Jorge Lorenzo was the first rider to break the two-minute barrier with a 1’59.963s lap.
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Jorge Lorenzo is leading the standings after the second day of pre-season testing at Sepang, with teammate Valentino Rossi finishing less than 0,8s behind him in sixth place.
Jorge Lorenzo made the most of the gained data from yesterday’s eight-hour testing session and was quick to position himself among the protagonists on the leader board. After getting a feel for today’s more slippery and bumpy track, he grew in confidence and picked up the pace to become the first rider to break the two-minute barrier with a 1’59.963s lap. His lap stayed unbeaten for the rest of the session.
With the track still cool in the morning, teammate Rossi took his time to further test set-ups with the aim to prolong tyre life. When the track started to warm up he put his YZR-M1 to the test and posted the sixth fastest time of 2’00.676s, +0.713s behind his teammate, despite suffering some chattering issues.
While the track was baking in the blistering afternoon temperatures at 2pm, the riders took some time to regain their strength and consume enough fluids, before heading back out into the bright sunshine at the Sepang International Circuit.
When Lorenzo and Rossi retuned to the track they used the last two hours of the session to test various aspects of the bike with their fastest lap time and position in the standings remaining unchanged.
Jorge Lorenzo (1st / 1'59.963 / 56 laps): “1’59 is a good lap time. The other riders couldn’t do it because the track seems to be a bit more slippery and bumpy and that makes it more difficult to achieve good lap times. Our bike improved a lot over this last year and I feel ready both physically and mentally. All together, we’re in a good shape. In the first four hours in the morning I was quite comfortably riding 2’00’s. In the afternoon it seemed that the track condition was a bit worse and I couldn’t ride as many fast laps. The goal for tomorrow is to repeat the pace that I had today and maybe do even better.”
Valentino Rossi (6th / 2'00.676 / 63 laps): “Today was more difficult for us. In the morning we had chattering of the bike in the corner, because we tried something different. The braking was not so bad, but the bike was very difficult to ride. There were hard vibrations with a high frequency. The morning was the right moment to ride good lap times. The conditions were right to push, but I couldn’t ride at 100 per cent. In the afternoon we modified the bike and we fixed the problem with front vibrations. My pace was not so bad but it was also nothing special. I’m not very happy with what we tried today. We have to continue tomorrow, try something else and continue in a good way.”
Massimo Meregalli - Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team Director: “Today was a good day but a strange day. We don't know the reason but between yesterday and today the bikes behaved differently. Jorge has been impressive in the morning and has been very fast and consistent. Valentino suffered from some chattering issues in the morning, we were able to resolve this for the afternoon but possibly due to the track conditions we were then not able to make a step forward in lap-time. We lost a little time working on the chatter this morning but we are confident that we will be on schedule tomorrow to continue testing. Both Jorge and Valentino still need to make a race simulation tomorrow which we will aim to do at the time this year’s race would take place in the afternoon to have as close as possible conditions.”
Espargaro and Smith battle through the heat on day two at Sepang
Monster Energy Tech3 Team rider Pol Espargaro concluded another successful day on track in the searing Sepang heat to post the seventh fastest time as he experimented with different chassis on day two of testing. The young Spaniard undertook another large collective of 57 laps and rode to his quickest one of 2'00.959 right at the beginning of the session on his seventh lap.
Some testing time was lost in the afternoon due to the extreme heat which caused a lack of traction, however, once temperatures had cooled, the 2014 rookie of the year went back out to continue working on both chassis and setup options. Although he had a small crash in the afternoon, the 23 year old rider optimistically looks towards tomorrow as he intends to plug the gap to the leading time on his Yamaha YZR-M1.
