-- MotoGP 2013 - Sepang Test - Day Three
-- Weather: Hot, sunny - Track temperature: 51 degrees - Ambient temperature: 33 degrees
Repsol Honda Team’s Dani Pedrosa heads into the two-week break as the man to beat after ending the final day of the Sepang test on top, as riders across the field dropped their laps times once more.
Pedrosa’s rookie teammate Marc Márquez gave everyone a scare in the morning as he crashed in the final turn at speed, although he walked away unscathed and could continue his work on his second bike. He stated that he tried to turn in despite missing his braking marker and lost the front. A record lap set by Spaniard Pedrosa of 2:00’100 was not beaten all day, as Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo ended just over three tenths off, himself focussing on a race simulation later in the day.
His Italian teammate Valentino Rossi also showed that he could get below the 2:01 mark, leaving it until just before lunch to post his fastest time that saw him end the day in third behind his teammate. Spaniard Márquez, despite going quicker again today, was this time unable to finish in the top three as he put in a lengthy run at the end, yet stayed a close fourth, challenged by the impressive Cal Crutchlow, the last rider below the 2:01 mark, on his 2012 Monster Yamaha Tech 3 machine. The Brit said afterwards he hoped to receive some of the upgrades the factory team is testing, as he feels there is some more speed to be found.
LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl just missed out on that feat with a time of 2.01’003, although the German looked on good form as he went quicker once more on his RC213V. Go & Fun Honda Gresini’s Spaniard Álvaro Bautista improved over yesterday’s time, getting more dialled in to the bike’s geometry and Showa suspension, with British Tech 3 rookie Bradley Smith continuing his steep, but progressive, learning curve in eighth. Smith also undertook a race simulation early in the day before setting his best time.
The Ducati Team will be buoyed by progress, with US rider Nicky Hayden gaining over a second over the three days, as he ended the day in ninth, with Italian teammate Andrea Dovizioso less than a hundredth behind. Yamaha test rider Katsuyuki Nakasuga was the first outside of the top ten, in front of Power Electronics Aspar’s Spaniard Aleix Espargaró, who put in a tremendous effort to place his CRT 12th, and just over 2.5s off the top. He ousted Pramac Team’s Italian rookie Andrea Iannone into 13th, who was without American teammate Ben Spies today, as the Texan decided to sit it out and let his shoulder recuperate before the second Sepang test. He finished the overall standings in 15th.
HRC test rider Kosuke Akiyoshi headed Paul Bird Motorsport’s Brit Michael Laverty, who has improved by nearly 3s over the three days on his MotoGP™ debut. He beat established French Aspar rider Randy de Puniet, who finished ahead of Yamaha test rider Wataru Yoshikawa, Avintia Blusens’ Héctor Barberá and HRC test rider Takumi Takahashi. Came IodaRacing Project’s Danilo Petrucci ended the day in 20th, in front of Cardion AB Motoracing’s Karel Abraham, Avintia’s Hiroshi Aoyama, NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Claudio Corti and Ioda’s Lukas Pesek. Rounding out the back of the grid are PBM’s Yonny Hernandez, who is still trying to fix chatter issues, as well as NGM’s Colin Edwards and Gresini’s Bryan Staring. Edwards was left frustrated by the lack of progress, but said that the work had now been done to come to the second test with a much more complete package.
