Honda’s Pedrosa Tops 3-Day Sepang MotoGP Test

Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa

2013 Sepang MotoGP Preseason Testing, Day 3 Results

Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa wrapped up the early-February three-day preseason MotoGP test at Sepang International Raceway as the lead men.

Besides leading day one and day two, Pedrosa finalized his RC213V’s speed with a record lap on Thursday at Malaysian circuit, posting a 2:00.100. This beats Yamaha Factory Racing’s fastest lap of 2:00.334 set last season.

And one again it was Lorenzo who followed 0.329 of a second back. Slipping into third fastest on Thursday was Lorenzo’s Yamaha teammate, Valentino Rossi. The nine-time World Champion, who was fourth fastest on days one and two posted a 2:00.542, which was 0.442 of a second off Pedrosa’s pace.

As for Pedrosa, he worked on engine braking, the balance and distribution of the additional weight of the bike, and he also had the chance to test the new compound Bridgestone tire. He completed a total of 44 laps, recording his fastest on lap 4 in the morning when track conditions were perfect.

Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC213V MotoGP) says: “We can leave Sepang with a good feeling, because we had good lap times on all three days. We were able to put in a lot of laps and, above all, try out some important things with the engine and the bike weight to adjust to the three kilos more for this season —dictated by the new rules.

“Today we focused on rear tires, in particular the new hard compound. It is similar to the old one with a little more grip in some areas, but it also creates more chatter. We finished the test well and hope to continue like this in the following ones.”

As for Lorenzo and Rossi, both Yamaha riders worked on YZR-M1’s engine and chassis, searching for the most optimal settings ahead of 2013 MotoGP. Lorenzo also posted under his fastest lap record, and Rossi broke under the 2:01 mark.

Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing YZR-M1 MotoGP) says: “I think these three days have been positive for us. We tried many things and some of them were good. We need to reconfirm again in another track but here we were able to improve a little bit. I was able to make a simulation this afternoon, the first one I’ve done in Sepang in my GP career. I felt strong physically, mentally and riding so it was good. The other riders are also really strong so it promises to be an interesting season.”

Valentino Rossi (Yamaha Factory Racing YZR-M1 MotoGP) says: “I’m very happy, all three days were very good. We worked hard on the bike and improved day by day. The third day was the best, we were able to stay less than half a second from pole position and the lap time is higher which is interesting. Today we finished third in the standings which is theoretically the front row so I’m very happy with this first test.”

Fourth fastest was Pedrosa’s teammate Marquez, who suffered a morning crash but walked away unhurt. The rookie went quicker today, but finished 0.094 of a second behind Rossi.

Monster Tech 3 Yamaha’s Cal Crutchlow was fifth quickest, the Brit the final rider to post under the 2:01 mark. He was followed by LCR Honda’s Stefan Bradl, who posted a 2:01.003. The German was the final rider to post within a second of Pedrosa.

Go & Fun Honda Gresini’s Álvaro Bautista continued to work on his RC213V’s geometry and Showa suspension, ultimately finishing seventh. He was followed by Monster Tech 3 Yamaha’s Bradley Smith.

Up next was the fastest Ducati rider, Nicky Hayden. The American posted a 2:02.184, finishing 2.084 seconds behind Pedrosa. His teammate, Andrea Dovizioso, followed 0.093 of a second behind.

Yamaha test rider Katsuyuki Nakasuga was the first outside of the top ten, in front of Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaró, who put in a tremendous effort to place his CRT 12th, and just over 2.5s off the top. He ousted Pramac Team’s Italian rookie Andrea Iannone into 13th, who was without teammate Ben Spies today, as the Texan decided to sit it out and let his shoulder recuperate before the second Sepang test. He finished the overall standings in 15th, MotoGP reports.

