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:

Pos Rider Team Fastest lap Lead. Gap Prev. Gap Laps Last lap
1 PEDROSA, Dani Repsol Honda Team 2:00.562 41 / 57 1:07.343
2 MARQUEZ, Marc Repsol Honda Team 2:00.643 0.081 0.081 54 / 54 2:39.960
3 LORENZO, Jorge Yamaha Factory Racing Team 2:00.992 0.430 0.349 23 / 56 1:15.857
4 ROSSI, Valentino Yamaha Factory Racing Team 2:01.062 0.500 0.070 60 / 61 1:13.952
5 BAUTISTA, Alvaro GO&FUN Honda Gresini 2:01.078 0.516 0.016 13 / 43 1:06.083
6 CRUTCHLOW, Cal Monster Yamaha Tech 3 2:01.094 0.532 0.016 57 / 59 1:20.655
7 BRADL, Stefan LCR Honda MotoGP 2:01.309 0.747 0.215 7 / 46 1:14.389
8 DOVIZIOSO, Andrea Ducati Team 2:01.650 1.088 0.341 35 / 44 1:26.448
9 HAYDEN, Nicky Ducati Team 2:02.070 1.508 0.420 23 / 53 2:51.973
10 SMITH, Bradley Monster Yamaha Tech 3 2:02.314 1.752 0.244 46 / 64 1:16.941
11 IANNONE, Andrea Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Team 2:02.566 2.004 0.252 46 / 52 2:10.442
12 PIRRO, Michele Ducati Test Team 2:02.773 2.211 0.207 36 / 38 2:45.297
13 DE PUNIET, Randy Power Electronics Aspar 2:02.863 2.301 0.090 44 / 45 2:15.360
14 SPIES, Ben Ignite Pramac Racing Team 2:03.055 2.493 0.192 31 / 33 1:16.652
15 NAKASUGA, Katsuyuki Yamaha Factory Racing Test Team 2:03.154 2.592 0.099 24 / 32 1:10.838
16 BARBERA, Hector Avintia Blusens 2:03.155 2.593 0.001 37 / 42 1:19.023
17 YOSHIKAWA, Wataru Yamaha Factory Racing Test Team 2:03.257 2.695 0.102 22 / 26 1:12.399
18 ESPARGARO, Aleix Power Electronics Aspar 2:03.423 2.861 0.166 18 / 45 1:13.648
19 ABRAHAM, Karel Cardion AB Motoracing 2:04.066 3.504 0.643 33 / 57 1:20.850
20 EDWARDS, Colin NGM Mobile Forward Racing 2:04.102 3.540 0.036 21 / 42 1:13.452
21 AOYAMA, Hiroshi Avintia Blusens 2:04.512 3.950 0.410 15 / 51 2:16.480
22 LAVERTY, Michael Paul Bird Motorsport 2:04.546 3.984 0.034 21 / 24 1:26.972
23 PESEK, Lukas Came IodaRacing Project 2:04.674 4.112 0.128 32 / 33 2:04.867
24 PETRUCCI, Danilo Came IodaRacing Project 2:04.686 4.124 0.012 18 / 36 1:23.384
25 CORTI, Claudio NGM Mobile Forward Racing 2:04.718 4.156 0.032 48 / 51 1:18.930
26 HERNANDEZ, Yonny Paul Bird Motorsport 2:04.722 4.160 0.004 46 / 47 1:15.335
27 TAKAHASHI, Takumi HRC Test Team 2:04.749 4.187 0.027 63 / 65 1:15.385
28 STARING, Bryan GO&FUN Honda Gresini 2:05.313 4.751 0.564 15 / 40 2:24.325