Sepang Test Times - Day Three:
1. Dani Pedrosa ESP Repsol Honda (RC213V) 2m 0.100s (Lap 4/44)
2. Jorge Lorenzo ESP Yamaha Factory (YZR-M1) 2m 0.429s (4/58)
3. Valentino Rossi ITA Yamaha Factory (YZR-M1) 2m 0.542s (43/55)
4. Marc Marquez ESP Repsol Honda (RC213V) 2m 0.636s (32/54)
5. Cal Crutchlow GBR Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1) 2m 0.734s (5/53)
6. Stefan Bradl GER LCR Honda MotoGP (RC213V) 2m 1.003s (14/43)
7. Alvaro Bautista ESP Honda Gresini (RC213V) 2m 1.502s (29/48)
8. Bradley Smith GBR Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1) 2m 2.093s (43/48)
9. Nicky Hayden USA Ducati Team (GP13) 2m 2.184s (19/49)
10. Andrea Dovizioso ITA Ducati Team (GP13) 2m 2.277s (37/38)
11. Katsayuki Nakasuga JPN Yamaha Test Rider (YZR-M1) 2m 2.616s (12/21)
12. Aleix Espargaro ESP Aspar (ART CRT) 2m 2.628s (37/47)
13. Andrea Iannone ITA Pramac Racing (GP13) 2m 2.864s (17/32)
14. Kosuke Akiyoshi JPN Honda Test Rider (RC213V) 2m 3.082s (14/28)
15. Michael Laverty GBR Paul Bird Motorsport (ART CRT) 2m 3.874s (40/47)
16. Randy De Puniet FRA Aspar (ART CRT) 2m 4.066s (38/38)
17. Wataru Yoshikawa JPN Yamaha Test Rider (YZR-M1) 2m 4.137s (5/18)
18. Hector Barbera ESP Avintia (FTR-Kawasaki CRT)* 2m 4.211s (31/37)
19. Takumi Takahashi JPN Honda Test Rider (RC213V) 2m 4.288s (37/46)
20. Danilo Petrucci ITA IodaRacing (Suter-BMW CRT)* 2m 4.531s (32/34)
21. Karel Abraham CZE Cardion AB (ART CRT) 2m 4.766s (57/61)
22. Hiroshi Aoyama JPN Avintia (FTR-Kawasaki CRT)* 2m 4.940s (43/45)
23. Claudio Corti ITA Forward (FTR-Kawasaki CRT)* 2m 5.107s (13/37)
24. Lukas Pesek CZE IodaRacing (Suter-BMW CRT)* 2m 5.321s (39/40)
25. Yonny Hernandez COL Paul Bird Motorsport (ART CRT) 2m 5.580s (14/43)
26. Bryan Staring AUS Honda Gresini (FTR-Honda CRT) 2m 5.970s (38/41)
27. Colin Edwards USA Forward (FTR-Kawasaki CRT)* 2m 6.141s (38/41)
* Control ECU.
-- HRC Report
Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC213V) took top honors for the third consecutive day of MotoGP testing at the Sepang International Circuit, cementing his dominance and making him the early favorite for the 2013 MotoGP World Championship. Team-mate Marc Marquez finished his first three-day Sepang test with the fourth fastest time after having been third fastest on the first two days, and also after concluding a successful race simulation. And Honda riders Stefan Bradl (Team LCR Honda MotoGP) and Alvaro Bautista (Go & Fun Honda Gresini) again finished with the sixth and seventh fastest times, as they'd done a day earlier.
The test marked the first time in his career that Pedrosa had swept to honours on all three days of of a test, though that wasn't his aim. His aim was to improve his Repsol Honda RC213V, which he did through a structured and efficient testing programme. Pedrosa diligently worked through a number of development issues on the second year 1000cc machine, with an emphasis on weight distribution. By rule, the Repsol Honda RC213V weighs three kilograms more than it did last year and Pedrosa, who bore the brunt of the development work, was tasked with finding the optimal location for distributing the added weight.
He left the test satisfied and looking forward to returning in less than three weeks' time, when he hopes to test new Ohlins forks and shocks, clutch parts, and software settings.
The 19-year-old Marquez narrowly missed out on finishing third, the hypothetical front row, for the third day in row, though there was no shame in finishing fourth. Just ahead of him were two world champions, Valentino Rossi in third and reigning world champion Jorge Lorenzo in second.
