Track conditions were vastly improved on Day 2 of the second official pre-season MotoGP test at Sepang, and Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo took full advantage by pushing hard for 58 total laps. He notched the fastest time of the day mid-session, almost one-and-a-half seconds faster than the best time set on Tuesday and better than any lap he’s recorded at the Malaysian circuit. Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa came through second-fastest and was followed by Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow in third.
“A pretty good day, the track was much better than yesterday, I was surprised in the beginning it was so different,” said Lorenzo. “I could be strong from the start; a second and a half quicker and I think I beat my record time here in Malaysia. We improved the setting on the bike and I feel stronger than the first Sepang test so I’m quite satisfied. Tomorrow if the weather is good I would like to try a long run of maybe 24 laps to see what happens with the tires.”
Pedrosa continued to work on suspension settings after testing the new Bridgestone tires early in the day. His teammate, Marc Marquez, also put in laps on the new tires and moved to a point where he’s comfortable enough on the RC213V to begin ironing out more specific details. The MotoGP rookie finished the test session in fourth just 0.710 off Lorenzo’s top time.
“It was a pretty good day for us,” said Marquez. “Today we did something that is a little harder for riders, which is trying out a lot of things to give information to the technicians. It’s tough, but it is an important job when it comes to deciding which way to go with the setup. We did a good job on the 64 laps that I rode today. Now we have to compile the data and prepare as well as possible for the final day of the test —in which we will continue to put the laps in and look for the best direction to follow this preseason.”
Crutchlow focused on fine-tuning his fork settings, trying configurations closer to what Lorenzo uses on his M1 to help improve handling while changing direction.
“The main goal has been trying to stop the front of the bike lifting so much when I change direction on the throttle,” said Crutchlow. “The bike feels quite heavy so we need to reduce how much the fork comes up without sacrificing too much in another area like the braking.”
Lorenzo’s teammate, Valentino Rossi, came through fifth-fastest for the second day in a row, posting a time less than one second off the lead pace. Rossi was delayed early in the day with a technical issue, but it was easily resolved and he ended up logging 63 total laps during the session.
“I’m happy, the feeling is quite good,” said Rossi. “Today was a very long day; I did more than sixty laps because we had a lot of work to do. We lost some time this morning with a small electrical problem that we fixed. We continued to work to increase the rear grip and traction, especially when the tire has a lot of laps on it. We found something but we are still not 100% happy as we lose a little balance of the bike. Tomorrow the target is to improve the traction without losing the balance and then the bike will be very good.”
Go & Fun Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista trailed in sixth, followed by LCR Honda’s Stefan Bradl in seventh. Ducati Team’s Nicky Hayden and Andrea Dovizioso took eighth and ninth respectively. Hayden looked to smooth out the ride on the GP13 with different fork settings while Dovi ran through a slew of options to help improve feeling on the bike.
“We really tried a lot of things with the setup, making big changes in order to understand the situation,” said Dovizioso. “Some of the adjustments improved the feeling, so they enabled me to brake a bit harder. Although the times were nothing special, in my opinion they’re not so bad, even with used tires.”
Crutchlow’s teammate, Bradley Smith, rounded out the top-10. The young rider worked to regain his confidence aboard the M1 following a crash during the first session, and was focused on improving his braking technique as well as finding improved settings.
“After the crash yesterday I am feeling much happier today, though I’m a little bit wary of some things that happen with the front and that can play on your mind a little bit,” said Smith. “But the track has more grip and my feeling with the bike is much better. Today I worked a lot on my braking technique because I’m being too cautious at the moment and not using the carbon brakes as they need to be used.”
Energy T.I. Pramac Racing’s Andrea Iannone placed 11th and was followed by top CRT rider Aleix Espargaro in 12th. Iannone’s teammate, Ben Spies, went down early in the day. He was able to walk away from the incident but soon after concluded his testing to rest his shoulder which continues to cause him pain. In total, Spies logged 36 laps and placed 17th.
MotoGP Sepang Test 2 Day 2 Results 2013:
1. Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) 2’00.282
2. Dani Pedrosa (Honda) 2’00.651
3. Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha) 2’00.907
4. Marc Marquez (Honda) 2’00.992
5. Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) 2’01.065
6. Alvaro Bautista (Honda) 2’01.208
7. Stefan Bradl (Honda) 2’01.485
8. Nicky Hayden (Ducati) 2’01.778
9. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati) 2’01.803
10. Bradley Smith (Yamaha) 2’02.023
11. Andrea Iannone (Ducati) 2’02.608
12. Aleix Espargaro (ART) 2’02.905
13. Michele Pirro (Ducati) 2’02.920
14. Katsuyuki Nakasuga (Yamaha) 2’02.946
15. Wataru Yoshikawa (Yamaha) 2’03.354
16. Hector Barbera (FTR-Kawasaki) 2’03.428
17. Ben Spies (Ducati) 2’03.460
18. Randy de Puniet (ART) 2’03.518
19. Hiroshi Aoyama (FTR-Kawasaki) 2’03.990
20. Danilo Petrucci (Suter-BMW) 2’04.279
21. Karel Abraham (ART) 2’04.350
22. Takumi Takahashi (Honda) 2’04.512
23. Colin Edwards (FTR-Kawasaki) 2’04.656
24. Yonny Hernandez (ART) 2’04.671
25. Claudio Corti (FTR-Kawasaki) 2’04.709
26. Bryan Staring (FTR-Honda) 2’05.439
27. Lukas Pesek (Suter-BMW) 2’06.206
28. Michael Laverty (ART)