MotoGP Sepang 2 Test Day 1: Pedrosa is Fastest, While Bradl Impresses

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Dani Pedrosa has taken up at the second Sepang MotoGP test where he left off after the first. The Repsol Honda man led for most of the day, having set a fast time fairly early in the morning. His rival at the Factory Yamaha squad did much the same, Jorge Lorenzo taking 2nd a couple of tenths behind Pedrosa.

Marc Marquez continues to impress, the Spanish prodigy ending the day with the 3rd fastest time, just over a third of a second off his Repsol Honda teammate, and a little over a tenth behind reigning world champion Jorge Lorenzo.

Also impressive was Stefan Bradl, the LCR Honda man achieving his stated aim for the test of matching the pace of Valentino Rossi. The strong times by Marquez and Bradl demoted the Factory Yamaha returnee to 5th, though the difference was minimal, just a few hundredths separating the threesome.

Cal Crutchlow led another close duo, the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha man some seven tenths off the pace of Pedrosa and a quarter of a second behind Rossi. He just kept ahead of Alvaro Bautista, the Gresini Honda rider taking 7th less than a tenth behind Crutchlow.

Better news for Ducati, with Andrea Dovizioso cutting the gap to the leaders to 1.2 seconds, still a sizable distance, but a lot more respectable than the 2 seconds at the first test at Sepang. Nicky Hayden was also closer, three tenths behind his new teammate and a second and a half off the time of Pedrosa. The two factory Ducatis put themselves ahead of Bradley Smith on the second Tech 3 Yamaha, the young Englishman taking tenth place, two seconds off the pace of Pedrosa.

Aleix Espargaro once again reigned in the CRT category, closing the gap on the Tech 3 Yamaha of Smith and demoting the Pramac Ducatis of Ben Spies and Andrea Iannone to 13th and 14th respectively. Hiroshi Aoyama is the next best CRT rider, grabbing the 17th time on the FTR Kawasaki, three seconds behind Pedrosa and eight tenths slower than the pace of Espargaro.

Aoyama put his bike well ahead of the second Aspar Aprilia ART ridden by Randy de Puniet, while Colin Edwards closed on De Puniet’s tail on the Forward FTR Kawasaki. Michael Laverty, who had shown so strongly on the PBM Aprilia at the first test at Sepang, was forced to spend the whole day in the garage, as the PBM team worked to get his PBM-built chassis ready for the track, the team taking some time to get the electronics ready.

The test was cut short by heavy rain which came around 3pm, while the riders were all still in the garages for lunch, sheltering from the tropical heat. Only Pedrosa and Bradl put in any real time in the wet, though Claudio Corti ventured out for a couple of exploratory wet laps before returning to the pits.

The rain will have done nothing to help conditions at the circuit. The track was already dirty from the rains of the previous few days, and a heavy downpour in the afternoon will have done little to improve it.

More rain is forecast for Wednesday, though the final day of the test on Thursday looks like being much better, perhaps allowing the riders to get in a full day. Being the tropics, however, those forecasts can change quickly.

Results from Day 1 of MotoGP’s Second Test at Sepang, Malaysia:

Pos. Num. Rider Team Time Diff. Prev.
1 26 Dani Pedrosa Honda 2:01.580  –  –
2 99 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 2:01.815 0.235 0.235
3 93 Marc Marquez Honda 2:01.942 0.362 0.127
4 6 Stefan Bradl Honda 2:01.959 0.379 0.017
5 46 Valentino Rossi Yamaha 2:02.028 0.448 0.069
6 35 Cal Crutchlow Yamaha 2:02.272 0.692 0.244
7 19 Alvaro Bautista Honda 2:02.362 0.782 0.090
8 4 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati 2:02.801 1.221 0.439
9 69 Nicky Hayden Ducati 2:03.143 1.563 0.342
10 38 Bradley Smith Yamaha 2:03.632 2.052 0.489
11 T2 Katsayuki Nakasuga Yamaha Test 2:03.734 2.154 0.102
12 41 Aleix Espargaro Aprilia ART 2:03.941 2.361 0.207
13 11 Ben Spies Ducati 2:04.047 2.467 0.106
14 29 Andrea Iannone Ducati 2:04.050 2.470 0.003
15 T1 Wataru Yoshikawa Yamaha Test 2:04.590 3.010 0.540
16 51 Michele Pirro Ducati Test 2:04.626 3.046 0.036
17 7 Hiroshi Aoyama FTR Kawasaki 2:04.743 3.163 0.117
18 14 Randy de Puniet Aprilia ART 2:05.288 3.708 0.545
19 37 Takumi Takahashi Honda Test 2:05.510 3.930 0.222
20 5 Colin Edwards FTR Kawasaki 2:05.518 3.938 0.008
21 9 Danilo Petrucci Suter BMW 2:05.827 4.247 0.309
22 17 Karel Abraham Aprilia ART 2:05.838 4.258 0.011
23 68 Yonny Hernandez Aprilia ART 2:05.908 4.328 0.070
24 8 Hector Barbera FTR Kawasaki 2:06.062 4.482 0.154
25 71 Claudio Corti FTR Kawasaki 2:06.306 4.726 0.244
26 67 Bryan Staring FTR Honda 2:06.730 5.150 0.424
27 52 Lukas Pesek Suter BMW 2:07.991 6.411 1.261

Records and Times from Previous Tests at Sepang:

2013 Sepang 1 test Dani Pedrosa Honda 2:00.100
2007 Race record Casey Stoner Ducati 2:02.108
2012 Pole record Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 2:00.334
2012 Sepang 2 test Casey Stoner Honda 2:00.473

Source: MotoGP; Photo: Honda Racing

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