Sepang MotoGP Test | Honda’s Pedrosa Leads Day 1

Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa

2013 Sepang MotoGP Preseason Test Results, Day 1

Following the usual winter break, the first official MotoGP preseason test session of 2013 got underway Tuesday at Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia.

The CRT teams spent Sunday and Monday testing ECUs, but Tuesday's test was the first official one for the entire 24-rider lineup (half prototype, half CRT).

As expected, the 1000cc prototypes were running tight, with the top seven riders posting within eight-tenths of second of each other, and the top three within a few hundredths of a second.

Leading the pack on day one of three was Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa, who posted a 2:01.157 aboard his Repsol Honda RC213V. Pedrosa spent the day working with their engines in preparation of the 2013 rule that only allows five engines to be used for the entire, 18-round series.

Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC213V MotoGP) says: “It's the first day back testing after the winter break. We’ve spent three months off the bike and the feeling from the first day testing is positive. The track was in good condition and we were able to put in a lot of laps at a good pace, thanks to it not being especially hot. I haven't ridden since the November test in Valencia, so today has been a first step to getting back on the pace. We didn't play about with the setup today, but we will move onto that in the remaining two days of testing.”

Yamaha Factory Racing's Jorge Lorenzo was next, piloting his YZR-M1 to a 2:01.165, which was only 0.008 of a second behind Pedrosa. The reigning MotoGP Champion, who holds the fastest lap record at Sepang with a 2:00.334 (2012), worked on setting up his Yamaha for better acceleration out of corners.

Lorenzo was followed by his fellow countryman Marc Marquez, who posted a 2:01.201, making for three Spaniards in the top three. Like his teammate Pedrosa, Marquez also worked on engine prep for the new rule.

Fourth fastest was the star of the show, Valentino Rossi, who returns to the Yamaha Factory Racing Team following two years with Ducati. The nine-time World Champion trailed Pedrosa by 0.427 of a second, the Italian posting a 2:01.584. Rossi spent the day getting comfortable with the YZR-M1.

Valentino Rossi (Yamaha Factory Racing YZR-M1 MotoGP) says: "I’m very happy about the first day of testing with the M1. After two seasons away I was able to come back on the bike and remember the good feeling I always had with it. I am also happy because I was quite fast from the morning.

"We worked on the settings to make some improvements and we made some good steps. In the afternoon we started to work on the new parts for the season. It’s just the first test but the potential is high and I am in a good position, I am in fourth place but not far from the other three guys. I am very positive that we can improve over the next few days but I’m happy with the start.”

But just two-tenths of a second behind Rossi was LCR Honda's Stefan Bradl. The German was piloting a bike that had the same spec as the Repsol Honda used at Valencia last season. During the opening day of MotoGP testing at Sepang, Bradl worked on traction control, suspension and brakes.

Bradl was trailed 0.092 of a second back by Monster Tech 3 Yamaha's Cal Crutchlow, who was competing on a 2012-spec YZR-M1. The final rider to post within a second of Pedrosa was Go & Fun Honda Gresini's Alvaro Bautista, the Spaniard 0.824 of a second back while setting up the Showa suspension aboard his Honda RC213V.

Yamaha test rider Katsuyuki Nakasuga and HRC test rider Kosuke Akiyoshi finished ahead of the man in 10th, Nicky Hayden. The American was the highest-placed Ducati rider, but was 2.179 seconds behind Pedrosa.

Finishing just behind Hayden was Yamaha test rider Wataru Yoshikawa. Monster Tech 3 yamaha's British rookie Bradley Smith was getting used to his machine, ending the day in 12th, around 2.3 seconds off the front, in front of Ducati’s Italian hopeful Andrea Dovizioso, and the Power Electronics Aspar Team of Spaniard Aleix Espargaró and Frenchman Randy de Puniet, MotoGP says.

Pramac Team’s Italian rookie Andrea Iannone made steady progress on his Desmosedici making it into 16th by the end, ahead of US teammate Ben Spies, who put in a few hours on his new Ducati this morning, although had to stop due to shoulder pain, MotoGP says.

