Dani Pedrosa led a Repsol Honda 1-2 on a rain-affected final day of testing in Malaysia, firing back after being outpaced by Jorge Lorenzo on Wednesday. The championship favourite was pushed hard by his rookie teammate Marc Marquez who closed to within a tenth of a second of him, but the Spanish pair had four tenths in hand over Lorenzo on the fastest Yamaha.
As planned, the focus for many of the teams was race simulation work on Thursday but overnight rain complicated matters, presenting a sodden track when the pitlane opened in the morning. The Yamahas were among the busier riders in those conditions with Lorenzo setting a hot pace but once the circuit was fit for slicks, Pedrosa came to the fore.
Dani eventually lowered his benchmark time to 2:00.562, enough to top the day’s timesheet but Lorenzo’s flier from day two will go down as the quickest lap of the week. Marquez all but matched his best time from the first Sepang test to secure second with the reigning world champion was the only other rider in the 2:00s bracket, albeit only just, in third.
Valentino Rossi was just seven hundredths further back in fourth, reducing the gap between himself and Lorenzo to its smallest yet. Alvaro Bautista was hot on the heels of the factory Yamahas in fifth, as was Cal Crutchlow in sixth, before a slight gap back to Stefan Bradl and the factory Ducatis, led by Andrea Dovizioso on a 2:01.650.
Bradley Smith maintained his place at the tail of the top ten although Andrea Iannone continued to snap at his heels while the CRT pack was led by the Aspar squad again, although this time Randy de Puniet was the quicker rider, half a second clear of Aleix Espargaro. Michael Laverty’s voyage of discovery with the new PBH chassis continued and the signs were positive as the Ulsterman improved by over three seconds from his first run.
|Official MotoGP Test – Sepang (Thursday 28th February)|
|1||26. Dani Pedrosa||Repsol Honda Team||2:00.562||57||Report|
|2||93. Marc Marquez||Repsol Honda Team||2:00.643||54||Report|
|3||99. Jorge Lorenzo||Yamaha Factory Racing||2:00.992||56||Report|
|4||46. Valentino Rossi||Yamaha Factory Racing||2:01.062||61||Report|
|5||19. Alvaro Bautista||Go & Fun Honda Gresini||2:01.078||43||Report|
|6||35. Cal Crutchlow||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||2:01.094||59||Report|
|7||6. Stefan Bradl||LCR Honda MotoGP||2:01.309||46||Report|
|8||04. Andrea Dovizioso||Ducati Team||2:01.650||44||Report|
|9||69. Nicky Hayden||Ducati Team||2:02.070||53||Report|
|10||38. Bradley Smith||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||2:02.314||64||Report|
|11||29. Andrea Iannone||Energy T.I. Pramac Racing||2:02.566||52||Report|
|12||51. Michele Pirro||Ducati Test Team||2:02.773||38|
|13||14. Randy de Puniet||Power Electronics Aspar||2:02.863||45|
|14||11. Ben Spies||Ignite Pramac Racing||2:03.055||33||Report|
|15||T2. Katsuyuki Nakasuga||Yamaha Factory Racing||2:03.154||32|
|16||8. Hector Barbera||Avintia Blusens||2:03.155||42|
|17||T1. Wataru Yoshikawa||Yamaha Factory Racing||2:03.257||26|
|18||41. Aleix Espargaro||Power Electronics Aspar||2:03.423||45|
|19||17. Karel Abraham||Cardion AB Motoracing||2:04.066||57|
|20||5. Colin Edwards||NGM Mobile Forward Racing||2:04.102||42||Report|
|21||7. Hiroshi Aoyama||Avintia Blusens||2:04.512||51|
|22||33. Michael Laverty||Paul Bird Motorsport||2:04.546||24|
|23||52. Lukas Pesek||Came IodaRacing Project||2:04.674||33|
|24||9. Danilo Petrucci||Came IodaRacing Project||2:04.686||36|
|25||71. Claudio Corti||NGM Mobile Forward Racing||2:04.718||51||Report|
|26||68. Yonny Hernandez||Paul Bird Motorsport||2:04.722||47|
|27||37. Takumi Takahashi||HRC Test Team||2:04.749||65|
|28||67. Bryan Staring||Go & Fun Honda Gresini||2:05.313||40|