Extreme weather at the Sepang circuit did not make for a pleasant day for the Ducati team in Malaysia.
Truly extreme weather conditions welcomed the MotoGP teams back to Sepang for day one of the second IRTA-organized test ahead of the 2013 season. The morning’s suffocating heat gave way to the typical afternoon tropical rain shower, which in turn became a proper cloudburst, making it impossible for riders to lower their times from the morning.
Dovizioso turned a total of 22 laps, his 2:02.801 being 1.2 seconds off of Pedrosa’s best time of the day and good for eighth place, while his American teammate did the most laps of anyone at 46, his 2:03.143 time putting him ninth-best. Pirro was sixteenth-best with a time of 2:04.626.
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team), 8th, 2:02.801 (22 laps) “I’m pretty satisfied with today. My feeling with the bike has improved, and now I know it better than I did two weeks ago here at Sepang. Today we did tests with the electronics, and we also made a comparison between two bikes with different configurations—one had a different fuel tank and weight distribution—but we didn’t have much time. It was nothing too major, but it was a positive step. I used just one set of tyres, so all things considered, the gap to the top is acceptable. That said, we still have to work hard on corner entry and corner speed.”
Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) 9th, 2:03.143 (46 laps) “It’s good to be back to work in Malaysia. This morning we lost a bit of time sorting out some electronics mapping, but then we were able to do some good riding. Ducati brought a couple of things to try, mainly some changes to weight distribution, which helped make the bike a little nimbler on change of direction. Also, I’m able to brake better with the same amount of pressure on the lever. We still need to work on it, but anyway, it’s an improvement. With the weather, we obviously didn’t get a full a day with a dry track, but it was important for me to ride in the wet. We know the gap to the front is still too big, but we’re slowly making progress, and hopefully we can reduce it further over the next two days.”