Bautista tops on first day of second test in Sepang

The first day of MotoGP testing on the second preseason visit to the Sepang International Circuit saw Alvaro Bautista register the quickest lap time, with track conditions not as favourable as they were earlier in February. Bautista’s best lap time of 2’00.848 was 1.3s slower than the marker set down by World Champion Marc Marquez in the previous Sepang test. Marquez is absent from this Malaysian outing due to a leg injury sustained in training last week.  The track surface at Sepang has been described variously as dirty, slippery and lacking in grip compared to the 4th-6th February session due to recent weather conditions. Nonetheless the riders and teams carried out crucial development and data gathering exercises, with pace man Bautista working heavily with the rear of his GO&FUN Honda Gresini bike. He aims to dial in the new hard rear Bridgestone tyre to his package examining shock, swingarm and linkage configuration.

 

Another solid day of work from Aleix Espargaro left him in second, just 0.052s from his compatriot Bautista, having featured at the top for several spells late in the day. Espargaro and his fellow riders on ‘Open’ class machines have a softer specification rear tyre available, so having demonstrated his sheer pace and the potential of his Forward Yamaha over shorter runs the challenge for the rider is now to prepare for racing.  Tyre durability and engine performance over race distance will be crucial to converting fast times in testing into World Championship points once the season starts.  Espargaro’s brother Pol also impressed, slotting the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 bike up into third with a late best time 0.15s off Bautista’s pace. The younger Espargaro worked with electronics, tried different wheel size and tested small engine parts. His teammate Bradley Smith was ninth.  Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso was again the fastest representative of the Italian factory on track, concluding the afternoon in fourth place, undertaking development work on the GP14 from the base setting put in place at Sepang 1.  Dovizioso and incoming colleague Cal Crutchlow – 11th yesterday – are working on overall set-up and engine characteristics at the test, whilst Ducati are set to define whether they will run ‘Open’ class or ‘MSMA’ entries in 2014 before they depart from Malaysia.

 

Double MotoGP title winner Jorge Lorenzo ended the day fifth, with the Yamaha Factory Racing team focusing on refining set-up for the new harder rear tyre option. The team believe that the 20 litre fuel limit for ‘MSMA’ entries this year will not cause them fuel consumption issues, as has been speculated, though they need to verify those findings in this test after some positive results last time out. Dani Pedrosa had a somewhat anonymous visit to Sepang last time and he has added responsibility this week as the only Repsol Honda rider present. He was sixth on day one, with his main task being confirmation of which chassis works best for him, with RC213V evolution well underway for 2014. Valentino Rossi was second overall at test 1, but he ended Wednesday in seventh spot, continuing his preparations for his 15th season in the premier class. He was 0.5s off the pace at the end of the day, with 65 laps undertaken.  LCR Honda’s Stefan Bradl completed the day in eighth place, working on braking stability by modifying suspension, geometry and electronics. The German rider has some small parts from HRC to test in the absence of fellow Honda man Marquez. Andrea Iannone was ninth on the Pramac Ducati, whilst in 15th spot Yonny Hernandez carried out additional crucial data gathering with the new Magneti Marelli software.  It was a mixed day for the DRIVE M7 Aspar team, with the key point for their riders being new suspension settings, as this is the first time they have properly tested the softer option rear tyre for the ‘Open’ class. Nicky Hayden was tenth and Hiroshi Aoyama was ‘unlucky’ 13th as he suffered a light crash early in the day.  Team Suzuki MotoGP are again present at this test, with Randy de Puniet and Nobuatsu Aoki in attendance. De Puniet carried out an epic 73 lap workload for the manufacturer who have an eye on returning to MotoGP racing in 2015.

_MG_0059 _MG_0072 _MG_0093 _MG_0095 _MG_0101 _MG_0108 _MG_0109 _MG_0122 _MG_0126 _MG_0128 _MG_0141 _MG_0148 _MG_0162 _MG_0164 _MG_0181 _MG_0186 _MG_0201 _MG_0212 _MG_0215 _MG_0228 _MG_0252 _MG_0273 _MG_0277 _MG_0288 _MG_0292 _MG_0423 _MG_0428 _MG_0438 _MG_0452 _MG_0461 _MG_0474 _MG_0478 _MG_0486 _MG_0496 _MG_0501 _MG_0529 _MG_0559 _MG_0574 _MG_0582 _MG_0591 _MG_0647 _MG_0650 _MG_0690 _MG_0701 _MG_0706 _MG_0712 _MG_0714 _MG_0735 _MG_0741 _MG_0748 _MG_0766 _MG_0770 _MG_0869 _MG_0877 _MG_0882 _MG_0896 _MG_0906 _MG_0945 _MG_0949 _MG_0963 _MG_0973 _MG_0982 _MG_0999 _MG_1002 _MG_1032 _MG_1073 _MG_1084 _MG_1090 _MG_1093 _MG_1103 _MG_1114 _MG_1118 _MG_1154 _MG_1200 _MG_1225 _MG_1235 _MG_1278 _MG_1284 _MG_1361

Pos

 

Rider

Fastest lap

1 BAUTISTA, Alvaro 2:00.848
2 ESPARGARO, Aleix 2:00.900
3 ESPARGARO, Pol 2:00.999
4 DOVIZIOSO, Andrea 2:01.029
5 LORENZO, Jorge 2:01.158
6 PEDROSA, Dani 2:01.160
7 ROSSI, Valentino 2:01.349
8 BRADL, Stefan 2:01.491
9 SMITH, Bradley 2:01.644
10 HAYDEN, Nicky 2:02.227
11 CRUTCHLOW, Cal 2:02.319
12 IANNONE, Andrea 2:02.334
13 AOYAMA, Hiroshi 2:02.709
14 EDWARDS, Colin 2:02.743
15 HERNANDEZ, Yonny 2:02.823
16 BARBERA, Hector 2:02.975
17 DE PUNIET, Randy 2:03.341
18 REDDING, Scott 2:03.553
19 PIRRO, Michele 2:03.991
20 NAKASUGA, Katsuyuki 2:04.165
21 DI MEGLIO, Mike 2:04.885
22 ABRAHAM, Karel 2:05.638
23 AOKI, Nobuatsu 2:07.302

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