On the other side of the Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team garage, Bradley Smith proceeded to battle onwards to post a top time of 2'01.098 on the 32nd lap out of 51 in Malaysia, despite still not being fully fit. Similarly to his teammate, his focus today was testing the two different chassis as well as additional general aspects of his 2015 specification Yamaha YZR-M1, with the overall feeling being positive and confidence boosting. His time left him in ninth position, yet satisfied with his progress after completing the productive work. The young British rider remains poised to continue his evaluation of the new Yamaha tomorrow and to lower his lap time further.
Pol Espargaro (7th / 2'00.959/ 57 laps): "Today was a bit more challenging than yesterday as we were testing chassis plus new parts and there is no clear result on which one I prefer yet, but we are making good progress so I am happy. I tried to improve my lap this afternoon, but I wasn't able to, as it's not the best time to attempt a hot lap due to the track conditions. Anyway, I am not focused on making super fast times for the moment because I would rather concentrate on the bike setup and my riding style, which are progressing positively.
I had a small crash this afternoon which was fortunately not damaging to me at all, nor to the bike too much, so I am happy to walk away from that unscathed. Nevertheless, tomorrow is another day and we have a lot more work to undertake which we need to do in the morning due to the temperature in the afternoon, but I look forward to getting back out on track after a good rest tonight."
Bradley Smith (9th / 2'01.098 / 51 laps): "Overall, I am pleased with the progress we have made on day two in Malaysia and I am happy to be back in the groove whilst working on some areas that I can evaluate here in Sepang. I'm at about 85% fitness due to my injured right ankle which I hurt in training, however I still managed to complete 103 laps over today and yesterday. I can't move around on the bike as much as I would like to due to the injury and right hand corners are a bit tricky, but I will heal and these are only small details and issues, which can be ironed out later.
I'm evaluating the two different chassis at the moment and today I rode both and completed a similar distance. My lap times were close on either chassis, which is a very good sign, so I am certainly happy about what we achieved. Yet, now we need to continue working in order to decide which one has more potential for the upcoming season. There's still some work to do, but we are moving forward."
Second day of testing at Sepang for the Forward Racing team
The second day out of three of testing in Sepang for the Forward Racing team ends with Stefan Bradl on top of the standings of the Open class.
The German completed 49 laps improving his time by less than a tenth. Bradl finished the day in 11th place and the first of the Open bikes.
It was a productive day also for Loris Baz who has significantly improved his time. The Frenchman completed 44 laps with a personal best of 2.02.842, ending up twenty-first in the timesheet.
Stefan Bradl (11th / 2'01.484 / 49 laps): “Today I worked on the lap time. Yesterday we were fast but I needed to find the right consistency and to get closer to the limit. The feeling is positive, I managed to push hard and I was able to set some fast laps even with the old tyres. I'm glad we worked well on the electronics and I tried some new setting for the chassis. Tomorrow we will try to make the most of the day."
Loris Baz (21st / 2'02.842 / 44 laps): “Today we did a good job. We are moving forward step by step. The feeling is also getting better. The lap time is good. I thought I could improve slightly again in the afternoon but the track was slippery. Overall we have done a good job. Let's focus on tomorrow”.
Test Results - Day Two
1. Jorge Lorenzo (SPA), Movistar Yamaha MotoGP, 1:59.963
2. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA), Ducati Team, 2:00.015
3. Marc Marquez (SPA), Repsol Honda Team, 2:00.146
4. Dani Pedrosa (SPA), Repsol Honda Team, 2:00.260
5. Andrea Iannone (ITA), Ducati Team, 2:00.391
6. Valentino Rossi (ITA), Movistar Yamaha MotoGP, 2:00.676
7. Pol Espargaro (SPA), Monster Yamaha Tech 3, 2:00.959
8. Cal Crutchlow (GBR), CWM LCR Honda, 2:01.058
9. Bradley Smith (GBR), Monster Yamaha Tech 3, 2:01.098
10. Aleix Espargaro (SPA), Team Suzuki MotoGP, 2:01.344
11. Stefan Bradl (GER), Forward Racing Team, 2:01.484
21. Loris Baz, Forward Racing Team, 2:02.842