Pedrosa Fastest on Final Day of Sepang II MotoGP Testing

Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa

Sepang II MotoGP Testing Results, Day 3

Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa regained the top time Thursday during the third and final day of 2013 MotoGP preseason testing at Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia.

The Spaniard Pedrosa was also quickest on day one, but was beat by his fellow countryman on day two – Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo. And though Pedrosa was quickest on Thursday, his top time of 2:00.562 was almost three-tenths of a second slower than Lorenzo’s time on Wednesday.

Much of the slow times on Thursday, including Pedrosa’s, were attributed to rain showers that once again plagued the circuit as they did on day one of Sepang II MotoGP testing. As for day 2, the conditions were hot and sunny.

But once the weather cleared a bit on Thursday, Pedrosa claimed the top time on lap 41 of 57 while tuning suspension. Between the Sepang I and Sepang II MotoGP preseason testing sessions, the RC213V pilot was quickest on five out of six days.

Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC213V MotoGP) says: “This morning we were able to try out the wet weather setup; it was only for a short time, but nevertheless we were able to put in some laps with it. In the afternoon, with the track dry and with slicks, we continued working on suspension settings. Overall, it’s been a positive three days. Now we’re off to Austin, and this is going to be an interesting test for the team and for myself. We’ve never ridden there and it’s a new track.”

Following Pedrosa on the final day was Honda MotoGP teammate Marc Marquez. The rookie suffered two small crashes – one at a wet turn 12 and another at a dry turn 9 – but escaped unharmed. During Thursday’s test, Marquez tweaked set up and electronics. He posted a best of 2:00.643 during 54 laps, trailing Pedrosa by 0.081 of a second.

Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda RC213V MotoGP) says: “It’s been a good day, overall. In the morning we rode in the wet and I felt very good on the bike, even though I had a small crash. I clipped the white line and lost the front, but neither myself nor the bike were affected at all. When the track dried out we went back to our work on the electronics and with the bike setup —above all with the front.

“On the initial laps I didn’t feel completely comfortable with the front end and had another small crash at the hairpin when I was forcing it a bit too much. In the final hour we set the bike up the way we had been fastest at this test, and I think that we got a good time again with it. We can leave here feeling positive about how things went.”

Lorenzo finished the day third fastest, 0.430 of a second behind Pedrosa, while testing long-race simulation. Though his 2:00.282 was the quickest of the Sepang II MotoGP test sessions, it was still slower than Pedrosa’s quickest lap of 2:00.100 set during Sepang I testing earlier this month.

Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing YZR-M1 MotoGP) says: “The practice was wet at the beginning of the day so we exited and tried the bike on the wet. It wasn’t bad, I made the fastest wet time but when the track became dryer it was never the same as yesterday. It was much more slippery and so harder to equal yesterday’s time.

“We made a complete simulation, it was a little worse than I expected because we had some problems with the front tire in braking; it didn’t give me much confidence so I slowed my pace a little. The conditions were extreme this time so it was harder to equal the simulation we made in the first Sepang test.”

Fourth went to nine time World Champion Valentino Rossi, the Italian opting to test the Bridgestone’s rear tire grip over long-distances. The MotoGP pilot finished exactly a half of second behind Pedorsa.

Valentino Rossi (Yamaha Factory Racing YZR-M1 MotoGP) says: “This test at the end is positive because we are in fourth place and not so far from the front. We are struggling a little more than the first test though; we were unlucky and suffered a little electrical problem that lost us some time and some other little problems. We tried to improve our performance and we fixed some problems but not all. The balance is positive; we have had another three days with the bike, and ridden more kilometers to take the bike back to the top and closer to the limit. Now we are looking forward to Austin.”

Finishing a mere 0.016 of a second behind Rossi was Go & Fun Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista, with Monster Tech 3 Yamaha’s Cal Crutchlow in sixth. The final rider to post within a second of Pedrosa was LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl, the Moto2 Champion 0.747 of a second back.