HRC test rider Takumi Takahashi headed Avintia Blusens’ Héctor Barberá, who was focusing on electronics, as well as Paul Bird Motorsport’s Colombian Yonny Hernandez, Cardion AB Motoracing’s Karel Abraham, Came IodaRacing Project’s Danilo Petrucci, Avintia Blusens’ Hiroshi Aoyama and NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Claudio Corti. MotoGP newcomer Michael Laverty lapped on an ART bike to get used to the Bridgestone tyres and carbon discs, and was followed by Ioda’s new Czech rider Lukas Pesek, Bautista’s Australian teammate Bryan Staring, whilst NGM’s Edwards suffered bike issues and finished the day last, putting in only 25 laps, MotoGP says.

The 2013 MotoGP grid will return on the Malaysian circuit on Wednesday for the second of three days of testing.

2013 Sepang MotoGP Test, Day 1 (Tuesday) Results:

Pos Rider Team Fastest lap Prev. Gap Lead. Gap Laps Last lap
1 PEDROSA, Dani Repsol Honda Team 2:01.157 48 / 49 1:08.174
2 LORENZO, Jorge Yamaha Factory Racing 2:01.165 0.008 0.008 57 / 58 1:15.264
3 MARQUEZ, Marc Repsol Honda Team 2:01.201 0.036 0.044 60 / 62 2:49.561
4 ROSSI, Valentino Yamaha Factory Racing 2:01.584 0.383 0.427 30 / 56 1:17.950
5 BRADL, Stefan LCR Honda MotoGP 2:01.789 0.205 0.632 43 / 59 1:15.188
6 CRUTCHLOW, Cal Monster Yamaha Tech 3 2:01.881 0.092 0.724 46 / 64 2:31.099
7 BAUTISTA, Alvaro Go & Fun Honda Gresini 2:01.981 0.100 0.824 52 / 59 1:10.581
8 NAKASUGA, Katsayuki Yamaha Factory 2:02.968 0.987 1.811 50 / 58 1:11.728
9 AKIYOSHI, Kosuke HRC Test Team 2:02.972 0.004 1.815 46 / 69 1:21.686
10 HAYDEN, Nicky Ducati Team 2:03.336 0.364 2.179 22 / 62 2:27.475
11 YOSHIKAWA, Wataru Yamaha Factory 2:03.456 0.120 2.299 14 / 46 1:11.666
12 SMITH, Bradley Monster Yamaha Tech 3 2:03.460 0.004 2.303 53 / 56 1:10.044
13 DOVIZIOSO, Andrea Ducati Team 2:03.535 0.075 2.378 35 / 48 2:15.588
14 ESPARGARO, Aleix Power Electronics Aspar 2:03.782 0.247 2.625 54 / 58 1:08.855
15 DE PUNIET, Randy Power Electronics Aspar 2:04.283 0.501 3.126 42 / 56 1:13.859
16 IANNONE, Andrea Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Team 2:04.500 0.217 3.343 53 / 57 1:17.551
17 SPIES, Ben Ignite Pramac Racing Team 2:05.086 0.586 3.929 19 / 21 1:24.065
18 TAKAHASHI, Takumi HRC Test Team 2:05.154 0.068 3.997 68 / 70 1:16.207
19 BARBERA, Hector Avintia Blusens 2:05.469 0.315 4.312 37 / 41 2:10.880
20 HERNANDEZ, Yonny Paul Bird Motorsport 2:05.656 0.187 4.499 39 / 50 1:14.180
21 ABRAHAM, Karel Cardion AB Motoracing 2:05.694 0.038 4.537 30 / 54 1:15.855
22 PETRUCCI, Danilo Came IodaRacing Project 2:05.753 0.059 4.596 27 / 29 1:24.072
23 AOYAMA, Hiroshi Avintia Blusens 2:05.919 0.166 4.762 47 / 48 1:18.850
24 CORTI, Claudio NGM Mobile Forward Racing 2:06.426 0.507 5.269 29 / 38 1:33.227
25 LAVERTY, Michael Paul Bird Motorsport 2:06.507 0.081 5.350 42 / 43 2:41.841
26 PESEK, Lukas Came IodaRacing Project 2:07.015 0.508 5.858 40 / 46 1:23.864
27 STARING, Bryan Go & Fun Honda Gresini 2:07.044 0.029 5.887 33 / 41 32:51.073
28 EDWARDS, Colin NGM Mobile Forward Racing Team 2:08.206 1.162 7.049 24 / 25 1:23.998



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