The first official test of 2016 MotoGP concluded Wednesday at Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia. Rain was a threat Monday and Tuesday, but it didn’t prevent any testing. But rain became a reality during Wednesday’s final day of MotoGP testing.A dry line formed by afternoon, and within five hours things were finally back up to speed with most riders on the track. Rain began once again with just over three hours remaining, but once again dried by the final hour. It was during this final hour when riders truly pushed, especially Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Jorge Lorenzo. The reigning MotoGP Champion posted a fastest time of 1:59.580 around Sepang on a hard rear and new Michelin front tire (soft tires were excluded from the test after a Loris Baz’s high speed crash Tuesday).
Lorenzo’s time was beyond impressive; the YZR-M1 pilot was the only rider to post under the 2:00 mark, and he was nearly a second ahead of the field. The closest rider on Wednesday was teammate Valentino Rossi. The nine-time World Champion finished 0.976 behind Lorenzo.“The lap times speak for themselves, they were very good lap times set with new electronics and a hard rear tires, because we can‘t use the soft rear because of what happened yesterday,” Jorge Lorenzo says.“I’m very happy with Michelin, because they made a very big step with the feeling with the new front tires. They did a great job, because now the feeling is closer to what we had with last year. Anyway, I felt very comfortable and fast during these three days, I‘m still recovering from this illness that I have and for sure in Phillip Island we will be stronger and able to do a race simulation.”Rossi finished second on day three, but fourth overall for the test.“I’m happy about the test and about today because, first of all, we did a good job and tried a lot of different stuff that gave some good information on how to improve the bike. I also set a 2‘00.5s, I think we can work on it and do better, but I’m in second place so that’s not so bad, it was a good test,” Rossi says.“We still have to work a lot, the question mark that remains is if we go with the bike that’s more like the 2015 or the 2016 model. We will try them another time in Phillip Island, because the new one was not so bad at the end. I think all the engineers did a good job with the electronics and Michelin did a good job with the front tires. We tried other tires that also improved more, so I feel good about the first test. I tried the winglets, they are very interesting, they change the airflow, but I don’t feel a difference. I prefer the bike without the wings, it‘s more beautiful!”Second for combined results was Octo Pramac Racing’s Danilo Petrucci, who posted a best of 2:00.095 on Tuesday with a soft rear tire; soft tires were excluded from the remainder of the test due to a high-speed crash by Avintia Racing Ducati’s Loris Baz.Baz’s teamamte, Hector Barbera, also benefited from soft-tire sessions; he was third quickest overall, 0.807 of a second behind Lorenzo and 0.169 of a second ahead of Rossi; VR46 was the final rider to post within a second of Lorenzo.The top Honda rider was Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez, who, along with teammate Dani Pedrosa, continues searching for a calmer engine character. Throughout 2015 MotoGP, the RC213V had a very aggressive character.Marquez finished ahead of LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow and three Ducati riders – Octo Pramac’s Scott Redding, Ducati Team’s Andrea Iannone, and Ducati Team Test Rider Casey Stoner. Rounding out the top 10 was Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Bradely Smith. MotoGP reports that after falling at over 180mph on Tuesday, Loris Baz improved his time on Wednesday to end the test inside the top 20 and ahead of Yamaha test rider Katsuyuki Nakasuga. Alvaro Bautista was 21st with a 2:02.876 as he prepares to debut the new Aprilia during a private outing in Qatar. Eugene Laverty was also back on track on Wednesday, missing Tuesday due to a heavily sprained right wrist suffered in a Monday crash and ending just behind Michele Pirro, MotoGP reports.Testing continues at Phillip Island in Australia February 17th.
2016 Sepang MotoGP Testing Overall Results:
1. J. LORENZO MOVISTAR YAMAHA MOTOGP 1’59.5802. D. PETRUCCI OCTO PRAMAC RACING 2’00.0953. H. BARBERA AVINTIA RACING 2’00.3874. V. ROSSI MOVISTAR YAMAHA MOTOGP 2’00.5565. M. MARQUEZ REPSOL HONDA TEAM 2’00.8436. C. CRUTCHLOW LCR HONDA 2’00.8997. S. REDDING OCTO PRAMAC RACING 2’01.0498. A. IANNONE DUCATI TEAM 2’01.0529. C. STONER DUCATI TEAM 2’01.07010. B. SMITH MONSTER YAMAHA TECH3 2’01.10711. D. PEDROSA REPSOL HONDA TEAM 2’01.16112. M. VIÑALES TEAM SUZUKI ECSTAR 2’01.24413. A. ESPARGARÒ TEAM SUZUKI ECSTAR 2’01.62314. Y. HERNANDEZ ASPAR MOTOGP TEAM 2’01.64415. A. DOVIZIOSO DUCATI TEAM 2’01.67516. P. ESPARGARÒ MONSTER YAMAHA TECH3 2’01.87017. T. RABAT EG 0,0 MARC VDS 2’02.32818. S. BRADL APRILIA RACING TEAM GRESINI 2’02.37219. L. BAZ AVINTIA RACING 2’02.54120. K. NAKASUGA YAMAHA TEST TEAM 2’02.69121. A. BAUTISTA APRILIA RACING TEAM GRESINI 2’02.87622. M. PIRRO DUCATI TEAM 2’03.20323. E. LAVERTY ASPAR MOTOGP TEAM 2’03.519
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!