The favorable weather in Malaysia held out until the final hour of testing at Sepang on Day 2, at which point rain began to fall, ending the session somewhat earlier than planned. Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa once again set the pace, shaving close to one second off the lap time he set on Day 1 and beating out Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo by 0.019 seconds. MotoGP rookie and teammate to Pedrosa, Marc Marquez, continued to keep pace with the top-tier premier-classs riders, placing third-fastest for the second day in a row. Lorenzo’s teammate, Valentino Rossi, also replicated his Day 1 performance, posting the fourth-fastest time and coming in just half a second behind Pedrosa.
Pedrosa worked to accommodate an additional three kilograms added to his bike, as per new 2013 rules, and had plans to break in the new tire compound provided by Bridgestone but was cut short when the weather soured.
“Today I was able to try some more things on the bike and we made a few positive steps forward from yesterday,” said Pedrosa. “The feeling is good, I’m happy and that’s what’s important. We had planned to try a few more things in the afternoon, like the hard compound tires, but it started to rain early and we were unable to go out.”
Marc Marquez continued to keep pace with top-tier riders, coming in third-fastest on Day 2 at Sepang.
Marquez, on the other hand, spent his time dialing in the electronics package on the RC213V for the first time.
“I am happy, because we improved our pace a lot and that is what our focus was for today,” said Marquez. “The final stints on track were more consistent, which helped us to obtain better data. Today I started to work a little with the electronics and we have a few ideas to put into practice tomorrow or in future tests. This is making me learn new things and I am little-by-little understanding the way the electronics behave on this bike.”
Lorenzo was quick to match the pace he set on Day 1 during the dry morning hours, and by the end of the day had cut more than half a second off his best effort at the start of testing. The Mallorcan sampled some new parts for the YZR-M1 and even ventured out in the rain in the afternoon, logging just over eight laps in the wet and gaining some initial feel for the new Bridgestone compounds.
“Today in the morning the conditions were good and I could easily do the lap times from yesterday, I improved by more than half a second,” said Lorenzo. “Later we tried some little parts we couldn’t try yesterday, but not so much and the bike didn’t improve a lot. In the last hour it started to rain so I decided to exit and ride in the wet. We made more than eight laps in the rain. I think it was important to find the feeling in these conditions and also try the new tire.”
Rossi was pleased with his performance on Day 2, which he spent working through different chassis and engine settings.
The Doctor, Valentino Rossi, appears to be right at home on his YZR-M1, coming in fourth on Day 2 of testing at Sepang.
“We have some different parts for the bike for this season and we continued to work on the setting,” said Rossi. “The positive is we improved compared to yesterday in terms of time on one lap with the new tire but especially on the rhythm, I was half a second faster than yesterday which is not so bad. Fourth position is quite good especially as we are less than half a second behind Pedrosa and Lorenzo at the front.”
Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow also showed improvement, posting a time faster than he had on Day 1 within the first laps of the morning. As the session progressed, the British rider focused on improving settings to help with corner entry; efforts which paid off on lap 31 of 41 when he posted the fifth-fastest time of the day.
“Today I mainly looked at improving the bike on corner entry and one setting was an improvement but we lost a bit of turning performance,” said Crutchlow. “This track has some severe braking points, particularly going into the first and last corner where you arrive in the braking zone while flat-out in sixth gear. We need to keep the rear tire more on the floor at corner entry, so it was good to try and get more rear grip to help me enter the corner without the rear sliding too much. I’ve still got a few tenths to find but it seems on used tires I’m around the same pace as Valentino and that’s positive but I still feel a little bit rusty after the winter lay-off.”
LCR Honda’s Stefan Bradl trailed Crutchlow in sixth. The German rider got a late start to the day after a fitful night of little sleep, but once on track quickly regained his Day 1 pace, focusing primarily on rear suspension settings before the rains hit in the afternoon. Go & Fun Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista remained steady in seventh through Day 2, and was followed by Crutchlow’s teammate, Bradley Smith, in eighth. Smith was one of the most improved riders of the day, dropping one and a half seconds off the lap time set in the opening session.
Bradley Smith cut one and a half seconds off his lap time at Sepang during the second day of testing.
“I am happy with the job I have done and to be so fast on such a long and technical track is great for my confidence,” said Smith. “But I know reducing the gap to the leading group will be very difficult. There’s still a long way to go but it is nice to be so much faster than yesterday and to see some real progress. A lot of it is down to trusting the bike and having the confidence to ride it to the absolute limit to get the best out of it. I’m not at that point yet but each time I go out I get a better feeling.”
Factory Ducati rider, Nicky Hayden, reduced his Day 1 lap time by one second to finish in ninth. He was followed by teammate, Andrea Dovizioso, in 10th. Team HRC test rider Kosuke Akiyoshi finished the day in 11th and was followed by Yamaha Factory test rider Katsayuki Nakasuga in 12th. Ignite Pramac Racing’s Ben Spies dropped his Day 1 lap time by just over two seconds to take 13th on Day 2. The second Yamaha test rider, Wataru Yoshikawa, lagged slightly behind Spies in 14th while Energy T.I. Pramac Racing’s Andrea Iannone followed in 15th.
Leading the CRT charge for a second day in a row was Aleix Espargaro of Power Electronics Aspar, posting the 16th-fastest time on Day 2. He was followed by teammate, Randy de Puniet in 17th and Came IodaRacing Project’s Danilo Petrucci in 18th.
Testing is scheduled to continue through Thursday, provided that the weather at the circuit cooperates.
MotoGP Sepang Test Day 2 Results 2013:
1. Dani Pedrosa (Honda) 2’00.549
2. Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) 2’00.568
3. Marc Marquez (Honda) 2’00.803
4. Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) 2’01.038
5. Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha) 2’01.311
6. Stefan Bradl (Honda) 2’01.369
7. Alvaro Bautista (Honda) 2’01.729
8. Bradley Smith (Yamaha) 2’01.931
9. Nicky Hayden (Ducati) 2’02.110
10. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati) 2’02.379
11. Kosuke Akiyoshi (Honda) 2’02.526
12. Katsayuki Nakasuga (Yamaha) 2’02.701
13. Ben Spies (Ducati) 2’03.002
14. Wataru Yoshikawa (Yamaha) 2’03.156
15. Andrea Iannone (Ducati) 2’03.169
16. Aleix Espargaro (ART) 2’03.251
17. Randy de Puniet (ART) 2’03.791
18. Danilo Petrucci (Suter-BMW) 2’04.284
19. Takumi Takahashi (Honda) 2’04.559
20. Hiroshi Aoyama (FTR-Kawasaki) 2’04.786
21. Hector Barbera (FTR-Kawasaki) 2’04.989
22. Karel Abraham (ART) 2’05.028
23. Michael Laverty (ART) 2’05.417
24. Claudio Corti (FTR-Kawasaki) 2’05.721
25. Yonny Hernandez (ART) 2’05.837
26. Colin Edwards (FTR-Kawasaki) 2’06.205
27. Bryan Staring (FTR-Honda) 2’06.898
28. Lukas Pesek (Suter-BMW) 2’21.512