Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez remained the rider to beat on the final day of MotoGP testing at Sepang, setting a new lap record at the circuit with a 1’59.533 on Lap 10 of 40. Yamaha Factory Racing’s Valentino Rossi achieved a career best lap at the track, finishing second-fastest, followed by his teammate, Jorge Lorenzo, in third.
Marquez provided valuable information to his crew with a 20-lap race simulation during the final session, testing fuel consumption and tire wear. The Spaniard cycled through a number of set-ups and electronics settings over the three days, but still sees room for improvement in corner exits and corner speed.
“Physically I feel good, I haven’t stopped over this past month and have had a packed schedule, but I have been able to continue training,” explains Marquez. “I was a little weak here when I arrived, because I had the flu last week, but in the end I felt fine which is the most important thing. We can always improve and this test will help me to up my fitness.”
Rossi struggled with braking issues for much of the 2013 season but saw marked improvements in that area over the three days at Sepang, ending the final session pleased with the feel of his 2014 machine. Lorenzo’s final day proved his best of the test and he was satisfied with his team’s progress in adapting to the reduced fuel load allowed to factory machines in 2014.
NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Aleix Espargaro finished fourth-fastest on the final day, notching a lap under half a second off the pace of the leader. The FTR-Yamaha rider struggled with hand pain which kept him from running a full race simulation, but he was able to log 12 consecutive laps and determine that more work needs to be done with the bike’s electronics. His teammate, Colin Edwards, finished 14th.
LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl lapped fifth-fastest followed by Marquez’s teammate, Dani Pedrosa, in sixth. Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso posted his best time of the test on Day 3, putting the Desmosedici GP14 in seventh, eighth-tenths off the lead pace. Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Pol Espargaro finished in eighth followed by Pramac Racing’s Andrea Iannone in ninth.
Drive M7 Aspar’s Nicky Hayden continued to chip away at his lap time at Sepang, finishing in 13th on the final day. The American rider made gains in a number of areas, such as corner entry and electronics set-up, but cites a persistent lack of power as a main area for improvement going forward.
Development of the Suzuki MotoGP machine continued with Randy de Puniet and Nobuatsu Aoki each turning laps on the prototype. De Puniet logged his best lap of the test and finished 17th-fastest on the final day, nearly three seconds adrift of the pace set by Marquez. Aoki finished second-to-last on the timesheet, lapping over six seconds behind the leader.
2014 MotoGP Sepang Test Day 3 Results:
1. Marc Marquez (Honda) 1’59.533
2. Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) 1’59.727
3. Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) 1’59.866
4. Aleix Espargaro (FTR-Yamaha) 1’59.998
5. Stefan Bradl (Honda) 2’00.112
6. Dani Pedrosa (Honda) 2’00.223
7. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati) 2’00.370
8. Pol Espargaro (Yamaha) 2’00.655
9. Andrea Iannone (Ducati) 2’00.725
10. Alvaro Bautista (Honda) 2’00.788
11. Bradley Smith (Yamaha) 2’00.896
12. Cal Crutchlow (Ducati) 2’01.057
13. Nicky Hayden (Honda RCV) 2’01.514
14. Colin Edwards (FTR-Yamaha) 2’01.731
15. Michele Pirro (Ducati Test Team) 2’01.782
16. Hiroshi Aoyama (Honda RCV) 2’02.383
17. Randy de Puniet (Suzuki) 2’02.486
18. Yonny Hernandez (Ducati) 2’02.556
19. Kosuke Akiyoshi (HRC Test Team) 2’02.619
20. Katsuyuki Nakasuga (Yamaha Test Team) 2’02.788
21. Scott Redding (Honda RCV) 2’02.833
22. Michael Laverty (PBM) 2’03.187
23. Hector Barbera (Avintia) 2’03.204
24. Broc Parkes (PBM) 2’03.402
25. Mike di Meglio (Avintia) 2’04.516
26. Nobuatsu Aoki (Suzuki) 2’05.686
27. Karel Abraham (Honda RCV)