The second official preseason test of 2015 MotoGP wrapped up Wednesday at Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia.Weather once again played the largest role, with blistering temps on day three only allowing riders a small time frame to post some hot laps. Regardless, teams continued improving setups and running race simulations throughout the day.
When the test was complete, the Spaniard who led Tuesday was once again on top – Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez. The 21-year-old Spaniard put in the most laps of anyone, 73, topping the time sheets with a 1:59.115 as he evaluated two chassis options and experimented with engine mappings on his RC213V.The two-time MotoGP Champion finished Wednesday 0.322 of a second ahead of Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Jorge Lorenzo, and 0.543 of a second ahead of CWM LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow.“I’m happy because this morning we set a good lap, which is something important, but mostly I am pleased that we have completed all the work we had left pending from the first day,” Marquez says.“We’re finished today with our homework done and I even had time to do a race simulation this afternoon, with a track temperature of 49°C. We have accomplished all the objectives we had set for this test, and now at the Qatar test our work will be more focused on the Grand Prix and fine tuning the setup of the bike. I do not think there are many more new things to try.”During Marquez’s Wednesday run, he completed a string of 19 laps, and 16 were under the 2:01 mark.Marquez’s teammate Dani Pedrosa was quick on day one when he finished second behind leader Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP), but could not progress much on the final two days. He ended Wednesday in seventh.Lorenzo has put in much work off season as he seeks a third title, including a grueling off-season training regime. He finished second, managing to knock more than two seconds off his Monday time. He and teammate Rossi spent Wednesday evaluating an “evolved” seamless-shift transmission. As for Rossi, he finished fifth Wednesday.Crutchlow gradually got faster throughout the test as he adapts his riding style to the LCR Honda RC213V. By the end of the test, he gained over 1.5 seconds, and learned to ride quick on fresh tires. On Wednesday, Crutchlow also ran a long simulation, lapping around the 2:01 mark.Teammate Jack Miller – the transplant from Moto3 – continues to to progress as he adapts to the open-class Honda RC213V-RS. He managed a 1:01.593 as he continues to get used to the extra 200 horsepower over his Moto3 bike.This was an critical test for the Ducati Team as they had their first shakedown of the Ducati GP15. New rider Andrea Iannone quickly adapted to the GP15, and he finished Wednesday foruth quickest – within 0.6 seconds of Marquez.His teammate Andrea Dovizioso had issues with braking, and finished half a second slower than his teammate. Ducati Team boss Luigi Dall’Igna told MotoGP that they wanted to see how the bike performed at the Qatar test before making a decision if they will take two GP15’s to the first race, in case Dovizioso may prefer the GP14.3.Team Suzuki MotoGP’s Aleix Espargaro and the rookie Maverick Vinales experimented with engine updates and new fairings on the GSX-RR. Espargaro adapted well to these changes, finishing ninth, 1.160 seconds behind Marquez. As for his teammate, Vinales finished just three-tenths of a second behind Espargaro.Bradley Smith progressed well during the test as he recovered from his ankle injury to finish 0.6 of a second ahead of Pol Espargaro on the other Monster Tech 3 Yamaha, as their crews focused on developing the electronics package on the YZF-M1, MotoGP reports.Hector Barbera has been the leading Open class rider throughout the test and put in a flying lap this morning that put him in the top ten for the first time throughout the 3 days, although he did have the softer option tyre available to him compared to the factory teams. Mike Di Meglio on the other Avintia Ducati GP14.2 finished a further second back, with a 2:01.487, MotoGP reports.Scott Redding’s focus during the test was on chassis development and adapting his riding style to the Factory spec Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Honda RC213V. He ended the final day in 16th place, managing to shave over a second off his time over the three days.MotoGP says Drive M7 Aspar’s Nicky Hayden had to adjust to a completely different bike compared to the Sepang 1 test, as he wasn’t happy with the original setup, and clearly found something as he shaved 2 seconds of his best time over the test. Teammate Eugene Laverty was using the three days to familiarize himself with the Honda RC213V-RS and will be pleased to have finished just a second behind the 2006 MotoGP Champion.Danilo Petrucci was the fastest of the two Pramac Ducati riders on the GP14.3, finishing just outside the top ten on the last two days, while Yonny Hernandez simply focused on getting as many laps as possible under his belt after missing Sepang 1 through injury.Forward Racing were focused on testing the new electronics software for Stefan Bradl and Loris Baz that they debuted at Sepang 1, and will be encouraged by the former’s one lap pace as he finished just 1.5 seconds off Marquez on the final day. Baz, was another 2 seconds back, as he gets used to riding the RC213-RS after making the step up from World Superbikes, MotoGP reports.For Aprilia, an evolution of the bike they used at Sepang 1 had mixed results, as Alvaro Bautista had more success than his team mate Marco Melandri on the latest version of the RS-GP. Bautista ended day one in 12th but struggled to improve much more over the test, shaving just 0.4 of a second off his time over the next two days, while Melandri ended each day last and on the final day was almost 4.5 seconds behind Marquez, MotoGP reports.Karel Abraham finished with a 2:01.538 on his Honda RC213V-RS, improving by over 8 tenths during the three days. Alex De Angelis was focused on the electronics and set up of his Octo Ioda ART machine, ending the final day just over 4 seconds off the pace, MotoGP reports.2015 Sepang II MotoGP Test Day 3 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 email@example.com 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!