Petrucci leads Ducati 1-2-3-4 as Sepang test concludes

Danilo Petrucci smashed the unofficial MotoGP Sepang lap record on the final day of the pre-season test at the Malaysian venue, as he led an all-Ducati top four.

Petrucci leads Ducati 1-2-3-4 as Sepang test concludes

The Italian's 1m58.239s lap was almost six tenths better than the previous record that was held by his Ducati predecessor Jorge Lorenzo since last year's winter testing.

Petrucci logged the new benchmark towards the end of the session's opening hour.

He subsequently had a crash at Turn 5, destroying the new aero fairing Ducati had debuted on the day.

Moto2 champion Pecco Bagnaia was just 0.063s slower than Petrucci on his Pramac-run 2018-spec Ducati.

His Pramac squadmate Jack Miller was another six hundredths slower and crashed his GP19 bike late on, while Andrea Dovizioso made up an all-Ducati top four, three tenths off Petrucci.

Like Ducati, Yamaha also debuted a new fairing on Friday as its ranks were once again headed by Maverick Vinales.

The Thursday pacesetter was first to surpass Lorenzo's previous track record on the final day, but ultimately wound up best of the rest behind the Italian bikes in fifth.

Sepang test coverage:

LCR rider Cal Crutchlow led Honda's efforts in sixth and was the last rider to dip below Lorenzo's previous benchmark.

Aleix Espargaro was seventh for Aprilia, while Andrea Iannone continued to struggle with an infection and skipped the day entirely, replaced by tester Bradley Smith.

After finishing behind rookie squadmate Fabio Quartararo on Thursday, Petronas SRT Yamaha rider Franco Morbidelli was back ahead on the final day, taking eighth place to Quartararo's 16th.

Takaaki Nakagami was ninth for LCR, ahead of Yamaha's Valentino Rossi and Honda's reigning champion Marc Marquez, who again ended his programme early but finished two places clear of Lorenzo's stand-in Stefan Bradl.

Suzuki's Alex Rins was only 12th after claiming the runner-up spot on the first two days, while his rookie teammate Joan Mir took 15th, 0.001s behind the Avintia Ducati of Tito Rabat.

Johann Zarco led the KTM contingent in 17th, right ahead of factory teammate Pol Espargaro and the satellite KTM RC16 of Tech 3 rookie Miguel Oliveira.

The MotoGP field will reconvene in Qatar for the final pre-season test later this month, before the 2019 season kicks off at that same venue on March 10.

Session results

Pos. Rider Team Time Gap Laps
1 Danilo Petrucci Ducati 1:58.239   32
2 Francesco Bagnaia Pramac Ducati 1:58.302 0.063 21
3 Jack Miller Pramac Ducati 1:58.366 0.127 47
4 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati 1:58.538 0.299 36
5 Maverick Vinales Yamaha 1:58.644 0.405 79
6 Cal Crutchlow LCR Honda 1:58.780 0.541 61
7 Aleix Espargaro Aprilia 1:59.022 0.783 52
8 Franco Morbidelli SRT Yamaha 1:59.141 0.902 66
9 Takaaki Nakagami LCR Honda 1:59.148 0.909 61
10 Valentino Rossi Yamaha 1:59.155 0.916 62
11 Marc Marquez Honda 1:59.170 0.931 39
12 Alex Rins Suzuki 1:59.180 0.941 75
13 Stefan Bradl Honda 1:59.368 1.129 57
14 Tito Rabat Avintia Ducati 1:59.485 1.246 41
15 Joan Mir Suzuki 1:59.486 1.247 53
16 Fabio Quartararo SRT Yamaha 1:59.497 1.258 77
17 Johann Zarco KTM 1:59.640 1.401 44
18 Pol Espargaro KTM 1:59.751 1.512 57
19 Miguel Oliveira Tech 3 KTM 1:59.949 1.710 38
20 Karel Abraham Avintia Ducati 2:00.378 2.139 36
21 Hafizh Syahrin Tech 3 KTM 2:00.766 2.527 21
22 Sylvain Guintoli Suzuki 2:00.990 2.751 56
23 Bradley Smith Aprilia 2:00.995 2.756 56
24 Mika Kallio KTM 2:01.020 2.781 38
25 Yamaha test bike 2 Yamaha 2:01.243 3.004 43
26 Yamaha test bike 1 Yamaha 2:01.719 3.480 49
shares
comments
Ducati teammates cooperating like "never" before

