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Day 2 at Sepang: The New Ducati is Very Quick!

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Ducati factory riders Andrea Iannone and Andrea Dovizioso, on only their second day testing the entirely new Desmosedici GP15, set the third and fourth quickest times at Sepang … very nearly dipping under two minutes flat! Dovizioso indicated he did his fastest lap on a hard tire (rather than on the softer compound that can give Ducati a bit of an advantage over the other bikes). Brand new machines are supposed to have teething problems, not set the track on fire.

Honda’s Marc Marquez took his usual spot at the top of the timesheet, with Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo in second. The Suzukis of Aleix Espargaro and Maverick Viñales still look solid. The top 14 riders are within one second of each other! This is shaping up to be an interesting year, indeed.

The regular testing ends tomorrow, with some of the riders sampling new Michelin rubber on Thursday.

Pos Rider Team Fastest lap Lead. Gap Prev. Gap Laps Last lap
1 MARQUEZ, Marc Repsol Honda Team 1:59.844 22 / 63
2 LORENZO, Jorge Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 1:59.902 0.058 0.058 30 / 71
3 IANNONE, Andrea Ducati Team 2:00.098 0.254 0.196 55 / 58
4 DOVIZIOSO, Andrea Ducati Team 2:00.250 0.406 0.152 21 / 58
5 PEDROSA, Dani Repsol Honda Team 2:00.275 0.431 0.025 36 / 57
6 ROSSI, Valentino Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 2:00.308 0.464 0.033 19 / 61
7 SMITH, Bradley Monster Yamaha Tech 3 2:00.329 0.485 0.021 49 / 50
8 CRUTCHLOW, Cal CWM LCR Honda 2:00.333 0.489 0.004 61 / 61
9 ESPARGARO, Aleix Team Suzuki MotoGP 2:00.409 0.565 0.076 18 / 57
10 ESPARGARO, Pol Monster Yamaha Tech 3 2:00.689 0.845 0.280 8 / 44
11 PETRUCCI, Danilo Pramac Racing 2:00.713 0.869 0.024 22 / 57
12 VIÑALES, Maverick Team Suzuki MotoGP 2:00.731 0.887 0.018 42 / 61
13 REDDING, Scott Estrella Galicia 0.0 Marc VDS 2:00.762 0.918 0.031 53 / 57
14 BARBERA, Hector Avintia Racing 2:00.847 1.003 0.085 21 / 53
15 HERNANDEZ, Yonny Pramac Racing 2:01.012 1.168 0.165 28 / 46
16 BRADL, Stefan Forward Racing Team 2:01.131 1.287 0.119 13 / 58
17 HAYDEN, Nicky Drive M7 Aspar 2:01.633 1.789 0.502 17 / 57
18 PIRRO, Michele Ducati Test Team 2:01.897 2.053 0.264 16 / 41
19 LAVERTY, Eugene Drive M7 Aspar 2:01.944 2.100 0.047 54 / 56
20 ABRAHAM, Karel AB Motoracing 2:01.945 2.101 0.001 21 / 40
21 MILLER, Jack CWM LCR Honda 2:01.968 2.124 0.023 65 / 65
22 DI MEGLIO, Mike Avintia Racing 2:02.006 2.162 0.038 41 / 42
23 BAUTISTA, Alvaro Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 2:02.221 2.377 0.215 25 / 40
24 BAZ, Loris Forward Racing Team 2:02.426 2.582 0.205 7 / 37
25 DE ANGELIS, Alex Octo Ioda Racing Team 2:03.499 3.655 1.073 44 / 51
26 NAKASUGA, Katsuyuki Yamaha Factory Test Team 2:03.755 3.911 0.256 43 / 45
27 MELANDRI, Marco Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 2:04.313 4.469 0.558 49 / 49

26 Comments

  1. Vrooom says:

    Pretty incredible qualifying. A new manufacturer to GP (Suzuki) in the top 10, 2 Ducati’s in the top 5, and yesterday’s leader is down in 6th place despite posting a faster time (Admittedly track conditions were worse on Day 1). Amazing.

  2. Tommy D says:

    For those of us that own Ducati’s it’s great to hear news like this. I think it’s good for MotoGP to see the bike develop into a competitive platform for the riders not named Casey Stoner.

  3. Michael Kane says:

    There is only one man on this planet who can stop Marquez! He was so good they named Turn 3 at Philip Island after him.

    Shame is…..aparently Honda cheifs already spoke to Casey about a return to MotoGP and he refused.

    Who else would LOVE to see him back though? Marquez really is the best GP rider of all time (yes – I’m calling it now……he will break all records in his path) but we all love to see the big names challenged – Just like Marquez did himself 2 years ago when he moved into GP.

    • mickey says:

      Wow bold prediction. He has a ways to go yet to match the records of Agostini, Rossi, Doohan, Surtees, and Duke. Maybe after 6 or 7 championships we can start talking about his legacy.

    • Blackcayman says:

      “Marquez really is the best GP rider of all time (yes – I’m calling it now……he will break all records in his path”…..

      you must be 17 years old

      • Norm G. says:

        re: ““Marquez really is the best GP rider of all time (yes – I’m calling it now……he will break all records in his path”…..

        re: “you must be 17 years old”

        well 17, or allowing himself to be sucked into the “Superman psychology”. ya know, the same idea that you guys think DOESN’T exist with Bayliss, yet here it is playing out before you in the context of Marcus.

        pfft, and layman have the nerve to ask Norm G if HE’S the one paying attention…? LOL yeah that’s rich.