Marquez showed dazzling speed in the first test of the new year, putting himself near the top of the order from the outset. The team studiously provided him with the tools needed to improve his efficiency on the Repsol Honda RC213V and he made the most of them. He had a brief setback in the morning when he crashed for the first time in the MotoGP class, but he was unfazed and quickly got back up to speed. His fast lap of 2m, 0.636s came on the 32nd of 33 laps, at the 5.548km Malaysian circuit.
In the afternoon, Marquez did a simulated race, 20 laps at speed to learn how the motorcycle would react with a lighter fuel load and used tyres. The times were remarkably consistent, which is what Marquez and the team were looking for as they head into the season.
Stefan Bradl nearly dropped below the 2m, 1s mark, missing out by .003s. The second year MotoGP rider continued to adapt to the 2013 Team LCR Honda MotoGP RC213V, which is the same spec as that of the Repsol Honda riders. Three days of testing produced gradually diminishing lap times, which highlighted the progress of the young German. Now the team will digest the data collected to be ready when they return here at the end of the month.
Alvaro Bautista was half a second behind fellow Honda rider Bradl ending the test. Bautista's fastest lap came on the 29th of 48 laps at the end of a three lap run. He and his Go & Fun Honda Gresini team are the only ones using Showa suspension, which meant he spent the day doing short runs to evaluate the differences in suspension setup. The work was made more difficult by scorching heat, the hottest of the three days, which made the track greasy and exacerbated chatter problems that most riders were suffering.
Bryan Staring (Go & Fun Honda Gresini) successfully concluded his first MotoGP test aboard the Honda CBR1000RR-powered FTR-framed CRT machine. The Australian admitted there was still much to learn, but added that the team had been instrumental in helping with what by necessity is a steep learning curve. Staring incrementally improved his times over the course of the test and fully expects to be more competitive when the next test commences.
HRC test team rider Kosuke Akiyoshi completed his test programme early, finishing with the 14th fastest time. Fellow test rider Takumi Takahashi was the 19th fastest rider after putting in 46 laps.
The Honda riders will return to Sepang in three weeks time, Feb. 26-28, to continue their off-season testing.
HONDA MotoGP RIDER QUOTES
Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC212V): 1st, 2m, 0.100s
We can leave Sepang with a good feeling, because we had good lap times on all three days. We were able to put in a lot of laps and, above all, try out some important things with the engine and the bike weight to adjust to the three kilos more for this season - dictated by the new rules. Today we focused on rear tyres, in particular the new Bridgestone hard compound. It is similar to the old one with a little more grip in some areas, but it also creates more chatter. We finished the test well and hope to continue like this in the following ones.
Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda RC212V): 4th, 2m, 0.636s
I am very happy with the results that we have had from these three days, above all because I gradually got more consistent with my times. This was what we were looking for from this test. Day by day we improved our times, but this is secondary, really. The important thing is that we made our first race simulation, which has helped me to understand the class and the bike better and his given us a lot of information for the next test. We also had a first crash, which luckily was fairly light. I lost the front on the brakes, but I was unhurt and the overall verdict on the test is still very positive.
Stefan Bradl (Team LCR Honda RC213V): 6th, 2m, 1.003s
The result of these three days of work is quite good for me. I think we have completed our job gathering more data ahead the next test here. Even today I was working on a raft of things from traction control, to suspension and brakes and Bridgestone gave us a new rear hard tyre to test. At the end I run the circuit 43 times growing my confidence on this bike. There's more work to do before the first race of the season but we leave Sepang with a good base.
Alvaro Bautista (Go & Fun Honda Gresini): 7th, 2m, 1.502s
The intense heat that we've had over the past few days ended up making it considerably harder work out on track. That didn't affect our schedule, however, and we continued with the job of setting up the Showa suspension. We are making progress, but we still have a lot of work to do and our aim remains to have everything ready for the season start in Qatar. We have gathered a lot of data that we will use at the next test here in Sepang at the end of the month.
