Marquez Breaks 2-Minute Barrier at Sepang MotoGP Test, Day 2
2014 Sepang MotoGP Preseason Testing Day 2 Results
Just as he did in the opening day of preseason MotoGP testing Tuesday at Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia, the reigning champ Marc Marquez topped the time sheets Wednesday.
During the second day, which was held once again under clear conditions, the Repsol Honda pilot smashed the two-minute barrier at Sepang, something only Casey Stoner achieved during preseason testing in 2012 (also on a Repsol Honda RC213V with a time of 1:59.607).
Marquez once again showed his strenght, finishing the day 0.410 of a second ahead of teammate Dani Pedrosa, and 0.413 of a second ahead of yet another Honda rider, LCR’s Stefan Bradl.
Fourth quickest went to Yamaha Factory Racing’s Valentino Rossi, who finished 0.538 of a second back. But, more impressively, was the man who finished fifth – Aleix Epargaro. The Spaniard piloted his Open-class, NGM Mobile Forward Racing FTR Yamaha to a 2:00.547, finishing 0.621 of a second behind Marquez.
The next closes Open-class machine – which replaces the former CRT class – was Espargaro’s teammate Colin Edwards; he finished 15th, 2.619 seconds back.
As for two-time MotoGP Champion Jorge Lorenzo, the Spaniard was sixth fastest, 0.647 of a second back. Lorenzo attempted to improve handling issues on the YZR-M1, something he encountered after setup on the bike was changed to accommodate for the now smaller 20-liter fuel capacity across a race distance for factory machines.
The top Monster Yamaha Tech 3 machine was piloted by Bradley Smith, who was followed closely by the top Ducati – the Pramac Racing GP13 ridden by Andera Iannone.
Ninth quickest was GO&FUN Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista, who finished 0.971 of a second behind Marquez; he was also the final rider to post within a second of the 20-year-old Spaniard. Bautista had some technical issues, keeping him of the circuit for a while. Smith’s teammate Pol Espargaro completed the top 10.
The factory Ducati Team bikes filled the 11th through 13th positions, with the group lead by Andrea Dovizioso, who was 1.220 seconds behind Marquez. Crutchlow and Ducati Test Team rider Micehele Pirro followed.
In the Honda RCV1000R ranks, the quickest rider was again Drive M7 Aspar’s Nicky Hayden as the 2006 World Champion managed to circulate 1.1 seconds faster than he had on Day 1.
As ever, the true pace of all bikes is difficult to gauge as fuel loads and other such details remain highly secretive. However, more clues may be available on Thursday as a selection of riders aim for race simulations; such long-run pace often serves as a better indicator, although this is only the first of four Official pre-season tests set to be staged prior to the season-opening Grand Prix in Qatar March 23, MotoGP reports.
The Suzuki Test Team ended the day 20th with Randy de Puniet – 3.1 seconds behind Marquez but 0.8 of a second faster than the Frenchman’s own best lap of Tuesday – as they continued their journey ahead of a MotoGP return in 2015.
Elsewhere, premier class rookies Scott Redding, Broc Parkes and Mike di Meglio continued adapting to their respective Honda RCV1000R, PBM and Avintia bikes for the corresponding Gresini, Paul Bird Motorsport and Avintia Racing teams.
The first official preseason MotoGP test will end Thursday at Sepang, and local forecasts are once again calling for clear skies.
2014 Sepang MotoGP Preseason Testing Day 2 Times:
|Pos||Rider||Team||Fastest lap||Lead. Gap||Prev. Gap||Laps||Last lap|
|1||MARQUEZ, Marc||Repsol Honda Team||1:59.926||38 / 65|
|2||PEDROSA, Dani||Repsol Honda Team||2:00.336||0.410||0.410||12 / 62|
|3||BRADL, Stefan||LCR Honda MotoGP||2:00.339||0.413||0.003||13 / 52|
|4||ROSSI, Valentino||Yamaha Factory Racing||2:00.464||0.538||0.125||18 / 61|
|5||ESPARGARO, Aleix||NGM Mobile Forward Racing||2:00.547||0.621||0.083||16 / 42|
|6||LORENZO, Jorge||Yamaha Factory Racing||2:00.573||0.647||0.026||27 / 49|
|7||SMITH, Bradley||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||2:00.603||0.677||0.030||27 / 66|
|8||IANNONE, Andrea||Pramac Racing||2:00.855||0.929||0.252||9 / 49|
|9||BAUTISTA, Alvaro||GO&FUN Honda Gresini||2:00.897||0.971||0.042||51 / 55|
|10||ESPARGARO, Pol||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||2:01.061||1.135||0.164||4 / 49|
|11||DOVIZIOSO, Andrea||Ducati Team||2:01.146||1.220||0.085||8 / 45|
|12||CRUTCHLOW, Cal||Ducati Team||2:01.396||1.470||0.250||11 / 48|
|13||PIRRO, Michele||Ducati Test Team||2:02.177||2.251||0.781||6 / 56|
|14||HAYDEN, Nicky||Drive M7 Aspar||2:02.287||2.361||0.110||25 / 58|
|15||EDWARDS, Colin||NGM Mobile Forward Racing||2:02.545||2.619||0.258||8 / 35|
|16||HERNANDEZ, Yonny||Energy T.I. Pramac Racing||2:02.675||2.749||0.130||13 / 45|
|17||AKIYOSHI, Kosuke||HRC Test Team||2:02.692||2.766||0.017||8 / 68|
|18||AOYAMA, Hiroshi||Drive M7 Aspar||2:02.825||2.899||0.133||65 / 66|
|19||NAKASUGA, Katsuyuki||Yamaha Factory Test Team||2:02.970||3.044||0.145||49 / 56|
|20||DE PUNIET, Randy||Suzuki Test Team||2:03.064||3.138||0.094||73 / 96|
|21||REDDING, Scott||GO&FUN Honda Gresini||2:03.117||3.191||0.053||39 / 53|
|22||LAVERTY, Michael||Paul Bird Motorsport||2:03.528||3.602||0.411||37 / 41|
|23||BARBERA, Hector||Avintia Racing||2:04.551||4.625||1.023||2 / 37|
|24||PARKES, Broc||Paul Bird Motorport||2:04.619||4.693||0.068||42 / 43|
|25||ABRAHAM, Karel||Cardion AB Motoracing||2:05.261||5.335||0.642||21 / 32|
|26||DI MEGLIO, Mike||Avintia Racing||2:05.355||5.429||0.094||4 / 34|