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Sepang Test Ends With A Marquez Lap Record

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Marc Marquez re-asserted his dominance on the final day of the Sepang MotoGP test with a blistering lap record. Although the Honda and Yamaha factory riders are again clustered near the top, there are some interesting, and even surprising take-aways from the test.

Is this the year other young elbow-draggers from Moto2, in addition to Marquez, begin to assert themselves? We knew Andrea Ianonne (Ducati) and Pol Espargaro (Yamaha) were fast, but this test indicates they could be in the mix at the front this year. Even rookie Maverick Vinales is catching on quick, but he is aboard the new Suzuki.

Speaking of the Suzuki, it made an impressive showing, and has great potential. Aleix Espargaro indicates it handles superbly, but is way down on power. Contrast the factory Hondas beneath Cal Crutchlow and Scott Redding, which both riders find difficult to ride at this point, particularly with the over-aggressive power Honda needs to tame.

Finally, a somewhat sad footnote is Marco Melandri’s performance. He is at the bottom, nearly 2 seconds behind his Aprilia teammate. If you recall the brilliant start to his career (before a stint with Ducati drained all his confidence), you have to wonder if he is still apprehensive about competing in the MotoGP class.

Don’t worry about Jack Miller. He rode without significant traction control, and wheelie-control shut off, so he could try to tame his new beast raw (he jumped from a 50 hp bike to a 250 hp bike), before adding the electronic nannies. This kid is a bad-ass.

Pos Rider Team Fastest lap Lead. Gap Prev. Gap Laps Last lap
1 MARQUEZ, Marc Repsol Honda Team 1:58.867 8 / 52
2 PEDROSA, Dani Repsol Honda Team 1:59.006 0.139 0.139 11 / 41
3 IANNONE, Andrea Ducati Team 1:59.388 0.521 0.382 11 / 47
4 ROSSI, Valentino Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 1:59.401 0.534 0.013 11 / 49
5 LORENZO, Jorge Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 1:59.624 0.757 0.223 12 / 55
6 ESPARGARO, Pol Monster Yamaha Tech 3 1:59.851 0.984 0.227 8 / 50
7 DOVIZIOSO, Andrea Ducati Team 1:59.874 1.007 0.023 5 / 33
8 BRADL, Stefan Forward Racing Team 2:00.294 1.427 0.420 10 / 49
9 SMITH, Bradley Monster Yamaha Tech 3 2:00.384 1.517 0.090 26 / 50
10 ESPARGARO, Aleix Team Suzuki MotoGP 2:00.486 1.619 0.102 13 / 36
11 CRUTCHLOW, Cal CWM LCR Honda 2:00.536 1.669 0.050 19 / 67
12 VIÑALES, Maverick Team Suzuki MotoGP 2:00.964 2.097 0.428 12 / 51
13 PETRUCCI, Danilo Pramac Racing 2:00.970 2.103 0.006 11 / 48
14 AOYAMA, Hiroshi HRC 2:01.029 2.162 0.059 6 / 46
15 BARBERA, Hector Avintia Racing 2:01.183 2.316 0.154 27 / 57
16 PIRRO, Michele Pramac Racing 2:01.232 2.365 0.049 10 / 56
17 REDDING, Scott Estrella Galicia 0.0 Marc VDS 2:01.263 2.396 0.031 65 / 67
18 HAYDEN, Nicky Drive M7 Aspar 2:01.508 2.641 0.245 13 / 52
19 BAZ, Loris Forward Racing Team 2:01.624 2.757 0.116 6 / 46
20 MILLER, Jack CWM LCR Honda 2:01.895 3.028 0.271 3 / 50
21 BAUTISTA, Alvaro Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 2:01.924 3.057 0.029 60 / 63
22 DI MEGLIO, Mike Avintia Racing 2:02.128 3.261 0.204 48 / 49
23 ABRAHAM, Karel AB Motoracing 2:02.297 3.430 0.169 18 / 43
24 LAVERTY, Eugene Drive M7 Aspar 2:02.334 3.467 0.037 55 / 57
25 NAKASUGA, Katsuyuki Yamaha Factory Test Team 2:02.363 3.496 0.029 3 / 22
26 TAKAHASHI, Takumi HRC 2:03.113 4.246 0.750 11 / 64
27 DE ANGELIS, Alex Octo Ioda Racing Team 2:03.471 4.604 0.358 22 / 32
28 MELANDRI, Marco Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 2:03.641 4.774 0.170 61 / 61

19 Comments

  1. Brian says:

    Despite the shuffle of riders onto new bikes the standings remain the same. Shocking…

  2. Gary says:

    I hope Lorenzo can pick up the pace. He made things more interesting when he was on his game.