Bryan Staring (Go & Fun Honda Gresini): 27th, 2m, 6.481s
There is still a lot to learn, but I think that we are on the right track with the help of the guys on the team. They never put me in any difficulty and always have me trying out technical solutions, without distracting me too much from just adapting to this new style of riding. Sepang is definitely not the best circuit at which to make your debut, as it is so long and it is hard to learn all the lines. In any case, I am motivated. Today I improved my time from yesterday and I am convinced that very soon I can be competitive.
-- Yamaha Report
Yamaha Factory Racing riders Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi today completed the third and final day of the first official MotoGP test of 2013 at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia. Despite the threat of bad weather both riders were able to enjoy a good amount of dry track time to work through a number of potential engine and chassis specifications for the 2013 YZR-M1. Reigning World Champion Lorenzo delivered his trademark consistency from day one, leading the time sheet at times and never straying far from the front. The Mallorcan was under the official race lap record of the Sepang circuit this morning and just a tenth of a second from the official pole record. He went on to complete a long run this afternoon to wrap up the test. Teammate Rossi continued to go from strength to strength having been reunited with the YZR-M1, the Italian again improving on his time from the day before by nearly half a second to finally dip under the 2’01 mark and finish in third place just over a tenth of a second from teammate Lorenzo in second.
The Japanese Yamaha engineers will now take the valuable data gained back to Japan to work towards the second Sepang test in a few weeks time.
Jorge Lorenzo - Laps 58, Time - 2'00.429
“I think these three days have been positive for us. We tried many things and some of them were good. We need to reconfirm again in another track but here we were able to improve a little bit. I was able to make a simulation this afternoon, the first one I’ve done in Sepang in my GP career. I felt strong physically, mentally and riding so it was good. The other riders are also really strong so it promises to be an interesting season.”
Valentino Rossi - Laps 55, Time - 2'00.542
“I’m very happy, all three days were very good. We worked hard on the bike and improved day by day. The third day was the best, we were able to stay less than half a second from pole position and the lap time is higher which is interesting. Today we finished third in the standings which is theoretically the front row so I’m very happy with this first test.”
Wilco Zeelenberg - Yamaha Factory Racing Team Manager
“The whole test has been quite positive and we finished today finding two directions for the rest of the season. Also Jorge’s long run this afternoon was quite consistent, I think that was one of our tasks we were aiming for, to be fast is one thing but to be consistently fast is what it takes to win in racing. Overall we are pretty satisfied, both Jorge and the team worked really hard in these hot conditions, we’re looking forward to coming back to see how we can improve even more.”
Massimo Meregalli - Yamaha Factory Racing Team Director
“This has been a really important and positive test. We have been able to work really well and our Japanese engineers have a lot of data so they are really happy. We can go home pretty satisfied and the engineers can continue working on the project, we will see what we can do in a few weeks. Jorge has been very consistent and fast throughout the test in many different circumstances so we are very pleased with him. On Vale’s side he removed a lot of weight from his shoulders, I see him very happy because he is finally back riding a bike that he enjoys, which is what he was looking for. I can’t say more than that!”
Crutchlow and Smith conclude successful Sepang test
British duo Cal Crutchlow and Bradley Smith set the fifth and eighth fastest times at the Sepang International Circuit today to conclude a successful start to the MotoGP winter testing schedule for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team. A best time of 2.00.734 ensured Crutchlow finished inside the top six on each day and after improving his pace by over a second throughout the test he finished in fifth position on the final timesheets. Having made improvements with corner entry rear grip yesterday, Crutchlow turned his focus to working on his pace an d consistency on worn tyres today, and he was satisfied with the progress to finish 0.634s away from Dani Pedrosa's best time.
