2014 MotoGP™ Official Press Release
Repsol Honda Team’s Marc Marquez upped the pace as testing continued in Malaysia on Wednesday, while NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Aleix Espargaro placed an Open specification bike inside the top five for the first time.
With conditions just as good as they had been on Tuesday, it was Marquez’s team-mate Dani Pedrosa who led the way for much of the first half of the day. The World Champion then smashed through the two-minute barrier shortly before his lunch break, after which there were substantially less changes in lap times. It remains to be seen as to whether Marquez can better Casey Stoner’s 2012 pre-season time of 1’59.607, also registered on a Repsol Honda motorcycle.
With Repsol Honda first and second, Stefan Bradl was third for LCR Honda MotoGP (three thousandths down on Pedrosa) with Valentino Rossi fourth for Yamaha Factory Racing. Aleix Espargaro again displayed the promise of the new Open FTR-Yamaha combination, as his Forward machine was barely two tenths down on the nearest Factory Honda, with Rossi’s team-mate Jorge Lorenzo sixth; the former double title winner was attempting to improve handling issues, encountered on Day 1 as a result of setup changes made in a bid to improve fuel consumption, as for 2014 the Factory Option bikes are limited by a further litre of fuel to just 20 across a race distance.
Bradley Smith spearheaded the Monster Yamaha Tech3 charge, with Pramac Racing’s Andrea Iannone in eighth position; on the leading Ducati, the Italian was some seven tenths of a second quicker than he had been on Tuesday. Alvaro Bautista was ninth for GO&FUN Honda Gresini, but his day was not without its problems; at 11:30, the Spaniard suffered a technical problem and thus took a shortcut back to the pit lane. The top ten was completed by Smith’s team-mate Pol Espargaro, while brother Aleix’s team-mate Colin Edwards was the only rider to not improve his lap time today, but his best effort from Day 1 still leaves the American 15th on the combined timesheet.
Ducati Team bikes were locked together once again, this time filling positions 11 to 13 with Andrea Dovizioso, Cal Crutchlow and test rider Michele Pirro, with their quickest lap time some 1.3 seconds quicker than it had been 24 hours earlier. In the Honda RCV1000R ranks, the quickest rider was again Drive M7 Aspar’s Nicky Hayden as the 2006 World Champion managed to circulate 1.1 seconds faster than he had on Day 1. As ever, the true pace of all bikes is difficult to gauge as fuel loads and other such details remain highly secretive. However, more clues may be available on Thursday as a selection of riders aim for race simulations; such long-run pace often serves as a better indicator, although this is only the first of four Official pre-season tests set to be staged prior to the season-opening Grand Prix in Qatar on 23 March.
The Suzuki Test Team ended the day 20th with Randy de Puniet – 3.1 seconds behind Marquez but eight tenths of a second faster than the Frenchman’s own best lap of Tuesday – as they continued their journey ahead of a MotoGP™ return in 2015. Elsewhere, premier class rookies Scott Redding, Broc Parkes and Mike di Meglio continued adapting to their respective Honda RCV1000R, PBM and Avintia bikes for the corresponding Gresini, Paul Bird Motorsport and Avintia Racing teams.
Thursday will mark the third and final day of this week’s Sepang Official MotoGP™ Test, with identical running times of 10am-6pm local time (GMT +8).
MotoGP™ Official Test at Ricardo Tormo
Mon, 12 November 2013
Report day 1/3
After his stunning win at Valencia in the final race of the season on Sunday it was Jorge Lorenzo who topped the timesheet again on Monday in the first day of 2014 ‘pre-season’ testing.
Lap times of course do not mean a great deal at this stage, with some riders swapping machinery, many tweaking set-up and some joining new teams, but Lorenzo set the standards again – with a 1’31.257 late in the day. That lap was quicker than anyone went in Sunday’s race and came on the 2013 YZR-M1, although Lorenzo also has a 2014 development Yamaha available this week.
On the other side of the Yamaha Factory Racing box Valentino Rossi spent the day working with new Crew Chief Silvano Galbusera. The Doctor’s best time of the day was just 0.093s off Lorenzo’s best, also coming on his 2013 bike, though he too is already using the 2014 development M1.
Repsol Honda’s new World Champion Marc Marquez and his colleague Dani Pedrosa were both at the circuit but did not test on Monday – though they are expected on track on Tuesday as the battle to stay ahead of Yamaha continues.
Stefan Bradl was the fastest Honda rider on track on Monday, using his RC213V from this season to set the third best time of the day – 0.5s off Lorenzo’s pace.
New Ducati recruit Cal Crutchlow has taken Italian Crew Chief Daniele Romagnoli with him from Tech 3 to the Italian factory Ducati and the pair were working alongside new Ducati Corse General Manager Gigi Dall’Igna for the first time on Monday.
Crutchlow matched Ducati’s Sunday race pace, and was sixth overall just over 0.1s (check) behind new Ducati teammate Andrea Dovizioso who was fifth best. Dovizioso lapped in a similar pace to fourth fastest rider of the day, Andrea Iannone on the Pramac Racing Ducati.
Ducati Test Team rider Michele Pirro was 0.6s behind Crutchlow in seventh, just ahead of Yonny Hernandez – who was confirmed today to remain as Iannone’s teammate in the Pramac Racing Team permanently during the 2014 season.
Moto2 World Champion Pol Espargaro rode his first laps on his new Monster Yamaha Tech 3 MotoGP bike, in tenth spot on the timesheet, with a lap around two seconds off Lorenzo’s pace. His new teammate Bradley Smith sat things out and expects to get through all his test work for this week on Tuesday.
The new Honda RCV1000R was used for the first time by the GO&FUN Honda Gresini team as Scott Redding also got his 2014 MotoGP preparations underway, the Englishman ending up 11th overall. Cristian Gabarrini from HRC got Redding’s initial feedback on the new prototype, which the teams will adapt to over the winter.
Hiroshi Aoyama officially joined the Power Electronics Aspar team on Monday, but with Aspar only having one of their new Hondas ready for today, Nicky Hayden will have to wait until Tuesday to ride it. Aoyama was ninth best on the timesheet, 1.8s down on Lorenzo’s P1 pace.
Mike di Meglio has not ridden since the Brno Moto2™ race due to serious injury, but he was back on track today testing with the Avintia Blusens team.
Randy de Puniet should be testing with the PBM team on Tuesday as they look to confirm direction for next season, with the 2014-spec ART being prepared for the Frenchman on Monday.
The testing action at the Ricardo Tormo circuit will continue on Tuesday and Wednesday (10am-5pm both days). Live video coverage will be available again through motogp.com on Tuesday (11am-2pm).