Sepang Test: Marquez remains on top, Espargaro stuns on Day 2

Posted: 05 Feb 2014

Espargaro is impressing in Sepang

Marc Marquez has remained on top of the timesheets at the end of the second day of testing in Sepang, but it’s Aleix Espargaro stealing the headlines on the Open Class FTR Yamaha in fifth place.

Marquez’ gap at the front has been reduced with team mate Dani Pedrosa setting the second fastest lap some four tenths off the 2013 Champion. Stefan Bradl set the third fastest time to consolidate a strong second day for Honda.

The next four fastest times were all set by riders aboard Yamaha machinery, although said riders are not lined up in an order you’d expect. Valentino Rossi set the fastest time on his factory YZR-M1, just over half a second from Marquez, but it was Aleix Espargaro on the Forward Racing FTR Yamaha second fastest of the Yamaha riders, ahead of factory rider Jorge Lorenzo and both Tech 3 machines. Espargaro, on an Open Class FTR M1 with spec electronics, remarkably set a time just six tenths off Marquez’ fastest time.

Twice World Champion Jorge Lorenzo is struggling, setting just the sixth fastest time, over half a second from his 2013 rival, Marquez. Lorenzo has said the changes made to adapt the M1 to the new twenty-litre fuel limit have made the bike aggressive, a characteristic which doesn’t really suit the Spaniard’s smooth style. Bradley Smith set the seventh fastest time, running a pace similar to that of Espargaro and Lorenzo.

Crutchlow improved on Day 2

There has at last been positive news for Ducati, with Andrea Iannone setting the eighth fastest time of the day, less than a second off Marquez’ time. Factory riders Dovizioso and Crutchlow weren’t far off either, setting the eleventh and twelfth fastest times respectively having shaven more than a second off their 2.5 second day one deficit.

There was also some positive news for the Honda production racer, with Hayden climbing the timesheets to set the fourteenth fastest time ahead of the second FTR Yamaha of Colin Edwards. Having been over three seconds off the pace on Tuesday, Hayden will be pleased to have brought down the gap, but he’s still some way off the competition of Yamaha’s top open class machine.

Randy de Puniet shaved eight tenths off his Tuesday time to set the twentieth fastest time on the Suzuki test bike after a whopping ninety six laps. Britain’s Scott Redding also saw a marked improvement, reducing his previous lap time by over a second. After a disastrous first day, Michael Laverty saw huge improvements for the second day, setting a lap time two and a half seconds faster than he managed after a handful of laps on day one.

Testing concludes tomorrow.

Times Day 2:

1

MARQUEZ, Marc

Repsol Honda Team

01:59.9


2

PEDROSA, Dani

Repsol Honda Team

02:00.3

0.41

3

BRADL, Stefan

LCR Honda MotoGP

02:00.3

0.413

4

ROSSI, Valentino

Yamaha Factory Racing

02:00.5

0.538

5

ESPARGARO, Aleix

NGM Mobile Forward Racing

02:00.5

0.621

6

LORENZO, Jorge

Yamaha Factory Racing

02:00.6

0.647

7

SMITH, Bradley

Monster Yamaha Tech 3

02:00.6

0.677

8

IANNONE, Andrea

Pramac Racing

02:00.9

0.929

9

BAUTISTA, Alvaro

GO&FUN Honda Gresini

02:00.9

0.971

10

ESPARGARO, Pol

Monster Yamaha Tech 3

02:01.1

1.135

11

DOVIZIOSO, Andrea

Ducati Team

02:01.1

1.22

12

CRUTCHLOW, Cal

Ducati Team

02:01.4

1.47

13

PIRRO, Michele

Ducati Test Team

02:02.2

2.251

14

HAYDEN, Nicky

Drive M7 Aspar

02:02.3

2.361

15

EDWARDS, Colin

NGM Mobile Forward Racing

02:02.5

2.619

16

HERNANDEZ, Yonny

Energy T.I. Pramac Racing

02:02.7

2.749

17

AKIYOSHI, Kosuke

HRC Test Team

02:02.7

2.766

18

AOYAMA, Hiroshi

Drive M7 Aspar

02:02.8

2.899

19

NAKASUGA, Katsuyuki

Yamaha Factory Test Team

02:03.0

3.044

20

DE PUNIET, Randy

Suzuki Test Team

02:03.1

3.138

21

REDDING, Scott

GO&FUN Honda Gresini

02:03.1

3.191

22

LAVERTY, Michael

Paul Bird Motorsport

02:03.5

3.602

23

BARBERA, Hector

Avintia Racing

02:04.6

4.625

24

PARKES, Broc

Paul Bird Motorport

02:04.6

4.693

25

ABRAHAM, Karel

Cardion AB Motoracing

02:05.3

5.335

26

DI MEGLIO, Mike

Avintia Racing

02:05.4

5.429

Results from Day 1 can be found here.

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