Gap between fastest riders shrinks considerably during busy testing schedule
Dani Pedrosa continues to lead the field for the Repsol Honda Team on day two of the first official MotoGP test of 2013 at the Sepang International Circuit with the Spaniard leading his two compatriots: reigning champion Jorge Lorenzo and his Yamaha Factory Racing YZR-M1 and rookie Marc Marquez who continues to stun the paddock with his instant pace. The day saw the factory teams and majority of the satellite squads, making considerable progress compared to days previous.
Today I was able to try some more things on the bike and we made a few positive steps forward.
The top four were once again being chased by their satellite teams with Cal Crutchlow and the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 squad back on the pace once again and the British rider was swapping times with LCR Honda’s Stefan Bradl while Alvaro Bautista (Go & Fun Honda Gresini) was circulating at a similar pace to rookie Bradley Smith (Monster Yamaha Tech 3). The two Ducati Team riders, Nicky Hayden and Andrea Dovizioso were back were they expected today after a slow start outside the top ten yesterday. The Ignite Pramac Racing squad riders Ben Spies and Andrea Iannone had a tough day of testing once again with both riders circulating in and around 14th position for the majority of the session.
The CRT riders were also back on track once again and once again it was the Power Electronics Aspar team that was at the front with Aleix Espargaro and Randy De Puniet in a straight heads up for top CRT bragging rights. The weather at the Malaysian circuit was not too warm over the past two days but the characteristic wet and dry weather at the track soon returned with rains beginning to fall near the end of the day prompting most of the top riders to call an end to their schedules with some riders opting to go out on track for a small number of laps in the tricky conditions before the test ended for the day.
Pedrosa was very happy to remain on top of proceedings and to be progressing well in his testing schedule. He said, “Today I was able to try some more things on the bike and we made a few positive steps forward from yesterday. The feeling is good, I'm happy and that's what's important. We had planned to try a few more things in the afternoon, like the hard compound tyres, but it started to rain early and we were unable to go out. We hope that it is good weather tomorrow so that we can try them out, as in the coming season it will be important to ride fast on that compound. We also hope to continue moving forward with our quest for the best bike setup.”
Lorenzo said he was able to match his pace from yesterday with ease. “Today in the morning the conditions were good and I could easily do the lap times from yesterday, I improved by more than half a second. Later we tried some little parts we couldn’t try yesterday, but not so much and the bike didn’t improve a lot. In the last hour it started to rain so I decided to exit and ride in the wet. We made more than eight laps in the rain. I think it was important to find the feeling in these conditions and also try the new tyre.”