Jorge Lorenzo sent out an ominous warning to his MotoGP rivals by dominating the opening test day of 2016, outpacing the field by over a second at Sepang. The world champion led a Movistar Yamaha 1-2 with teammate and 2015 runner-up Valentino Rossi second fastest while Dani Pedrosa, winner of the Malaysian Grand Prix here in October, was third.
Lorenzo set a blistering pace despite suffering from a sore throat and lack of sleep and clocked several laps which would have seen him top the timesheets. The illness restricted the Spaniard to 34 laps (only four riders completed fewer) but Rossi was powerless to match his pace, despite completing 55 on the sister Yamaha YZR-M1.
The first of two Sepang tests looks set to be an experimental week for Repsol Honda as they aim to refine their 2016 engine after issues that dogged their 2015 machine. Pedrosa took his RC213V to third, 1.096s off the pace but less than a tenth shy of Rossi, while Marc Marquez languished down in seventh behind a trio of Ducatis.
Danilo Petrucci was the quickest of them in fourth, a tenth faster than Andrea Iannone while Hector Barbera grabbed sixth, backing up the theory that last year’s open class Ducati riders may have an early advantage having raced the spec ECU throughout 2015. Scott Redding emphasised the strength of the Ducatis in eighth, edging out Suzuki’s Aleix Espargaro and LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow.
MotoGP Official Test – Sepang (Day One Result)
[table id=795 /]