MotoGP Sepang Test – Day 3: Enter the Factory Prototypes

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Dani Pedrosa has ended the first full-day of MotoGP factory prototype testing at Sepang at the top of the timesheets. The Repsol Honda man was fast throughout the day, finally setting a time that would not be beaten with an hour left of the test.

Though Pedrosa’s best time could not be bested, it was challenged, Jorge Lorenzo using the final minutes of the session to post his fastest lap of the day, falling just eight thousandths short of Pedrosa, but still right on the pace.

The most impressive performance of the day goes to Marc Marquez though, who was fast out of the box, led the session at one point and finished the day less than five hundredths of a second behind his teammate. Marquez had been expected to make a strong start, and be within a few tenths of Pedrosa and Lorenzo, but getting within a few hundredths can be classed as exceptional.

Valentino Rossi’s return to Yamaha was a happy one: the Italian was fast and smooth, leading the session at one stage and ending the day in touch with the leaders, four tenths behind Pedrosa, just under four tenths slower than Jorge Lorenzo.

Stefan Bradl also impressed on the LCR Honda, now in factory-spec, taking 5th spot behind Rossi, and just under a tenth ahead of Monster Tech 3 Yamaha man Cal Crutchlow, who ended the day in 6th. Alvaro Bautista was the last man within a second of Pedrosa, the Gresini Honda man eight tenths off the pace of the Repsol rider.

It was a tough day for Ducati. Nicky Hayden was the fastest Ducati man, as was to be expected, but the American was over two seconds behind Pedrosa, and over a third of a second slower than the Yamaha and Honda test riders, Hayden ended the day in 10th.

Andrea Dovizioso was 13th, just behind MotoGP rookie Bradley Smith on the second Tech 3 Yamaha, while the satellite Pramac Ducatis of Andrea Iannone and Ben Spies ended the session behind the Aspar Aprilia CRT machines of Aleix Espargaro and Randy de Puniet.

The weather, which had looked like disrupting the test, held off all day, leaving the MotoGP field to get in a full day of testing, with all of the riders getting plenty of laps under their belt.

The hope is that the weather will continue to smile on MotoGP for the next two days, allowing the riders a chance to get a full and useful first test in at Sepang. Testing continues on Wednesday.

Results from Day 3 of MotoGP’s Test at Sepang, Malaysia:

Pos. Num. Rider Team Time Diff. Prev.
1 26 Dani Pedrosa Repsol Honda Team 2:01.157  –  –
2 99 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha Factory Racing 2:01.165 0.008 0.008
3 93 Marc Marquez Repsol Honda Team 2:01.201 0.044 0.036
4 46 Valentino Rossi Yamaha Factory Racing 2:01.584 0.427 0.383
5 6 Stefan Bradl LCR Honda MotoGP 2:01.789 0.632 0.205
6 35 Cal Crutchlow Monster Yamaha Tech 3 2:01.881 0.724 0.092
7 19 Alvaro Bautista Go & Fun Honda Gresini 2:01.981 0.824 0.100
8 T2 Katsayuki Nakasuga Yamaha Factory 2:02.968 1.811 0.987
9 72 Kosuke Akiyoshi HRC Test Team 2:02.972 1.815 0.004
10 69 Nicky Hayden Ducati Team 2:03.336 2.179 0.364
11 T1 Wataru Yoshikawa Yamaha Factory 2:03.456 2.299 0.120
12 38 Bradley Smith Monster Yamaha Tech 3 2:03.460 2.303 0.004
13 4 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati Team 2:03.535 2.378 0.075
14 41 Aleix Espargaro Power Electronics Aspar 2:03.782 2.625 0.247
15 14 Randy de Puniet Power Electronics Aspar 2:04.283 3.126 0.501
16 29 Andrea Iannone Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Team 2:04.500 3.343 0.217
17 11 Ben Spies Ignite Pramac Racing Team 2:05.086 3.929 0.586
18 37 Takumi Takahashi HRC Test Team 2:05.154 3.997 0.068
19 8 Hector Barbera Avintia Blusens 2:05.469 4.312 0.315
20 68 Yonny Hernandez Paul Bird Motorsport 2:05.656 4.499 0.187
21 17 Karel Abraham Cardion AB Motoracing 2:05.694 4.537 0.038
22 9 Danilo Petrucci Came IodaRacing Project 2:05.753 4.596 0.059
23 7 Hiroshi Aoyama Avintia Blusens 2:05.919 4.762 0.166
24 71 Claudio Corti NGM Mobile Forward Racing 2:06.426 5.269 0.507
25 33 Michael Laverty Paul Bird Motorsport 2:06.507 5.350 0.081
26 52 Lukas Pesek Came IodaRacing Project 2:07.015 5.858 0.508
27 67 Bryan Staring Go & Fun Honda Gresini 2:07.044 5.887 0.029
28 5 Colin Edwards NGM Mobile Forward Racing Team 2:08.206 7.049 1.162

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.

David Emmett

One of MotoGP's most respected journalists, David Emmett is the proprietor of the esteemed MotoMatters. We are very grateful to republish David's work here on A&R...though dread the day we ever again get in a car with him.