Sepang MotoGP Test: Pedrosa Again Quickest, Day 2

Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa

2013 Sepang MotoGP Preseason Test Results, Day 2

The 2013 MotoGP grid and various test riders returned to Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia Wednesday for the second day of three in preseason testing.

And though the top four riders finished in the same order as day one, each rider and the rest of the grid vastly improved their lap times over Tuesday’s session.

Leading once again was Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa, who was followed closely by Jorge Lorenzo, Marc Marquez and Valentino Rossi, respectively.

Pedrosa piloted his RC213V to a 2:00.549, which was just off Yamaha Factory Racing Jorge Lorenzo’s fastest lap at Sepang set last season (2:00.334).

Pedrosa, who finished last year’s championship in second behind Lorenzo, performed 37 laps while working on the Honda V4’s weight distribution. Pedrosa also planned to test a new rear Bridgestone tire compound, but after a lap the rain halted progress.

Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC213V MotoGP) says: “Today I was able to try some more things on the bike and we made a few positive steps forward from yesterday. The feeling is good, I’m happy and that’s what’s important. We had planned to try a few more things in the afternoon, like the hard compound tyres, but it started to rain early and we were unable to go out.

“We hope that it is good weather tomorrow so that we can try them out, as over the coming season it will be important to ride fast on that compound. We also hope to continue moving forward with our quest for the best bike setup.”

Finishing a mere 0.019 of a second behind was Pedrosa’s fellow countryman, the Spaniard Lorenzo. The two-time MotoGP champ, who completed 52 laps, went through various updates aboard the YZR-M1 as he preps to keep the title.

Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing YZR-M1 MotoGP) says: “Today in the morning the conditions were good and I could easily do the lap times from yesterday, I improved by more than half a second.

“Later we tried some little parts we couldn’t try yesterday, but not so much and the bike didn’t improve a lot. In the last hour it started to rain so I decided to exit and ride in the wet. We made more than eight laps in the rain. I think it was important to find the feeling in these conditions and also try the new tire.”

The rookie Marquez finished third quickest after 32 laps, 0.254 of a second behind his teammate Pedrosa. The young Spaniard worked with the electronics for the first time and continued to learn the braking limits of the RC213V.

Behind Marquez was Rossi, who returns to Yamaha Factory Racing after two sour years with Ducati. The nine-time World Champion finished 0.489 of a second behind Pedrosa while testing various chassis and engine setups on the YZR-M1 throughout 45 laps.

Valentino Rossi (Yamaha Factory Racing YZR-M1 MotoGP) says: “The second day of testing in Sepang is finished and the balance of the day is positive for us, especially as we finished some work on the bike. We have some different parts for the bike for this season and we continue to work on the setting.

“The positive is we improved compared to yesterday in terms of time on one lap with the new tire but especially on the rhythm, I was half a second faster than yesterday which is not so bad. Fourth position is quite good especially as we are less than half a second behind Pedrosa and Lorenzo. Unfortunately it started to rain so we had to stop earlier, because our target this afternoon was to go into 2’00 but we will try again tomorrow.”

In fifth was Monster Tech 3 Yamaha’s Cal Crutchlow, who finished 0.762 off the top time while improving corner entry on the satellite YZR-M1. The Brit was followed by LCR Honda’s Stefan Bradl, who was the final rider to post within a second of Pedrosa; Bradl was 0.820 of a second behind.

Seventh quickest was Go & Fun Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista, who continued to set up the Showa suspension and bike geometry on the RC213V. Bautista was 1.180 seconds behind Pedrosa.

Next was Monster Tech 3 Yamaha’s Bradley Smith, followed by the Ducati Team of Nicky Hayden and Andrea Dovizioso, respectively. On the quickest Ducati, Hayden posted a 2:02.110, 1.561 seconds behind Pedrosa.

HRC test rider Kosuke Akiyoshi and Yamaha test rider Katsuyuki Nakasuga finished ahead of Pramac Racing Ducati’s Ben Spies, who has been dealing with shoulder issues. He was followed by teammate and rookie Andrea Iannone.

