressive than Espargaro’s time on the Aprilia is that of Michael Laverty on the PBM Aprilia. The Irishman ended the day as second fastest CRT rider, ahead of MotoGP veteran Randy de Puniet, and just 3.774 seconds slower than Pedrosa.

Making this such an impressive ride was the fact that it was Laverty’s first outing on the Aprilia, his first time on the spec-Bridgestone tires, his first time with carbon brakes, and his first time at Sepang. Laverty is riding the Aprilia ART machine at Sepang, but will be switching to an Aprilia-powered British-made chassis once the season gets underway.

Testing is now complete at Sepang, and the riders and teams all head home for a few weeks. The paddock will reconvene at the end of February, for another three-day test starting on 26th of February, and ending on February 28th.

Results from Day 5 of MotoGP’s Test at Sepang, Malaysia:

Pos.Num.RiderTeamTimeDiff.Prev.
126Dani PedrosaRepsol Honda Team2:00.100
299Jorge LorenzoYamaha Factory Racing2:00.4290.3290.329
346Valentino RossiYamaha Factory Racing2:00.5420.4420.113
493Marc MarquezRepsol Honda Team2:00.6360.5360.094
535Cal CrutchlowMonster Yamaha Tech 32:00.7340.6340.098
66Stefan BradlLCR Honda MotoGP2:01.0030.9030.269
719Alvaro BautistaGo & Fun Honda Gresini2:01.5021.4020.499
838Bradley SmithMonster Yamaha Tech 32:02.0931.9930.591
969Nicky HaydenDucati Team2:02.1842.0840.091
104Andrea DoviziosoDucati Team2:02.2772.1770.093
11T2Katsayuki NakasugaYamaha Factory2:02.6162.5160.339
1241Aleix EspargaroPower Electronics Aspar2:02.6282.5280.012
1329Andrea IannoneEnergy T.I. Pramac Racing Team2:02.8642.7640.236
1472Kosuke AkiyoshiHRC Test Team2:03.0822.9820.218
1533Michael LavertyPaul Bird Motorsport2:03.8743.7740.792
1614Randy de PunietPower Electronics Aspar2:04.0663.9660.192
17T1Wataru YoshikawaYamaha Factory2:04.1374.0370.071
188Hector BarberaAvintia Blusens2:04.2114.1110.074
1937Takumi TakahashiHRC Test Team2:04.2884.1880.077
209Danilo PetrucciCame IodaRacing Project2:04.5314.4310.243
2117Karel AbrahamCardion AB Motoracing2:04.7664.6660.235
227Hiroshi AoyamaAvintia Blusens2:04.9154.8150.149
2371Claudio CortiNGM Mobile Forward Racing2:05.1075.0070.192
2452Lukas PesekCame IodaRacing Project2:05.3215.2210.214
2568Yonny HernandezPaul Bird Motorsport2:05.4075.3070.086
265Colin EdwardsNGM Mobile Forward Racing Team2:05.9135.8130.506
2767Bryan StaringGo & Fun Honda Gresini2:05.9705.8700.057

Lap records and 2012 Sepang 3 times:

Pole Record2012Jorge Lorenzo2:00.334
Lap Record2007Casey Stoner2:02.108
2012 Sepang 1Day 3 fastestCasey Stoner1:59.607
2012 Sepang 1Overall fastestCasey Stoner1:59.607

Source: MotoGP; Photo: Honda Racing

This article was originally published on MotoMatters, and is republished here on Asphalt & Rubber with permission by the author.

Comment:

  1. meatspin says:

    not a bad start. Looks like we lost an alien in stoner but gained one in marquez and a return of rossi to the front. It should be a good year.

  2. Gutterslob says:

    While fastest laps are good for qualifying, what we really need to know are the timings form their race simulations (if they did any). How many consecutive 2.01′s did Lorenzo do compared to Pedrosa, Marquez and Rossi? I suppose that’s too much to ask for from a first test, since they’re all probably still in “shakedown” mode.

  3. smiler says:

    CRT’s still 3-6 secs off the pace. So Rossi has already started to get into Lorenzo’s pace. Love him or hate him, you cannot but respect that he is already 3rd. With one of the top 4 likely to crash on occasion the Rossi looks safe for some podiums.
    Looks like we will loose 2 Americans at seasons end, Edwards & Hayden. Shame they are both great. Will Col go back to WSB for a while? Joined by Rossi after the end of next yr? Hope so it would be good to see him competitive again.

    Ducati better get their act together.

  4. L2C says:

    @ smiler

    Rossi’s going to be around for at least two more seasons in MotoGP. And it does seem like Rossi has brought the hammer down on most of his critics/enemies with this first test of the season. And I hope Rossi keeps on hammering the point home throughout the rest of the season. It’s nice when that nasty mob has been rendered speechless.

    Dani is a cipher — and I’m loving every minute of it.

  5. L2C says:

    Well, maybe I meant that Dani’s an enigma whose media personality is a cipher. How’s that? ;-)

  6. Hisham Noh says:

    But no one goes under 2 mins time. or as Pedrosa’s objective, he is testing the bike.

  7. ALVIN says:

    normally rossi doesn’t dominate on practices but on race day, he has extra power to dominate other riders. Go Go Go VR/46.

  8. David says:

    So Spies didn’t make the top 27 in time and wasn’t even mentioned in the article.

    WOW…a hasBen in just 5 short testing days.

    Did he not need a 5th day of testing because he is so quick?

    Or did he give up and go home to flip burgers?

    Or did I miss something somewhere?

  9. Westward says:

    Spies did not want too much awesome to overwhelm the rest of the grid. Too much Elbowz would have cleared the track…

  10. sburns2421 says:

    Spies is still healing from shoulder surgery and hopes to be only 85% by the first race. He is going to have a long season.