The top Ducati MotoGP rider was once again Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizoso, the Italian just over a second off the pace as he and teammate Nicky Hayden used new gas tanks on the GP13 prototypes. As for Hayden, the American finished 0.420 of a second behind Dovi.

Monster Tech 3 Yamaha’s Bradley Smith rounded out the top 10 on Thursday, finishing 1.752 seconds behind Pedrosa. And the top CRT MotoGP bike Thursday was Power Electronics Aspar’s Randy de Puniet, who was 2.301 off the top prototype time.

The Sepang II testing session didn’t go too well for the American Ben Spies. The newly-signed Ignite Pramac Racing Ducati rider finished 14th quickest on Thursday, 2.493 off the top time. The American had some fork issues aboard the GP13, and continues to deal with shoulder issues.

Next up is the final preseason MotoGP test session of 2013 at Jerez March 23-25. The Honda riders will participate in a private test session at the all-new Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, March 12-14.

2013 Sepang II MotoGP Preseason Test Results, Day 3:

PosRiderTeamFastest lapLead. GapPrev. GapLapsLast lap
1PEDROSA, DaniRepsol Honda Team2:00.56241 / 571:07.343
2MARQUEZ, MarcRepsol Honda Team2:00.6430.0810.08154 / 542:39.960
3LORENZO, JorgeYamaha Factory Racing Team2:00.9920.4300.34923 / 561:15.857
4ROSSI, ValentinoYamaha Factory Racing Team2:01.0620.5000.07060 / 611:13.952
5BAUTISTA, AlvaroGO&FUN Honda Gresini2:01.0780.5160.01613 / 431:06.083
6CRUTCHLOW, CalMonster Yamaha Tech 32:01.0940.5320.01657 / 591:20.655
7BRADL, StefanLCR Honda MotoGP2:01.3090.7470.2157 / 461:14.389
8DOVIZIOSO, AndreaDucati Team2:01.6501.0880.34135 / 441:26.448
9HAYDEN, NickyDucati Team2:02.0701.5080.42023 / 532:51.973
10SMITH, BradleyMonster Yamaha Tech 32:02.3141.7520.24446 / 641:16.941
11IANNONE, AndreaEnergy T.I. Pramac Racing Team2:02.5662.0040.25246 / 522:10.442
12PIRRO, MicheleDucati Test Team2:02.7732.2110.20736 / 382:45.297
13DE PUNIET, RandyPower Electronics Aspar2:02.8632.3010.09044 / 452:15.360
14SPIES, BenIgnite Pramac Racing Team2:03.0552.4930.19231 / 331:16.652
15NAKASUGA, KatsuyukiYamaha Factory Racing Test Team2:03.1542.5920.09924 / 321:10.838
16BARBERA, HectorAvintia Blusens2:03.1552.5930.00137 / 421:19.023
17YOSHIKAWA, WataruYamaha Factory Racing Test Team2:03.2572.6950.10222 / 261:12.399
18ESPARGARO, AleixPower Electronics Aspar2:03.4232.8610.16618 / 451:13.648
19ABRAHAM, KarelCardion AB Motoracing2:04.0663.5040.64333 / 571:20.850
20EDWARDS, ColinNGM Mobile Forward Racing2:04.1023.5400.03621 / 421:13.452
21AOYAMA, HiroshiAvintia Blusens2:04.5123.9500.41015 / 512:16.480
22LAVERTY, MichaelPaul Bird Motorsport2:04.5463.9840.03421 / 241:26.972
23PESEK, LukasCame IodaRacing Project2:04.6744.1120.12832 / 332:04.867
24PETRUCCI, DaniloCame IodaRacing Project2:04.6864.1240.01218 / 361:23.384
25CORTI, ClaudioNGM Mobile Forward Racing2:04.7184.1560.03248 / 511:18.930
26HERNANDEZ, YonnyPaul Bird Motorsport2:04.7224.1600.00446 / 471:15.335
27TAKAHASHI, TakumiHRC Test Team2:04.7494.1870.02763 / 651:15.385
28STARING, BryanGO&FUN Honda Gresini2:05.3134.7510.56415 / 402:24.325