Sepang MotoGP Test 2018
Day One Test Results
- PEDROSA Dani 26 SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 1:59.427
- DOVIZIOSO Andrea 4 ITA Ducati Team Ducati 0.343
- LORENZO Jorge 99 SPA Ducati Team Ducati 0.375
- PETRUCCI Danilo 9 ITA Alma Pramac Racing Ducati 0.696
- MILLER Jack 43 AUS Alma Pramac Racing Ducati 0.751
- ROSSI Valentino 46 ITA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 0.806
- MARQUEZ Marc 93 SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 0.863
- ZARCO Johann 5 FRA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 0.994
- CRUTCHLOW Cal 35 GBR LCR Honda Castrol Honda 1.095
- ESPARGARO Pol 44 SPA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 1.141
- RINS Alex 42 SPA Team Suzuki Ecstar Suzuki 1.200
- NAKAGAMI Takaaki 30 JPN LCR Honda Idemitsu Honda 1.237
- VINALES Maverick 25 SPA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 1.287
- ESPARGARO Aleix 41 SPA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 1.439
- RABAT Tito 53 SPA Reale Avintia Racing Ducati 1.485
- IANNONE Andrea 29 ITA Team Suzuki Ecstar Suzuki 1.600
- SMITH Bradley 38 GBR Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 1.672
- MORBIDELLI Franco 21 ITA EG 0,0 Marc VDS Honda 1.734
- BAUTISTA Alvaro 19 SPA Angel Nieto Team Ducati 2.301
- GUINTOLI Sylvain 50 FRA Suzuki Test Team Suzuki 2.437
- REDDING Scott 45 GBR Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 2.535
- TEST 3 Yamaha 33 JPN Yamaha Test Team Yamaha 2.617
- HERNANDEZ Yonny 68 COL Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 2.626
- ABRAHAM Karel 17 CZE Angel Nieto Team Ducati 2.661
- TEST 2 Yamaha 32 JPN Yamaha Test Team Yamaha 3.100
- SIMEON Xavier 10 BEL Reale Avintia Racing Ducati 3.519
- LUTHI Tom 12 SWI EG 0,0 Marc VDS Honda 4.305
- TEST 1 Yamaha 31 JPN Yamaha Test Team Yamaha 4.359
- PIRRO Michele 51 ITA Ducati Test Team Ducati 5.340
- KALLIO Mika 36 FIN KTM Test Team KTM 6.505
The first day of Official 2018 action began wet at Sepang International Circuit on Sunday, with the majority of the field setting some laps but then waiting it out as the track began to dry. So the season began on wets, before slicks began to appear up and down pitlane.
Fastest by the end of the session was Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa, as the pole lap record holder at the track ended the day more than three tenths clear of 2017 runner up Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team). Dovizioso’s teammate Jorge Lorenzo was third quickest, just 0.032 in arrears.
The tyres available for the test are the same as were allocated during the 2017 race weekend: a soft, a medium and a hard front, and a soft, medium and hard asymmetric rear. In addition, Michelin have brought two new front compounds for the field to evaluate – as well as a rear with a small evolution in the compound.
Timesheet-topping Pedrosa and teammate Marc Marquez had 2018 protoype machines as well as 2017 spec R213Vs in the Repsol Honda garage. Pedrosa put in 56 laps and blasted ahead on his final run, with the reigning Champion on the other side of the garage doing 51 and moving up to P7 late in the day. LCR Honda Castrol’s Cal Crutchlow was also testing for HRC with 2018 protoypes and the Brit had three machines in the pitbox. He earned the honour of first crasher of the season, but did also play guinea pig by heading out first on slicks. Crutchlow did 38 laps with a best of 2:00.522 to take ninth on the timesheets.
Hot on their heels over in the Ducati garage, and following test rider Casey Stoner’s positivity on the new GP18 after private tests, Andrea Dovizioso and Jorge Lorenzo had both the GP17 and the GP18 with which to put in their laps. Dovizioso spent some time on top before being deposed later in the day, but the Italian charged back up to second overall by the end of action. 35 laps saw the 2017 Malaysian GP winner put in a best of 1:59.770, with teammate Lorenzo also a late mover and catapulting himself from outside the top ten to P3 on his final run. The five-time World Champion did 38 laps. Danilo Petrucci (Alma Pramac Racing) made it three Ducatis in the fastest four as he took P4, just ahead of new teammate Jack Miller, who made it 80% Borgo Panigale factory machinery in the top five as he impressed once again.
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Valentino Rossi and teammate Maverick Viñales, meanwhile, began the day with new fairings – but not the new full carbon-black aero package seen on test rider Katsuyuki Nakasuga’s machine. The two men were forces to be reckoned with on the timesheets until a final time attack from some competitors. With the new chassis based on 2016 and the 2018 engine, an optimistic ‘Doctor’ put in 50 laps. The quickest clocked in at a 2:00.233 to put him P6, with teammate Viñales P13 on Sunday after 72 laps. The first man out on wets in the morning, meanwhile, was Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) as the lights went green, and the Frenchman had some new – to the Tech 3 team – aero to test. He ended the day in eighth after 62 laps.
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing impressed once again as they head into their second season. Pol Espargaro was on the pace from the off and completed the top ten, with teammate Bradley Smith in P17. The Spaniard did 39 laps and the Brit matched the count exactly. Test rider Mika Kallio was also on track.
After taking a wrong turn with the engine in 2017, Team Suzuki Ecstar were forced to develop around the problem – but now think they’re in a much better direction with their 2018 engine specification. Ex-rookie Alex Rins was their top rider on the first day in P11 after 63 laps, with Andrea Iannone taking P16 but only four tenths further back. Aprilia, meanwhile, were working on weight distribution and improving the power over the winter, re-evaluating their findings with riders Aleix Espargaro and Scott Redding from now on. Espargaro put Aprilia Racing Team Gresini in P14 after 40 laps, with Redding starting to settle in in P21 – taking the lap counter over the half century mark.
It was Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) who emerged from the first day as the fastest rookie, riding a 2017 Honda this season and putting in a good amount of laps on Day 1 – 64. He was twelfth overall. Reigning Moto2™ Champion Franco Morbidelli (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) was next up in terms of debutants, in P18 after 62 laps and half a second off the Japanese rider. Fellow rookies Xavier Simeon (Reale Avintia Racing) and Tom Lüthi (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) were also on track, with Swiss rider Lüthi now having successfully completed his first day in the premier class after being forced to sit out the Valencia test through injury.
Testing continues throughout Monday and Tuesday.