Sepang MotoGP Test – Day Three – Final Times

By Trevor Hedge

MotoGP riders were greeted by a wet track as they made their way into the Sepang International Circuit just outside the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur thus morning. Thus there was very little on track action until well after lunchtime, and it was well into the afternoon before riders started to really put any serious laps in.

The real action started in the final hour of proceedings. Jorge Lorenzo dropped a bomb with a 1m59.96, with 60-minutes remaining on the clocks as this final day of the three-day test started to come to its final conclusion.

A few jaws would have dropped at that marker as it was set on the hard Michelin tyres, the soft rubber still not in use since the 290km/h crash of Loris Baz yesterday, where the most likely culprit was a failure of the soft option Michelin rear, perhaps due to under-inflation.

Lorenzo then went out again and with 15-minutes remaining the reigning World Champion lowered the bar further to 1m59.595. Only half-a-second off Pedrosa’s qualifying record last year, but now with the control electronics, and the hard option new Michelin rubber…

Underlining just how impressive that lap was from Lorenzo was that the next quickest rider today, his Movistar Yamaha teammate Valentino Rossi, was almost a full-second behind the Spaniard.

The fastest Ducati today was the #27 GP15 machine ridder by Casey Stoner. The Australian ‘test’ rider fifth quickest today, only a fraction behind Marquez, and ahead of Dani Pedrosa.

Yesterday’s pacesetter Danilo Petrucci only put in a dozen laps today after suffering some technical issues.  Petrucci’s quick time yesterday set on the soft tyres not available to riders today, and Petrucci was more than two-seconds off the pace of Lorenzo ,and only 13th quickest on the timesheets. That was until five-minutes before today came to a close, when Petrucci went out again and moved his way up to seventh place, ahead of Andrea Iannone, Scott Redding and Maverick Vinales.

Another late improver was Cal Crutchlow who leapfrogged past a number of riders right up into third place to become the fastest Honda rider of the day. Crutchlow’s time a 2m00.992 on his 40th lap of the day.

A minute later however Marquez stole the Brit’s thunder to push Crutchlow back to fourth place, Marquez still 3-tenths off Rossi and 1.3-seconds off Lorenzo. There will be some furrowed brows in the Repsol HRC garage at the pace of Lorenzo here today.

With five minutes left on the clock Jorge Lorenzo exited pitlane again for one last crack at the 5.54km Sepang layout. The result a marginal improvement down to 1m59.580, further underlining his pace and ending the day 0.976 of a second ahead of Rossi. That concluded what had been a serious display of domination from Lorenzo today. His final laps on, I believe, a new specification Michelin front that the French tyre manufacturer gave the World Champion to try at the end of the day.

Lorenzo’s time also the fastest of the three-day test, while on combined times Petrucci’s 2m00.09 on soft tyres yesterday would put him second outright ahead of Hector Barbera, whose quick time was also set yesterday on the softer rubber. The performance of those two Ducati men should not be underestimated however, with both riders consistently fast. Petrucci suffered a few mechanical problems today and only completed 18 laps, to be seventh quickest on the hard tyres, while Barbera was 11th quickest on the hard tyres.

Sepang MotoGP Test Day Three Final Times
  1. Jorge Lorenzo 1m59.580
  2. Valentino Rossi 2m00.556
  3. Marc Marquez 2m00.883
  4. Cal Crutchlow 2m00.992
  5. Casey Stoner 2m01.070
  6. Dani Pedrosa 2m01.161
  7. Danilo Petrucci 2m01.217
  8. Andrea Iannone 2m01.223
  9. Scott Redding 2m01.229
  10. Maverick Vinales 2m01.244
  11. Hector Barbera 2m01.434
  12. Aleix Espargaro 2m01.623
  13. Andrea Dovizioso 2m01.675
  14. Yonny Hernandez 2m01.774
  15. Pol Espargaro 2m01.870
  16. Bradley Smith 2m01.918
  17. Loris Baz 2m02.541
  18. Stefan Bradl 2m02.79
  19. Katsuyuki Nakasuga 2m02.94
  20. Tito Rabat 2m03.012
  21. Alvaro Bautista 2m03.183
  22. Eugene Laverty 2m03.519
Sepang MotoGP Test Day Two Times
  1. Danilo Petrucci 2m00.09 (46 laps) Ducati
  2. Jorge Lorenzo 2m00.15 (32 laps) Yamaha
  3. Hector Barbera 2m00.38 (32 laps) Ducati
  4. Marc Marquez 2m00.84 Honda
  5. Cal Crutchlow 2m00.89 Honda
  6. Valentino Rossi 2m01.02 Yamaha
  7. Scott Redding 2m01.04 Ducati
  8. Andrea Iannone 2m01.05 Ducati
  9. Casey Stoner 2m01.10 Ducati
  10. Bradley Smith 2m01.10 Yamaha
  11. Maverick Vinales 2m01.42 Suzuki
  12. Dani Pedrosa 2m01.47 Honda
  13. Yonny Hernandez 2m01.64 Ducati
  14. Andrea Dovizioso 2m01.72 Ducati
  15. Pol Espargaro 2m01.99 Yamaha
  16. Aleix Espargaro 2m02.09 Suzuki
  17. Tito Rabat 2m02.32 Honda
  18. Stefan Bradl 2m02.37 Aprilia
  19. Loris Baz 2m02.61 Ducati
  20. Katsuyuki Nakasuga 2m02.69 Yamaha
  21. Alvaro Bautista 2m02.87 Aprilia