  3. Vrooom says:

    While I expected an impressive showing from Marquez, and got it, was surprised to see Pedrosa come it at 2 (ok, that’s his middle name), thought maybe he’d begin to drop in the ranks this years after so many years as a bridesmaid. An impressive showing from Ducati and Aleix E on a new bike.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      Pedrosa is a well-paid bridesmaid, and I think he probably accepts his role better than most. That still makes him valuable to Honda. I don’t think he has any intention of dropping in the ranks without a fight. He is still a top rider on the top machine, after all.

      • mickey says:

        Well, he has certainly turned out to be that, but I don’t think that was his intention. He has been so close so many times, but something always happens. Fate has never been on his side in the premier class, but then again the “experts” said he was too small to effectively ride a GP bike when he moved up from the 250’s. He has done quite well actually and up until last year I think his on podium percentage was like 84% which isn’t bad in anybody’s book.

        I know a lot of people are not fans of his, but I think he is one heck of a racer and the stats certainly bear that out. Undoubtedly the best GP rider to never win a championship in the premier class.

  4. Provologna says:

    If you follow GP motorcycle racing, you are familiar with the last name on the bottom of this list: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-02-09/if-your-name-list-prepare-be-audited-or-worse

  5. Ron H says:

    Hopefully this won’t be another year of follow the Marquez.

  6. Ron H says:

    Ducati is up there but aren’t they still allowed technical exceptions that the other teams are not?

  7. Austin ZZR 1200 says:

    Most dominant athlete in any sport on the planet right now?

    • Dave says:

      It’d be more impressive if he had more than 3 legitimate rivals.

      There are several boxers who are more dominant. Mayweather Jr.?

      • Provologna says:

        Um, not just to argue, but the point that MM does not have “3 legitimate rivals” supports Austin’s suggestion. It might be more pertinent to say that the fact that he does not have “3 legitimate rivals” supports the hypothesis that he is the most dominant athlete.

        Now, motorcycle racing is a team sport and the vehicle is a goodly portion of the race results. So we’d have to switch bikes under the riders to really know how to split credit between MM and his bike.

        As someone who watched 2014 CCOA at Austin, the Hondas clearly “dominate” in power and straight line speed. Honda’s got some kinda hp mojo that Yamaha just can’t seem to uncork. Till that happens all we know is MM is king of hill.

        I ain’t holding my breath for someone to knock MM of the top of the hill. As I mentioned before, based on fan clothing, as clearly as MM dominates the track, Rossi wins the fan popularity contest by even bigger margin. MM was maybe 3rd or 4th. On this subject, while exiting the race track (I can not more highly recommend this track), a fan said with a lilt in his voice, “Every body loves a winner. The more he wins the more fans will adore him.”

        I started out specifically not being a fan, based on wanting the under dog to win. Now I can’t help but admire his prowess. I guess you could count myself among the fans to which that gentleman referred to leaving the track.

        • Norm G. says:

          re: “Honda’s got some kinda hp mojo”

          yup, a 90 degree V4 screamer.

          all the engine power of the Ducati, and all the chassis dynamics of the Yamaha.

        • Dave says:

          Re: ” It might be more pertinent to say that the fact that he does not have “3 legitimate rivals” supports the hypothesis that he is the most dominant athlete. ”

          MM is great, but it’s never been easier for him to win than it is now. MotoGP is the least competitive motorcycle racing series that I am aware of right now, with a shallower talent pool and the fewest equally committed/competitive teams participating.

          I was more far more impressed by his winning half of the Moto2 races than nearly all of the MotoGP races.

  8. pete Rasmussen says:

    Bradl used a honda road bike Brian, but more to learn a track he was unfamiliar with. I think it was Laguna Seca. It really showed how special these Motogp lads are. The Ducatis are back! With two great riders! Horgays sounds a bit tense.

  9. Brian says:

    I wonder if somebody like Jack Miller would have spent the winter flogging a CBR1100RR, or S1000RR, or whatever, around a private track someplace. A street machine wouldn’t make 250hp or have all the electronics, but at least in terms of power I’d think it’d be a good stepping stone. Or would the riding characteristics of a street bike be so different from a MotoGP bike that, regardless of power, it wouldn’t be helpful in making the transition?

    • Norm G. says:

      Q: “Or would the riding characteristics of a street bike be so different from a MotoGP bike that, regardless of power, it wouldn’t be helpful in making the transition?”

      A: no less helpful than a year spent in Moto2…? kit’s kit and more power is “MO’POWAH”.

      • Dave says:

        “without significant traction control, and wheelie-control shut off,… This kid is a bad-ass.”

        And lapping within the same second as several GP veterans, some on well-developed bikes?

        Indeed, he is a bad-ass.