HRC test rider Kosuke Akiyoshi headed Paul Bird Motorsport’s Michael Laverty, who has improved by nearly 3s over the three days on his MotoGP debut. He beat established Aspar rider Randy de Puniet, who finished ahead of Yamaha test rider Wataru Yoshikawa, Avintia Blusens’ Héctor Barberá and HRC test rider Takumi Takahashi. Came IodaRacing Project’s Danilo Petrucci ended the day in 20th, in front of Cardion AB Motoracing’s Karel Abraham, Avintia’s Hiroshi Aoyama, NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Claudio Corti and Ioda’s Lukas Pesek. Rounding out the back of the grid are PBM’s Yonny Hernandez, trying to fix chatter issues, as well as NGM’s Colin Edwards and Gresini’s Bryan Staring, MotoGP reports.

The MotoGP grid will now break for two weeks before returning to Sepang for another preseason test Feb. 26-28.

2013 Sepang MotoGP Test, Day 3 Results:

Pos Rider Team Fastest lap Prev. Gap Lead. Gap Laps Last lap
1 PEDROSA, Dani Repsol Honda Team 2:00.100 4 / 44
2 LORENZO, Jorge Yamaha Factory Racing 2:00.429 0.329 0.329 4 / 60
3 ROSSI, Valentino Yamaha Factory Racing 2:00.542 0.113 0.442 43 / 60
4 MARQUEZ, Marc Repsol Honda Team 2:00.636 0.094 0.536 32 / 54
5 CRUTCHLOW, Cal Monster Yamaha Tech 3 2:00.734 0.098 0.634 5 / 53
6 BRADL, Stefan LCR Honda MotoGP 2:01.003 0.269 0.903 14 / 43
7 BAUTISTA, Alvaro Go & Fun Honda Gresini 2:01.502 0.499 1.402 29 / 48
8 SMITH, Bradley Monster Yamaha Tech 3 2:02.093 0.591 1.993 43 / 48
9 HAYDEN, Nicky Ducati Team 2:02.184 0.091 2.084 19 / 60
10 DOVIZIOSO, Andrea Ducati Team 2:02.277 0.093 2.177 37 / 43
11 NAKASUGA, Katsayuki Yamaha Factory 2:02.616 0.339 2.516 12 / 21
12 ESPARGARO, Aleix Power Electronics Aspar 2:02.628 0.012 2.528 37 / 47
13 IANNONE, Andrea Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Team 2:02.864 0.236 2.764 17 / 35
14 AKIYOSHI, Kosuke HRC Test Team 2:03.082 0.218 2.982 14 / 28
15 LAVERTY, Michael Paul Bird Motorsport 2:03.874 0.792 3.774 40 / 47
16 DE PUNIET, Randy Power Electronics Aspar 2:04.066 0.192 3.966 38 / 39
17 YOSHIKAWA, Wataru Yamaha Factory 2:04.137 0.071 4.037 5 / 18
18 BARBERA, Hector Avintia Blusens 2:04.211 0.074 4.111 31 / 41
19 TAKAHASHI, Takumi HRC Test Team 2:04.288 0.077 4.188 37 / 46
20 PETRUCCI, Danilo Came IodaRacing Project 2:04.531 0.243 4.431 32 / 34
21 ABRAHAM, Karel Cardion AB Motoracing 2:04.766 0.235 4.666 57 / 65
22 AOYAMA, Hiroshi Avintia Blusens 2:04.915 0.149 4.815 49 / 51
23 CORTI, Claudio NGM Mobile Forward Racing 2:05.107 0.192 5.007 13 / 41
24 PESEK, Lukas Came IodaRacing Project 2:05.321 0.214 5.221 39 / 40
25 HERNANDEZ, Yonny Paul Bird Motorsport 2:05.407 0.086 5.307 46 / 48
26 EDWARDS, Colin NGM Mobile Forward Racing 2:05.913 0.506 5.813 44 / 46
27 STARING, Bryan Go & Fun Honda Gresini 2:05.970 0.057 5.870 38 / 41