World Champion upped the pace

Repsol Honda Team’s Marc Marquez upped the pace as testing continued in Malaysia, while NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Aleix Espargaro placed an Open specification bike inside the top five for the first time.  With conditions just as good as they had been on Tuesday, it was Marquez’s team-mate Dani Pedrosa who led the way for much of the first half of the day. The World Champion then smashed through the two-minute barrier shortly before his lunch break. It remains to be seen as to whether Marquez can better Casey Stoner’s 2012 pre-season time of 1’59.607, also registered on a Repsol Honda motorcycle.  With Repsol Honda first and second, Stefan Bradl was third for LCR Honda MotoGP with Valentino Rossi fourth for Yamaha Factory Racing. Aleix Espargaro again displayed the promise of the new Open FTR-Yamaha combination, as his Forward machine was barely two tenths down on the nearest Factory Honda, with Rossi’s team-mate Jorge Lorenzo sixth; the former double title winner was attempting to improve handling issues, encountered on Day 1 as a result of setup changes made in a bid to improve fuel consumption.

 

Bradley Smith spearheaded the Monster Yamaha Tech3 charge, with Pramac Racing’s Andrea Iannone in eighth position; on the leading Ducati, the Italian was some seven tenths of a second quicker than he had been on Tuesday. Alvaro Bautista was ninth for GO&FUN Honda Gresini, but his day was not without its problems. The Spaniard suffered a technical problem and thus took a shortcut back to the pit lane. The top ten was completed by Smith’s team-mate Pol Espargaro, while brother Aleix’s team-mate Colin Edwards was the only rider to not improve his lap time today, but his best effort from Day 1 still leaves the American 15th on the combined timesheet.  Ducati Team bikes were locked together once again, this time filling positions 11 to 13 with Andrea Dovizioso, Cal Crutchlow and test rider Michele Pirro, with their quickest lap time some 1.3 seconds quicker than it had been 24 hours earlier. In the Honda RCV1000R ranks, the quickest rider was again Drive M7 Aspar’s Nicky Hayden as the 2006 World Champion managed to circulate 1.1 seconds faster than he had on Day 1. As ever, the true pace of all bikes is difficult to gauge as fuel loads and other such details remain highly secretive. However, more clues may be available today as a selection of riders aim for race simulations; such long-run pace often serves as a better indicator, although this is only the first of four Official pre-season tests set to be staged prior to the season opener on 23 March.

 

The Suzuki Test Team ended the day 20th with Randy de Puniet – 3.1 seconds behind Marquez but eight tenths of a second faster than the Frenchman’s own best lap of Tuesday – as they continued their journey ahead of a MotoGP™ return in 2015. Today he was joined on-track by Takuya Tsusa, who finished runner-up in the 2013 Suzuka World Endurance race, as well as Suzuki regular Nobuatsu Aoki. Elsewhere, premier class rookies Scott Redding, Broc Parkes and Mike di Meglio continued adapting to their respective Honda RCV1000R, PBM and Avintia bikes for the corresponding Gresini, Paul Bird Motorsport and Avintia Racing teams.

 

_MG_7651 _MG_7666 _MG_7690 _MG_7707 _MG_7708 _MG_7717 _MG_7730 _MG_7740 _MG_7747 _MG_7749 _MG_7757 _MG_7765 _MG_7780 _MG_7787 _MG_7788 _MG_7804 _MG_7818 _MG_7826 _MG_7847 _MG_7854 _MG_7859 _MG_7862 _MG_7879 _MG_7883 _MG_7890 _MG_7892 _MG_7903 _MG_7908 _MG_7925 _MG_7933 _MG_7944 _MG_7976 _MG_7983 _MG_7989 _MG_7992 _MG_8011 _MG_8022 _MG_8048 _MG_8051 _MG_8059 _MG_8069 _MG_8100 _MG_8150 _MG_8194 _MG_8209 _MG_8371 _MG_8377 _MG_8387 _MG_8394 _MG_8398 _MG_8412 _MG_8417 _MG_8423 _MG_8434 _MG_8468 _MG_8481 _MG_8497 _MG_8509 _MG_8517 _MG_8526 _MG_8528 _MG_8536 _MG_8538 _MG_8550 _MG_8606 _MG_8611 _MG_8620 _MG_8637 _MG_8643 _MG_8649 _MG_8657 _MG_8677 _MG_8684 _MG_8701 _MG_8773 _MG_8789 _MG_8806 _MG_8815 _MG_8827 _MG_8860 _MG_8890 _MG_9098 _MG_9107 _MG_9143 _MG_9166 _MG_9173 _MG_9175 _MG_9187 _MG_9197

 

Pos

Rider

Team

Fastest lap

1 MARQUEZ, Marc Repsol Honda Team 1:59.926
2 PEDROSA, Dani Repsol Honda Team 2:00.336
3 BRADL, Stefan LCR Honda MotoGP 2:00.339
4 ROSSI, Valentino Yamaha Factory Racing 2:00.464
5 ESPARGARO, Aleix NGM Mobile Forward Racing 2:00.547
6 LORENZO, Jorge Yamaha Factory Racing 2:00.573
7 SMITH, Bradley Monster Yamaha Tech 3 2:00.603
8 IANNONE, Andrea Pramac Racing 2:00.855
9 BAUTISTA, Alvaro GO&FUN Honda Gresini 2:00.897
10 ESPARGARO, Pol Monster Yamaha Tech 3 2:01.061
11 DOVIZIOSO, Andrea Ducati Team 2:01.146
12 CRUTCHLOW, Cal Ducati Team 2:01.396
13 PIRRO, Michele Ducati Test Team 2:02.177
14 HAYDEN, Nicky Drive M7 Aspar 2:02.287
15 EDWARDS, Colin NGM Mobile Forward Racing 2:02.545
16 HERNANDEZ, Yonny Energy T.I. Pramac Racing 2:02.675
17 AKIYOSHI, Kosuke HRC Test Team 2:02.692
18 AOYAMA, Hiroshi Drive M7 Aspar 2:02.825
19 NAKASUGA, Katsuyuki Yamaha Factory Test Team 2:02.970
20 DE PUNIET, Randy Suzuki Test Team 2:03.064
21 REDDING, Scott GO&FUN Honda Gresini 2:03.117
22 LAVERTY, Michael Paul Bird Motorsport 2:03.528
23 BARBERA, Hector Avintia Racing 2:04.551
24 PARKES, Broc Paul Bird Motorport 2:04.619
25 ABRAHAM, Karel Cardion AB Motoracing 2:05.261
26 DI MEGLIO, Mike Avintia Racing 2:05.355

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