Sepang Test Concludes | MotoGP
The third and final day of the MotoGP test concluded yesterday in Sepang. Just like the first Sepang test this year Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo battled for the best time. Dani Pedrosa ended the test with the fastest time of the day. But Lorenzo ran a race simulation on the final day that displayed his relentless consistency with each lap near his best time.
Pedrosa said, “. Overall, it’s been a positive three days. Now we’re off to Austin, and this is going to be an interesting test for the team and for myself. We’ve never ridden there and it’s a new track.”Pedrosa’s teammate Marc Marquez ended up second best on the last day. Marquez did lay the bike down twice. “It’s been a good day, overall,” Marquez said. “In the morning we rode in the wet and I felt very good on the bike, even though I had a small crash. I clipped the white line and lost the front, but neither myself nor the bike were affected at all. When the track dried out we went back to our work on the electronics and with the bike setup – above all with the front. On the initial laps I didn’t feel completely comfortable with the front end and had another small crash at the hairpin when I was forcing it a bit too much. In the final hour we set the bike up the way we had been fastest at this test, and I think that we got a good time again with it. We can leave here feeling positive about how things went.”
Despite the afternoon heat, Lorenzo’s long race simulation on his factory Yamaha after recording the fastest wet-track time in the morning. Lorenzo ended up third on the day with his 2:00.992, .43 of a second from first, but his 2:00.282 from yesterday stood up as the best overall lap of the test. Lorenzo said, “We made a complete simulation; it was a little worse than I expected because we had some problems with the front tire in braking – it didn’t give me much confidence so I slowed my pace a little. The conditions were extreme this time so it was harder to equal the simulation we made in the first Sepang test.”
Lorenzo’s teammate Valentino Rossi ended the day with the fourth best time. Rossi said, ” This test at the end is positive because we are in fourth place and not so far from the front,” Rossi said. “We are struggling a little more than the first test, though; we were unlucky and suffered a little electrical problem that lost us some time and some other little problems.”
The battle of the Ducatis went to Andrea Dovizioso on the final day, the Italian besting Nicky Hayden by half a second. Dovizioso was over a second off Pedrosa’s best on the final day with Hayden another half second behind in ninth. Ben Spies ended his test on the Ignite Pramac Racing Team Ducati in 14th spot – three behind his teammate Andrea Iannone. Ducati seems to have made some improvement from the first Sepang test, but the gap to the podium is still over 1 second. Hopefully Ducati will find some more positive improvements at the next test in Austin, TX.