Sepang Test: Marquez on record pace, Rossi closes in

Posted: 06 Feb 2014

Marc Marquez is on fire in Sepang

World Champion, Marc Marquez ended the first MotoGP test in Sepang on a high by breaking the circuit lap record set by Casey Stoner in 2012. After day two, it had looked as though Honda may dominate the test but Yamaha showed their pace on the final day, with Marquez pressured by Valentino Rossi whose fastest time was under two tenths off the Repsol Honda man.

Twice World Champ, Jorge Lorenzo was a further tenth behind his team mate with another Yamaha-powered machine in fourth place in the shape of Aleix Espargaro on the FTR M1. Continuing to impress, the older of the Espargaro brothers set a time below the two-minute barrier, defying all expectations and showing that the cheaper, open category bikes can be competitive.

Stefan Bradl set the fifth fastest time ahead of HRC factory rider Dani Pedrosa, who was unable to break the two minute barrier. Many riders did fewer laps today because of extreme temperatures.

Ducati saw a major breakthrough with Dovizioso in seventh place, just eight tenths off Marquez’ fastest time. Dovizioso’s time was the fastest he’s ever been round Sepang, almost three seconds faster than his race time last season.

Dovizioso improves in Sepang

Pol Espargaro set the eighth fastest time from Andrea Iannone, who suffered an almighty crash towards the end of the day. Alvaro Bautista rounded out the top ten, 1.2 seconds from the lead. Bradley Smith couldn’t better his time from Wednesday, setting the eleventh fastest time on the third and final day. Smith’s former team mate, Cal Crutchlow set the twelfth fastest time having shaved three tenths off his Wednesday time.

Nicky Hayden continued to improve on the Aspar Honda, ending the test just under two seconds off the pace on his production Honda, remaining ahead of Colin Edwards on the second FTR Yamaha. Also showing improvement was Randy De Puniet, who managed to get within three-seconds of Marquez’ fastest time on the Suzuki test bike while Scott Redding was unable to better his Wednesday time on the Gresini RCV1000R.

The second Sepang test kicks off at the end of the month, both Day 3 and combined times can be found below.

1

MARQUEZ, Marc

Repsol Honda Team

01:59.5


2

ROSSI, Valentino

Yamaha Factory Racing

01:59.7

0.194

3

LORENZO, Jorge

Yamaha Factory Racing

01:59.9

0.333

4

ESPARGARO, Aleix

NGM Mobile Forward Racing

02:00.0

0.465

5

BRADL, Stefan

LCR Honda MotoGP

02:00.1

0.579

6

PEDROSA, Dani

Repsol Honda Team

02:00.2

0.69

7

DOVIZIOSO, Andrea

Ducati Team

02:00.4

0.837

8

ESPARGARO, Pol

Monster Yamaha Tech 3

02:00.7

1.122

9

IANNONE, Andrea

Pramac Racing

02:00.7

1.192

10

BAUTISTA, Alvaro

GO&FUN Honda Gresini

02:00.8

1.255

11

SMITH, Bradley

Monster Yamaha Tech 3

02:00.9

1.363

12

CRUTCHLOW, Cal

Ducati Team

02:01.1

1.524

13

HAYDEN, Nicky

Drive M7 Aspar

02:01.5

1.981

14

EDWARDS, Colin

NGM Mobile Forward Racing

02:01.7

2.198

15

PIRRO, Michele

Ducati Test Team

02:01.8

2.249

16

AOYAMA, Hiroshi

Drive M7 Aspar

02:02.4

2.85

17

DE PUNIET, Randy

Suzuki Test Team

02:02.5

2.953

18

HERNANDEZ, Yonny

Energy T.I. Pramac Racing

02:02.6

3.023

19

AKIYOSHI, Kosuke

HRC Test Team

02:02.6

3.086






20

NAKASUGA, Katsuyuki

Yamaha Factory Test Team

02:02.8

3.255

21

REDDING, Scott

GO&FUN Honda Gresini

02:02.8

3.3

22

LAVERTY, Michael

Paul Bird Motorsport

02:03.2

3.654

23

BARBERA, Hector

Avintia Racing

02:03.2

3.671

24

PARKES, Broc

Paul Bird Motorport

02:03.4

3.869

25

DI MEGLIO, Mike

Avintia Racing

02:04.5

4.983

26

AOKI, Nobuatsu

Suzuki Test Team

02:05.7

6.153

27

ABRAHAM, Karel

Cardion AB Motoracing

02:06.0

6.441

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