When the three-day Sepang II MotoGP preseason test begin, Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez was in usual form. The two-time MotoGP Champion struggled with brake issues aboard his RC213V, finishing an un-Marquez like sixth, 0.776 of a second off the top rider, Movistar Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi.But the 21-year-old Marquez wasted no time during day two and day three, leading both days. His top lap occurred the final day – Wednesday – with a 1:59.115 around the Malaysian circuit.
When the test wrapped up, Marquez, who also led the opening Sepang I test, was 0.322 of a second ahead of Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Jorge Lorenzo. Finishing third overall was a surprise – CWM LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow, whose top time was a 1:59.658 aboard the RC213V.Due to extremely hot temperatures, traction was minimal, but some moments of cooler conditions allowed greasy conditions to subside. This challenged 27 riders – 25-full-time pilots and two test riders (Ducati’s Michele Pirro and Yamaha’s Katsuyuki Nakasuga.All together, riders collectively completed 3811 laps on Bridgestone rubber – 618 less that Sepang 1. Bridgestone reports that the gap in lap time from the quickest (Marc Marques) to slowest rider (Marco Melandri, Aprilia Gresini) was 4.454 seconds.Speaking of the conditions, Bridgestone, whose contract as the spec tire for MotoGP ends at the conclusion of 2015, reports “With the well-worn Sepang circuit offering little grip, the riders preferred to use softer rubber compounds over the three days. The most popular tyre were the symmetric soft and asymmetric medium compound rear slicks, and the medium compound front slick. Over the course of the two MotoGP group tests at Sepang, the general consensus of the riders is that Bridgestone’s latest race tires offer improved, consistent performance with high levels of feel and usability.”Masao Azuma, Chief Engineer, Bridgestone Motorcycle Tyre Development Department, also commented: “Over the last three days we’ve had quite extreme conditions but our tyre allocation enabled the riders to lap at a quick and consistent pace. The rain on day one of the test gave the riders the chance to work on their wet set up and it also provided the rookie riders a valuable opportunity to sample our wet tires.“Following on the good feedback we received at the first Sepang test, the riders were again happy with the performance of our 2015 specification tires and we were able to collect some good information that we can use adjust our tyre allocation for this season. We have just concluded two successful tests at Sepang and I am now looking forward to a productive test at Qatar next month.”For more, visit our MotoGP section.2015 Sepang II MotoGP Test Overall Results:
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!