As for the CRT grid, Power Electronics Aspar pair of Spaniard Aleix Espargaró and Frenchman Randy de Puniet led the CRT field once more, as both riders evaluated a new chassis and swingarm, with Came IodaRacing Project’s Italian Danilo Petrucci, who worked more on the ECU, and HCR test rider Takumi Takahashi in tow. Avintia Blusens’ Japanese entry Hiroshi Aoyama looked had fewer ill effects from his broken left wrist as he improved to 20th, ahead of teammate Héctor Barberá, who was working on the electronics and trying to overcome chatter issues, MotoGP says.

MotoGP says Cardion AB Racing’s Karel Abraham, sighting chatter issues with his ART, headed a much-improved Michael Laverty on the Paul Bird Motorsport ART bike, who managed to beat teammate Yonny Hernandez by two places, as the Colombian struggled with chatter as well. Splitting them was NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Claudio Corti, with teammate Colin Edwards and Go & Fun Honda Gresini’s Bryan Staring completing the line-up.

The 2013 MotoGP grid and test riders will return to Sepang on Thursday for the third and final day of testing.

2013 Sepang MotoGP Test, Day 2 (Wednesday) Results:

PosRiderTeamFastest lapPrev. GapLead. GapLapsLast lap
1PEDROSA, DaniRepsol Honda Team2:00.54929 / 371:08.374
2LORENZO, JorgeYamaha Factory Racing2:00.5680.0190.0196 / 521:22.196
3MARQUEZ, MarcRepsol Honda Team2:00.8030.2350.25420 / 341:09.647
4ROSSI, ValentinoYamaha Factory Racing2:01.0380.2350.48920 / 4513:48.492
5CRUTCHLOW, CalMonster Yamaha Tech 32:01.3110.2730.76231 / 411:42.071
6BRADL, StefanLCR Honda MotoGP2:01.3690.0580.8205 / 312:20.371
7BAUTISTA, AlvaroGo & Fun Honda Gresini2:01.7290.3601.18018 / 462:24.923
8SMITH, BradleyMonster Yamaha Tech 32:01.9310.2021.38232 / 402:30.452
9HAYDEN, NickyDucati Team2:02.1100.1791.56130 / 511:42.036
10DOVIZIOSO, AndreaDucati Team2:02.3790.2691.83033 / 511:17.180
11AKIYOSHI, KosukeHRC Test Team2:02.5260.1471.97716 / 291:18.549
12NAKASUGA, KatsayukiYamaha Factory2:02.7010.1752.15210 / 302:22.591
13SPIES, BenIgnite Pramac Racing Team2:03.0020.3012.45322 / 271:25.191
14YOSHIKAWA, WataruYamaha Factory2:03.1560.1542.6076 / 391:13.530
15IANNONE, AndreaEnergy T.I. Pramac Racing Team2:03.1690.0132.62015 / 292:24.183
16ESPARGARO, AleixPower Electronics Aspar2:03.2510.0822.70229 / 401:10.189
17DE PUNIET, RandyPower Electronics Aspar2:03.7910.5403.24238 / 631:23.641
18PETRUCCI, DaniloCame IodaRacing Project2:04.2840.4933.73547 / 481:08.774
19TAKAHASHI, TakumiHRC Test Team2:04.5590.2754.01041 / 441:15.599
20AOYAMA, HiroshiAvintia Blusens2:04.7860.2274.23723 / 321:15.538
21BARBERA, HectorAvintia Blusens2:04.9890.2034.44015 / 281:05.360
22ABRAHAM, KarelCardion AB Motoracing2:05.0280.0394.47912 / 541:17.877
23LAVERTY, MichaelPaul Bird Motorsport2:05.4170.3894.86813 / 312:41.682
24CORTI, ClaudioNGM Mobile Forward Racing2:05.7210.3045.17221 / 221:22.330
25HERNANDEZ, YonnyPaul Bird Motorsport2:05.8370.1165.28827 / 362:22.424
26EDWARDS, ColinNGM Mobile Forward Racing2:06.2050.3685.65622 / 231:21.502
27STARING, BryanGo & Fun Honda Gresini2:06.8980.6936.34922 / 331:19.994
28PESEK, LukasCame IodaRacing Project2:21.51214.61420.96312 / 147:37.065