Rookie teammate Smith produced another fantastic performance and included in his 48-lap stint was an impressively fast and consistent full race simulation, which he completed in searing heat and humidity on the hottest day of the test. The 22-year-old has made a seamless transition from Moto2 to the heavier and more powerful YZR-M1 machine and his race simulation gave him priceless information on where he can improve when the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team returns to Sepang for a further three-day test later this month. Smith ended with a best time of 2.02.093 today, which was within two seconds of the quickest pace set by Pedrosa and he was only a second away from the top six. His fastest time at the test was yesterday's 2.01.931 that secured him the eighth quickest time overall.
Cal Crutchlow - Laps - 53, Time - 2'00.734
“It has been a very positive week and I am where I expected to be and that's right behind the top four factory bikes. I can't really ask for more than that and I'm pleased with my lap times because my bike is almost identical to the bike I rode last year. Today I was doing a lot of laps on old tyres and trying to stay consistent and I've improved. I also feel like I've made good progress in improving on the brakes, so it has been a productive test and good to be back on track after the winter break. I've built up my confidence each day but it is obvious that 2013 is going to be incredibly tough. There is some amazing talent on really good machinery but I am really looking forward to it. I'll be ready to give it 100% as always and come the first race in Qatar I'll be ready to challenge. Credit to Bradley as we ll because he has done a fantastic job this week. This was his first proper test in MotoGP and he has got faster and more confident each day. I have been very impressed with him and it is going to be good being his teammate this season.”
Bradley Smith - Laps - 48, Time - 2'02.093
“I am really happy with the way this test has gone and my lap times and final position have already given me a lot of confidence. I didn't come here with any expectations but to be eighth is where this bike needs to be. I am still not getting all of the potential out of the YZR-M1 but I am gaining in confidence with every lap I complete and it has been mission accomplished in terms of coming here and understanding how the bike needs to be ridden. I still need to be a lot smoother but I am happy to be within two seconds of the fastest time. I knew that was possible but the hard work starts now to close that gap even more. The race simulation was amazing to build up my experience but it was seriously hard work. It was the hottest day and it is very physically and mentally demanding to ride a MotoGP bike at that pace over a long distance. It is hard to concentrate but the best thing was on the last lap I did a 2.02.9 and my best lap was a 2.02.5. So I was consistent and while I need to be faster, I'm really happy to be leaving this test having learned so much. I need a good sleep now to digest all the information I've taken on but already I can't wait to be back on the bike here later this month.”
-- Ducati Report
Today marked the conclusion of the three-day IRTA-organized test at the Malaysian Sepang circuit, where teams prepared for the new MotoGP Championship, to start on 7 April in Qatar.
Andrea Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden took to the track on their Desmosedici GP13 bikes.
The Italian, who is making his debut with the Desmosedici this year, had to adapt to a bike and team that are completely new for him and, thanks in part to his recent experience aboard other factory bikes, was able to give his first real feedback to the Ducati engineers regarding the frame, electronics and engine characteristics.
The American, beginning his fifth season aboard the Italian bike, tried to find his rhythm as he used the three days of testing to provide his own valuable input for the future development of the bike.
The team certainly can’t be satisfied with its results, so it heads home aware of the challenging work that must be carried out in order to get back toward the top of the time sheets. They will begin trying new ideas during the next test at Sepang at month’s end and at the Jerez test in late March.
Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) 9th, 2:02.110
“We obviously can’t be happy when our times are that far off of the top guys, but we knew it was going to be tough. Sepang has never been a particularly good track for Ducati: we raced here in October, and the bike hasn’t changed much since then. We found a couple little things over the course of the test, which allowed us to improve our consistency on day three, but I think we need something big. Anyway, it was nice to be back on the bike and working with the guys. The team has worked extremely hard, and we just have to stay motivated and keep giving them the right information so that we can hopefully start making some real progress soon.”
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) 10th, 2:02.277
“Yes, it was a difficult test but we didn’t expect it to be any different. We're here to improve the situation and everybody knows the level we are now so we have to improve. We tested as much stuff as we could, because we’re focused on improving the bike. The gap to the others is big, and we pushed a lot to understand the bike. I gave a lot of feedback, maybe too much! We don’t know how the next test in Sepang will be. There’s too short a time between now and then, so it’s difficult to do something big in this time. We still have to decide which parts we can bring to the second test. Unfortunately, we need time to try something big.”
