Pedrosa and Marquez the ones to catch following Sepang MotoGP test

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Factory Hondas edge out Yamaha on final day of second MotoGP test of 2013

Repsol Honda teammates Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez walked away from the second MotoGP test of 2013 at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia on top of the timing sheets with both riders conducting an impressive three days of testing in mixed weather conditions. Pedrosa and Marquez swapped times with reigning MotoGP World Champion Jorge Lorenzo who was equally impressive on his Yamaha Factory Racing YZR-M1 as was the returning Valentino Rossi.

Overall, it's been a positive three days.

Dani Pedrosa

Track conditions over the past three days were far from ideal for the teams but nevertheless they got through most of the scheduled testing. The final day saw some of the riders focusing on race set up and conducting race simulations while others still had a number of parts to test. Rain also fell on the Malaysian track today prompting most of the teams to take the opportunity to check their wet-weather set-up.

Rain began to fall in the morning and continued after the track opened so most of the riders had to wait until later in the day to aim for a fast lap time with Pedrosa setting the fastest time of 2m 0.562s on his 41st lap out of 57 while Marquez set his best time of 2m 0.643s on his 54th lap out of 54 with the Spaniard having another small crash in the wet but the rookie was unharmed. Lorenzo managed to set his best time of 2m 0.992s halfway through his session with Rossi ending the day fourth fastest (2m 1.062s). Finishing in fifth place on the timing screens was Honda Gresini rider Alvaro Bautista with a best lap of 2m 1.078s

Following Bautista closely in the 6th fastest position was Cal Crutchlow on the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 machine with a best time of 2m 1.094s. LCR Honda rider Stefan Bradl ended his test 7th fastest with a fastest lap of 2m 1.309s and the German rider finished ahead of the Ducati Team’s riders Andrea Dovizioso (2m 1.650s) and Nicky Hayden (2m 2.070s) who finished in 8th and 9th respectively. The final rider in the top ten was Britain’s Bradley Smith for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 with a best time of 2m 2.314s. The top CRT rider was Randy De Puniet for the Power Electronics Aspar team in 13th with a best time of 2m 2.863s.

Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team

Photo by: Hazrin Yeob Men Shah

Pedrosa was happy with his progress over the three days and is looking forward to his next testing session that takes place in Austin, Texas. He said, “This morning we were able to try out the wet weather setup; it was only for a short time, but nevertheless we were able to put in some laps with it. In the afternoon, with the track dry and with slicks, we continued working on suspension settings. Overall, it's been a positive three days. Now we're off to Austin, and this is going to be an interesting test for the team and for myself. We've never ridden there and it's a new track.”

Marquez achieved what he wanted to do over the three days and the Spaniard is happy despite a couple of small spills off his RC213V. He said, "It's been a good day, overall. In the morning we rode in the wet and I felt very good on the bike, even though I had a small crash. I clipped the white line and lost the front, but neither myself nor the bike were affected at all. When the track dried out we went back to our work on the electronics and with the bike setup -above all with the front.

On the initial laps I didn't feel completely comfortable with the front end and had another small crash at the hairpin when I was forcing it a bit too much. In the final hour we set the bike up the way we had been fastest at this test, and I think that we got a good time again with it. We can leave here feeling positive about how things went,” Marquez added.

Jorge Lorenzo, Yamaha Factory Racing
Jorge Lorenzo, Yamaha Factory Racing

Photo by: Hazrin Yeob Men Shah

Lorenzo focused on his race simulation today and said conditions were somewhat more difficult compared to yesterday. Speaking afterwards Lorenzo said, “The practice was wet at the beginning of the day so we exited and tried the bike on the wet. It wasn't bad, I made the fastest wet time but when the track became dryer it was never the same as yesterday. It was much more slippery and so harder to equal yesterday’s time. We made a complete simulation, it was a little worse than I expected because we had some problems with the front tire in braking; it didn't give me much confidence so I slowed my pace a little. The conditions were extreme this time so it was harder to equal the simulation we made in the first Sepang test.”

Repsol Honda will test at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas on 12th – 14th March while the next MotoGP test is the IRTA test in Jerez, Spain from 23rd to 25th March.

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About this article
Series MOTOGP
Article type Testing report
Tags featured, hatch, honda, lorenzo, marquez, pedrosa, repsol, sepang, yamaha