Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa continued his rampant form by setting the pace on day one at Sepang with the Spaniard clocking a time of 2’01.621 in the first free practice session.
As is often the case for the first session of the weekend, most riders selected the softer option slicks for FP1 to assess track conditions. Track temperatures reached a peak of 41°C in the morning practice, though the grip level of the circuit was reported to be lower than expected, so most riders didn’t evaluate the harder slick options today. FP2 was declared wet after a downpour minutes before the start of the session with only thirteen riders taking part and on a drying track, Avintia Blusens’ Ivan Silva was fastest in the second practice setting a time of 2’10.602 on slicks.
Sepang’s notoriously unsettled weather means there is a strong possibility of further rainfall tomorrow and Sunday.
Masao Azuma – Chief Engineer, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department
“We had one good session this morning which allowed teams to find a basic setup, but this afternoon’s rain meant there was little action on track. The rain was enough to dampen the track for FP2 but then stopped suddenly so we had standing water in turns two and three with the rest of the track dry, making conditions difficult for riders. Hardly any riders evaluated the harder slick options today and I expect many will try the harder front slick tomorrow to see what advantage it gives in the two extreme braking zones here.”