MotoGP Sepang Test – Day 4: Quid Pro Status Quo

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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:

Pos. Num. Rider Team Time Diff. Prev.
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.