Paolo Ciabatti, Ducati MotoGP Project Director
“Obviously, we’re not satisfied. We knew we were starting from a base that needed significant development work, but it’s not nice to realize we’re still so far from the leaders. Still, our engineers gathered important data, and now the only thing to do is to roll up our sleeves and continue the development program in the factory. The goal is clear: bring Ducati back to the top of the results sheet as soon as possible.”
-- Bridgestone Report
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Hard, Extra-hard. Rear: Soft, Medium, Hard (Asymmetric)
Weather: Tue: Dry, Wed: Wet/Dry, Thu: Wet/Dry. Ambient 27-32°C; Track 27-55°C (Bridgestone measurement)
Dani Pedrosa set a time of 2’00.100 early on the final day of testing at Sepang International Circuit to finish on top of the timesheets at the first official group test of the 2013 MotoGP™ World Championship.
Pedrosa was quickest on all three days of the group test and set his benchmark time today on the combination of the hard compound front and medium compound rear slick. Second fastest overall was Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo with a best time of 2’00.429, while his teammate Valentino Rossi was third quickest in Sepang, clocking a time of 2’00.542.
After claiming the honour of being the top CRT rider last season, Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaro was the quickest CRT rider at the first Sepang test, his personal best time of 2’02.628 placing him in thirteenth position overall on the timesheets. Twenty-eight riders took part in the first group test of the year and the gap from the fastest to slowest rider was 5.870 seconds, an improvement of almost five seconds compared to the same test last year.
In a welcome change to the CRT ECU test which took place on the two days before the group test, the weather at Sepang over the three days of testing was mainly fine, with only the last hour of the second and third day of testing affected by rainfall. Track temperatures over the three days varied from 27°C to 55°C and thanks to the mainly fine weather, all the slick tyres Bridgestone brought to Malaysia, including a CRT-specific soft rear slick and two hard compound rear slicks for the Ducati, Honda and Yamaha machines were tested extensively. Large amounts of rider feedback and empirical data have been collected and will now be analysed at Bridgestone’s technical centre in Kodaira, Japan.
Bridgestone will be back on the ground at Sepang for the next MotoGP™ group test which will take place from February 25-28.
Shinji Aoki - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department
“This was a very good test for us and has helped refine the direction of our tyre development for this year. The CRT-specific rear slick we brought to Sepang gave the CRT riders an improvement in rear grip with enough durability to make it a viable race option, so this is promising. Testing of the two new hard compounds we supplied to the works teams also provided useful data, and we will now look to test these options at different tracks in future as part of our ongoing tyre development programme.
“Overall, I’m pleased with what we achieved here in Malaysia and I’d like to thank all the teams and riders for their cooperation over the last five days of testing. I’m also happy that so few riders crashed during the test and I hope this trend continues throughout the pre-season tests.”
- MotoGP World Championship 2012 -
RND 1 -
JORGE WINS QATAR
RND 2 - STONER CRACKS JEREZ
RND 3 -
STONER TAKES ESTORIL
RND 4 -
LORENZO WINS LE MANS
RND 5 - JORGE WINS AT HOME
RND 6 -
JORGE WINS SILVERSTONE
RND 7 -
STONER WINS ASSEN
RND 8 - PEDROSA WINS
RND 9 - LORENZO TAKES MUGELLO
RND 10 - CASEY WINS LAGUNA
RND 11 - PEDROSA WINS AT INDY
RND 12 - PEDROSA WINS BRNO
RND 13 - LORENZO PULLS AWAY
||RND 14 - DANI BOUNCES BACK||
RND 15 - DANI CLOSES THE GAP
RND 16 - SEPANG SPLASHFEST
RND 17 -
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