2014 Sepang II MotoGP Preseason Test Results, FridayThe three-day preseason MotoGP test at Sepang International Circuit (Sepang II) concluded Friday, with two Factory riders setting the exact same lap times for top place – Yamaha Factory Racing’s Valentino Rossi and Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa.
Both riders posted a 1:59.999, which was much slower than the the Sepang I testing times. The pace was also 0.466 of a second off the top time set in Sepang I by the reigning MotoGP Champion, Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez, who missed this week’s testing due to breaking his leg in a dirt-training accident last week.Though the nine-time World Champion struggled with the new Bridgestone tire compounds, he was able to set his quickest lap on his 13th try at Sepang. He didn’t struggle as much as his teammate, two-time MotoGP Champion Jorge Lorenzo; the Spaniard finished seventh, 0.75 of a second off the pace. Lorenzo continues to struggle with edge grip on the Bridgestones.Pedrosa’s top time arrived much later in the day during his 47th lap when track temperatures dropped slightly to 147 degrees. Pedrosa also experienced with a 19-lap race simulation. Every lap was under the 2:02 mark, with a best of 2:00.985 arriving on the 15th lap of that run.Andrea Dovizioso placed the GP14 in third, 0.068 of a second off the top pace. Following the Sepang II MotoGP test, the Ducati Team decided it would compete under the new Open-class rules as it continues to develop the GP14.Aleix Espagaro finished fourth overall, with a best time of 2:00.101. The Spaniard also performed a decent race simulation NGM Mobile Forward Racing team on its Open-class Yamaha.Stefan Bradl wrapped up early having had a solid week, the LCR Honda rider satisfied with his consistently quick times as he found good rhythm on longer runs and ended up fifth overall (+0.165). The fastest rider on the first day Alvaro Bautista was 0.5 of a second off the pace on the final day in sixth and is happy with progress made with a new rear shock this week.In eighth, Ducati Team’s Cal Crutchlow made steady headway over the two Sepang tests and has dropped his gap to the front-running pace to less than 0.8s compared with a 1.5s deficit at the end of the previous visit to Malaysia.The key development for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team this week has been the introduction of the seamless gearbox to their package and their young pair of riders, Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaro, rounded out the top ten with similar lap times respectively 0.8s and 1s off the pace.Pramac Racing’s Andrea Iannone crashed shortly before 1pm but was unhurt and immediately able to continue his work, eventually finishing 11th, with Energy T.I. Pramac Racing’s Yonny Hernandez behind him on the timesheet on an Open Ducati in 13th.Randy de Puniet carried on with his development work for Suzuki, who aim to return to MotoGP in 2015, the Frenchman concluding Friday’s test in 12th, his best lap time down to 1.431s off the top – compared with 2.953 seconds at the end of Sepang 1.Colin Edwards ran out of fuel twice as he pushed the Forward Yamaha to the limit and concluded 14th, just ahead of compatriot Nicky Hayden who was 1.925 seconds off the top on the Drive M7 Aspar Honda RCV1000R.The factory-supported Honda, Yamaha and Ducati teams now head to Phillip Island for a tire safety test March 3-5, though MotoGP title holder Marquez will again miss the trip as his recovery from a fibula fracture continues.2014 Sepang II MotoGP Test Results, Friday:
This week, Senior Editor Nic de Sena rides the all new Ducati Monster. Big changes have been made by Ducati–has the company ruined the considerable heritage of the iconic Monster–or are the changes worth it? In the second part of the show, we chat with Nick Ienatsch, Founder and Head Instructor at the Yamaha Champions Riding School. He says: “We aim to change your riding life by introducing you to Champions Habits: The techniques, approaches, skills, and the mindsets of the best riders in the world. These Champions Habits are the foundation of safety and consistency to whatever speed you ride, in any venue on any bike. Street riders, this is just as much for you as track riders. The best way to make safe riders is to make good riders.“ We hope you enjoy this episode!