Dani Pedrosa set the pace on a rain-affected opening day of pre-season testing at Sepang on Sunday. The Spaniard edged out Ducati pair Andrea Dovizioso and Jorge Lorenzo as preparations for the new MotoGP season resumed in Malaysia.
For a long time, Sunday looked in danger of becoming an anti-climax after heavy morning rain prevented any meaningful running early on. Despite the conditions, Johann Zarco was a busy man with Monster Yamaha Tech 3 keen to maximise track time with their sole race rider, although the action would soon pick up after lunch.
Ultimately, conditions improved enough for Pedrosa to clock a 1:59.427 on a late time-attack, just two tenths shy of his own 2017 pole position time and a third of a second clear of last year’s Sepang winner Dovizioso. Ducati had the benefit of a private test in Malaysia late last week courtesy of Casey Stoner and understandably, the GP18 looked dialled in immediately with Dovizioso and Lorenzo the only other riders below the two-minute barrier.
Two more Ducatis rounded out the top five with Pramac pair Danilo Petrucci and Jack Miller next up while Valentino Rossi was the first of the Yamahas in sixth in a key test for the Movistar squad. Reigning champion Marc Marquez was seventh ahead of Zarco with Cal Crutchlow ninth on an experimental day for the LCR rider while Pol Espargaro signalled KTM’s continued progress by rounding out the top ten.
2018 MotoGP Pre-Season Testing: Sepang (Day One)
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