Danilo Petrucci was the surprise pacesetter on Tuesday at Sepang but the second day of the pre-season test was overshadowed by a heavy crash involving Avintia Racing’s Loris Baz. Petrucci clocked the quickest lap time of the week so far to outpace Jorge Lorenzo but Baz’s 290 km/h crash dominated the headlines.
The incident occurred inside the opening 45 minutes with Baz suffering a rear tyre blow out on the start/finish straight. Miraculously, the Frenchman only suffered bruising but his Ducati was destroyed and Michelin, keen to establish the cause of the failure, withdrew the softer compound tyre from the remainder of the test.
By this point, Petrucci had already gone fastest on a 2:00.095, half a second quicker than Lorenzo’s Monday benchmark, and the withdrawal of the soft tyre put paid to any realistic hopes of his rivals challenging him. Lorenzo came closest, setting a 2:00.155 on the harder rubber, but the world champion’s afternoon was interrupted by his own high speed crash at turn five.
Hector Barbera was another satellite Ducati rider to impress with third place, giving Avintia something to smile about after a disastrous morning, while Honda enjoyed a more positive second day with Marc Marquez fourth fastest, just ahead of LCR’s Cal Crutchlow and Valentino Rossi on the second Yamaha.
All in all, five Ducatis made up the top ten with Scott Redding a solid seventh ahead of Andrea Iannone with the returning Casey Stoner finishing ninth fastest, a second off the ultimate pace. Bradley Smith enjoyed a stronger second day as he climbed from fifteenth to tenth but his teammate Pol Espargaro had much less to smile about, crashing twice to end the day in fifteenth spot himself.
MotoGP Official Test – Sepang (Day Two Result)
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