    • Curly says:

      It’s not hard to say that MM is certainly the best of the digital bike riders so far and I suspect his record will be amazing if he stays healthy. Still I’d love to see how the modern era riders would do on pure analog machines. I think it would be a high side crash fest until they figured it out. A question for the ages. Is Marquez throttle hand really better than Hailwood’s, Saarinen’s or Robert’s?

      • Jeremy in TX says:

        “Is Marquez throttle hand really better than Hailwood’s, Saarinen’s or Robert’s?”

        We’ll never know, but it could be. The kid is pretty solid on a flat track, so his throttle hand knows a thing or two.

        • mickey says:

          True but to attain legendary status as the other have, one must stand the test of time, to prove he’s not just a flash in the pan. Like I said , after his 6 th GP class championship, you can start mentioning his name with the others.

          Right now he isn’t even in the Roberts, Rainey, Lawson category.

          • Jeremy in TX says:

            I’m certainly not claiming he has earned the status of “legend” yet, only that there are very few chinks in his armor that I can see. He seems to manage “analog” motorcycles just fine, as well.

          • Curly says:

            Marquez is already way past flash in the pan. He’s the real deal alright and will no doubt amaze us again this season.

        • Dave says:

          The “digital era” distinction doesn’t take anything away from a rider’s skill. It’s not auto-pilot and adjusted to the point of safety would render the bike uncompetitive.

          If you took it all away you’d wind up with a bigger version of Moto2 (fast as hell, no T/C) where Marquez was still dominant, but beaten much more frequently. It’s most telling that the guys who were once able to challenge him in Moto2 are now as far away from him as their bike’s capabilities dictate.

        • Provologna says:

          Flat track bikes make about 1/3rd the power of a MotoGP monster. Also, dirt has humongous margin of error for throttle hand vs. asphalt. Bad analogy IMO.

    • Provologna says:

      Measuring stick broke, much?

  4. Martin says:

    Looks like the factory bikes are mechanically equal, so it will come down to the rider. Let the best man win!

  5. Provologna says:

    Wow! Jorge only .06 back of MM! Encouraging. Won’t be surprised though if MM breaks out by qualifying time…………AGAIN!

    I was at Austin last year, where Jorge jumped the green light. I wonder if MM is in Jorge’s head, messing with him. I hope Jorge gets an early win to break this MM deadlock.

  6. Brinskee says:

    This is going to be a great year. Rossi also said he thinks the Ducatis are going to be fast this year, “I am quite worried about the Ducati, because already the old bike was not so bad.” I wonder what shade of jealous he’s turned behind that helmet and how many curses he spits out under his breath about Jeremy Burgess!!!

    Gigi Dall’Igna is on track to become a superstar GP Chief Mechanic and Ducati may just be the bike to beat, still early days for predictions of course. But these first tests look so very promising.

    Nice to see the Suzukis also doing well. Nicky? Not so much… his glory days are over unfortunately. #countdowntoSBK

    • Krisd says:

      I would love to see Stoner back on a Ducati…..

    • al says:

      Nicky needs to quit, it is painful to watch him “soldier on”..The rest of the news is encouraging, should be an interesting year!

      • Vrooom says:

        True. It was true last year as well. There’s no point running in 17th place for a former champion.

        • TimC says:

          Why not ask him? He’s still got a Moto GP ride.

          I’d still be enjoying it.

          • Dave says:

            He wants to race and can attract a ride, good for him. He’s improving faster than some guys and this is a test, not a race.

            It’s so easy to forget that he ran right with Rossi and then Dovi when he was their team-mate (and he’s beating his current team mate now). I don’t see how he’s gotten worse as a rider, he’s just on a piece of equipment that’s farther away from being competitive.

  7. Starmag says:

    This is great news about both Ducati and Suzuki. Break up the Yamaha/Honda parade at the front!

  8. mickey says:

    Ducati had to get it’s act together eventually and Dovi is an experienced GP pilot who has had some success on the Duc. He was really fast on a Honda a few years ago.

    I think the 9th and 12th place finishes of Espargaro and Vinales on the new Suzuki’s is some pretty astonishing news as well. Couple of young riders on brand new bikes. This is very encouraging

  9. Hot Dog says:

    And what kind of DORNA spin can still allow Ducs to use special soft tires under Open rules? If their soft tires only last 10 laps, what good are artificial times during testing?

    • Dave says:

      ” Dovizioso indicated he did his fastest lap on a hard tire (rather than on the softer compound that can give Ducati a bit of an advantage over the other bikes).”

      The rules allow them the use of the softer tire (and greater fuel capacity, higher engine use limit, etc..) until the achieve 3x podium finishes or some other combination of achievements that I cannot remember. The soft tire really only serves to allowed them to qualify better and enhance the “show” by running up front long enough to fool us into believing we’re watching authentic competitive racing.

      However, it’s worth looking a the text more closely: ” Dovizioso indicated he did his fastest lap on a hard tire (rather than on the softer compound that can give Ducati a bit of an advantage over the other bikes).” We’re only getting sound bytes, but if this bike is as much better as these early showings indicate, then hopefully we’ll be seeing the red guys up front far later into the races..