Marc Marquez picked up where he left off in November by topping the timesheets on day one of the opening pre-season test of 2015 at Sepang. The world champion left it late to outpace Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi but ultimately ended the day a tenth clear of the man who finished runner-up to him both here, and in the 2014 championship.
Rossi had spent most of the day on top of the leaderboard having set a 2:00.380 shortly before lunchtime as Yamaha riders locked out the top three places but Marquez would have the last word, clocking a 2:00.262 in the final ten minutes of the day to strike the first blow of 2015. Jorge Lorenzo was a tenth further back in third with Andrea Dovizioso giving Ducati a positive start to the new year in fourth, running an updated machine badged the GP14.3.
After setting the pace in the first couple of hours, Dani Pedrosa dropped to fifth with Pol Espargaro also falling out of the top three to an eventual sixth, falling off his Tech 3 Yamaha in the process. Andrea Iannone took his developmental Ducati to seventh ahead of leading open class rider Stefan Bradl while Bradley Smith led a trio of British riders on the bubble of the top ten.
Smith trailed his Tech 3 teammate Espargaro by seven tenths of a second in ninth although the Oxford rider was unconcerned by the deficit. Cal Crutchlow and Scott Redding were also satisfied with their day as they acclimatised to the factory Honda machinery they will have at their disposal. Crutchlow was tenth on a 2:01.713 with Redding two tenths further back in eleventh spot.
On their returns to MotoGP, Suzuki and Aprilia had eventful days with Aleix Espargaro having a minor trip through the gravel on his way to fourteenth, two seconds off the pace, while Alvaro Bautista was hot on his heels despite being halted by a mechanical failure this morning.
The honour of leading rookie went to Moto3 graduate Jack Miller on the open-spec LCR Honda, edging out Maverick Vinales by three tenths of a second in 19th and 21st respectively. Eugene Laverty was fractionally slower than the Spaniard with the Irishman impressing to finish just six tenths shy of his championship-winning teammate Nicky Hayden.
2015 MotoGP Testing: Sepang – February 4
|1||Marc Marquez||Honda||Repsol Honda Team||2:00.262|
|2||Valentino Rossi||Yamaha||Movistar Yamaha MotoGP||2:00.380|
|3||Jorge Lorenzo||Yamaha||Movistar Yamaha MotoGP||2:00.521|
|4||Andrea Dovizioso||Ducati||Ducati Team||2:00.617|
|5||Dani Pedrosa||Honda||Repsol Honda Team||2:00.745|
|6||Pol Espargaro||Yamaha||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||2:00.930|
|7||Andrea Iannone||Ducati||Ducati Team||2:01.424|
|8||Stefan Bradl||Forward Yamaha||Forward Racing||2:01.556|
|9||Bradley Smith||Yamaha||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||2:01.707|
|10||Cal Crutchlow||Honda||CWM LCR Honda||2:01.713|
|11||Scott Redding||Honda||Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS||2:01.917|
|12||Michele Pirro||Ducati||Pramac Racing||2:01.951|
|13||Danilo Petrucci||Ducati||Pramac Racing||2:02.136|
|14||Aleix Espargaro||Suzuki||Team Suzuki MotoGP||2:02.225|
|15||Alvaro Bautista||Aprilia||Aprilia Racing Team Gresini||2:02.285|
|17||Nicky Hayden||Honda||Drive M7 Aspar||2:02.699|
|18||Hector Barbera||Ducati||Avintia Racing||2:02.700|
|19||Jack Miller||Honda||CWM LCR Honda||2:02.807|
|20||Katsuyuki Nakasuga||Yamaha||Yamaha Factory Test Team||2:03.092|
|21||Maverick Vinales||Suzuki||Team Suzuki MotoGP||2:03.164|
|22||Eugene Laverty||Honda||Drive M7 Aspar||2:03.295|
|23||Mike di Meglio||Ducati||Avintia Racing||2:03.878|
|24||Karel Abraham||Honda||AB Motoracing||2:03.879|
|25||Loris Baz||Forward Yamaha||Forward Racing||2:04.163|
|26||Marco Melandri||Aprilia||Aprilia Racing Team Gresini||2:04.502|
|27||Alex de Angelis||ART||Octo IodaRacing Team||2:04.673|
|29||Takuya Tsuda||Suzuki||Team Suzuki MotoGP||2:05.478|
|30||Michael Laverty||Aprilia||Aprilia Test Team||2:06.190|