Previous article

Ducati teammates cooperating like "never" before

Next article

Pedrosa set for three-month recovery after surgery

Pedrosa set for three-month recovery after surgery
Load comments
What does Marc Marquez have to do to get back to his best? Prime

What does Marc Marquez have to do to get back to his best?

Following his resounding MotoGP return with a seventh place finish in Portugal, Marc Marquez now must work to rediscover his best form before turning his attention towards results-based targets

MotoGP
Apr 20, 2021
How Yamaha's rookie-spec MotoGP star is taking charge Prime

How Yamaha's rookie-spec MotoGP star is taking charge

Fabio Quartararo is on a roll in 2021 after storming to victory at a venue five months earlier served up one of his worst races. Contrasting Portuguese GPs for Yamaha's factory duo make it hard to understand just how good its 2021 MotoGP bike is, but the Portimao weekend did at least expose one key improvement compared to 2020

MotoGP
Apr 19, 2021
The hurdles Marquez faces next in his Portugal MotoGP return Prime

The hurdles Marquez faces next in his Portugal MotoGP return

Even by Marc Marquez’s own high standards, his MotoGP comeback on Friday at the Portuguese Grand Prix will be considered a success even if he didn’t top the times. But having shown competitive pace on his first day back, both Marquez and his rivals know plenty more challenges are to come...

MotoGP
Apr 16, 2021
Where does Espargaro sit ahead of Marquez's return? Prime

Where does Espargaro sit ahead of Marquez's return?

Pol Espargaro’s first results as a Honda MotoGP rider may not appear special. But dig a little deeper and a clearer picture of his performance emerges. And, as Lewis Duncan writes, it’s cause for celebration at Honda with the return of Marc Marquez set to provide Espargaro with the reference he has been missing so far this year

MotoGP
Apr 12, 2021
The "pit bull" MotoGP rookie already drawing legendary comparisons Prime

The "pit bull" MotoGP rookie already drawing legendary comparisons

MotoGP’s 2021 rookie crop is one of the strongest in recent years, but one is already standing out. Jorge Martin’s Doha GP heroics have courted many to compare him to numerous MotoGP legends. Autosport spoke to Pramac boss Francesco Guidotti to find out why MotoGP’s latest Spanish star is already making such an impact

MotoGP
Apr 9, 2021
Why MotoGP's stewards must revisit Miller and Mir's Losail clash Prime

Why MotoGP's stewards must revisit Miller and Mir's Losail clash

Despite Suzuki’s decision not to appeal against Race Direction’s refusal to penalise Jack Miller following the incident with Joan Mir in Losail, something must be done to avoid a repeat of such an incident, which could have easily ended in tragedy

MotoGP
Apr 6, 2021
Why MotoGP’s top gun looks more dangerous at the Doha GP Prime

Why MotoGP’s top gun looks more dangerous at the Doha GP

Lightning hasn't struck twice for Maverick Vinales since 2017 and his wayward form of recent years makes predicting how he'll fare each MotoGP race weekend tricky. But fresh from his Qatar GP win, Vinales looks like an even more dangerous prospect for the Doha GP following an intriguing Friday practice.

MotoGP
Apr 3, 2021
Why MotoGP’s new Amazon Prime series is long overdue Prime

Why MotoGP’s new Amazon Prime series is long overdue

OPINION: MotoGP is getting its own version of Drive to Survive on Amazon Prime at some point in the near future. It was news welcomed by the grid’s leading riders. And following the impact DTS has had on Formula 1, MotoGP desperately needs the same boost.

MotoGP
Mar 31, 2021