Day one Monday at Sepang I MotoGP Testing – the second official preseason test of 2015 MotoGP – was dominated by Movistar Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi.Under extremely hot and slick conditions, the nine-time World Champion was 1.5 seconds ahead of Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez – the 21-year-old Spaniard who earned the past two MotoGP titles.
Conditions on Tuesday during day two were similar, with riders taking advantage of the cooler morning temperatures that provided more optimal grip at Malaysian circuit. Many MotoGP teams ran race simulations, and were able to post quicker times during a drastic drop in temperature before the sessions ended.Marquez complained of brake problems aboard his RC213V on day one, which slowed him tremendously on day one. But this issues appeared far behind Tuesday as Marquez posted the quickest time of the day – a 1:59.844. He was followed closely behind – 0.058 of a second – by the only other rider to post under the 2:00 mark, Movistar Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo. The top 13 riders posted within a second of Marquez.“I’m happy because today was a positive day. After what happened yesterday, we tried to make up for lost time and tried out quite a few things. Tomorrow we have to continue testing things out, in order to continue developing and eliminating anything that is not going to be useful,” Marquez says.“Today we focused on electronics and tomorrow we will work more on the chassis. I’m happy with how things went today and with the pace that we have achieved. We’ll see if tomorrow the rain holds off all day, because we need good weather.”Lorenzo admitted still having some issues getting around Sepang, but his lap times were beyond impressive.“Today was much better. I was able to sleep for more than eight hours so I had much more energy than on the first day. For sure this influenced my performance. The bike was also better,” Lorenzo says.“I had a better understanding of how to ride it on slippery track conditions, so I was also able to improve my riding. My pace, apart from the last two hours, was almost all day in the 2:00 lap times. That’s similar to the previous test but with worse conditions, so I’m happy.”Finishing third – 0.254 of a second behind Marquez – was Ducati Team’s newest rider, Andrea Iannone. Along with his fellow Italian teammate Andrea Dovizioso, Iannone again rode the new GP15 with success. His Tuesday lap times were over two seconds quicker than his Monday times, and he spent the day tweaking the Desmosedici’s chassis and suspension geometry.Dovi did the same, finishing day two of three at Sepang in fourth, 0.406 of a second behind Marquez and 0.152 of a second behind his teammate.As he chases his first MotoGP title, Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa ended Tuesday’s session in fifth – 0.431 of a second behind Marquez. As Pedrosa continued playing with suspension settings, he managed to shave 0.3 of a second off his Monday time.Rossi following in sixth after experimenting with different forks aboard his YZR-M1. His time was quicker than Monday, but he trailed the overall leader Marquez by 0.464 of a second.Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Bradley Smith finished seventh quickest, 0.485 of a second behind, and improvement of over a second from Monday. Eighth went to CWM LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow, who is coming to grips with the RC213V on fresh tires.The top Suzuki rider was Aleix Espargaro, who was 0.565 of a second behind Marquez aboard the Team Suzuki MotoGP GSX-RR. He beat his younger brother Pol Espargaro on the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 by 0.280 of a second, relegating the younger Spaniard to 10th.Taking the 11th quickest time was Pramac Racing Ducati’s Danilo Petrucci, who spent the day tweaking his suspension and chassis. He was 1.5 seconds quicker than Monday. He was followed by the other Team Suzuki MotoGP pilot, Maverick Vinales, andShowing a dramatic improvement in 10th was Danilo Petrucci who took 1.5s off his time from the previous day for Pramac Ducati, as he continued to fine tune his suspension and chassis set up. Petrucci finished a mere 0.018 of a second ahead of Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Racing Honda’s Scott Redding.As for Petrucci’s teammate, Yonny Hernandez finished 15th fastest – 1.168 of a second behind Marquez – as he comes back from an injury that kept him out of Sepang I MotoGP testing. Hernandez finished just ahead of Avintia Racing’s Hector Barbera.Forward Racing’s Stefan Bradl was next, finishing 16th – 1.287 of a second behind Marquez. The bigger gaps then began, led by the sole American in 2015 MotoGP – Drive M7 Aspar Honda’s Nicky Hayden.The RC213V-RS pilot Hayden finished the day 1.789 of a second behind Marquez, as his teammate Eugene Laverty finsished 19th – just behind Ducati Test Team rider Michele Pirro.Former World SBK rider Loris Baz escaped an early crash at turn 14 without injury to end up 24th, after complaining yesterday of not having a great feeling on his Forward Racing bike, while the rookie Aussie Jack Miller was another to take advantage of the improving conditions late in the day on his RC213V-RS, to post a 2:03.006 and end up 22nd, MotoGP reports.Alex De Angelis could not quite match his day 1 pace down in 25th as he continued development of his Octo Ioda ART machine and it was a disastrous day for the Aprilia Racing team Gresini as they seemed to take a step backwards with both Alvaro Bautista and Marco Melandri both slower than they were on day 1, MotoGP reports.Bautista managed a disappointing lap time of 2:02.221 which was only good enough for 23rd, although he still faired better than his team mate Marco Melandri who despite today trying a chassis more like the one he was used to on his Aprilia World Superbike, was dead last, almost 4 and a half seconds behind Marquez, MotoGP reports.Wednesday marks the third and final day of Sepang II MotoGP testing.2015 Sepang II MotoGP Testing, Day 2 Results:
This Podcast is also brought to you by the new modular helmet from Schuberth, the C5. The C5 blends safety with light weight and amazing quietness. Visit Schuberth.com for more information.
This week, in the first segment Editor Don Williams talks to us about the new Kawasaki Versys 650 LT. It’s the middleweight ADV style machine that uses the same 650 parallel twin motor as the Ninja 650, so it’s an excellent performer in a user-friendly, good looking package.
In the second segment, I chat with one of my dearest industry friends—now retired Honda PR executive, Jon Seidel. Jon’s fascinating career spans some 30 years with Big Red, and gave him some great experiences with some incredible machines. I was fortunate enough to be invited on many of the press launches that he organized. His new project is documenting and saving many of the old archives from years gone by—and incidentally, if you have anything that may be of value to the project, please contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll pass it all on to Jon.
So on that note, from all of us here at Ultimate Motorcycling, we hope you enjoy this episode!