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Sepang Test Ends With Three Teams Near The Front

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The last day of official testing at Sepang has ended with a familiar name at the top, but new names will likely race near the front this year. The riders were expected to go for fast times today, and they did.

A lap at Sepang under 2 minutes is very fast. Seven riders achieved this today, including three on Hondas, three on Yamahas and one on a Ducati. The Ducati rider is young Andrea Iannone, whom we told you about in an earlier article. Iannone has beaten both Marc Marquez and Pol Espargaro multiple times in the Moto2 class. He is the real deal. He ended the test quicker than Valentino Rossi.

As we said yesterday, this new season could produce a more interesting mix of riders at the front during races. The Ducatis are clearly competitive bikes now, and even Suzuki appears ahead of schedule in the development of its MotoGP machine. Cal Crutchlow has a factory Honda, and he looks ready to make good use of it. Interesting times ahead.

Pos Rider Team Fastest lap Lead. Gap Prev. Gap Laps Last lap
1 MARQUEZ, Marc Repsol Honda Team 1:59.115 13 / 73
2 LORENZO, Jorge Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 1:59.437 0.322 0.322 19 / 55
3 CRUTCHLOW, Cal CWM LCR Honda 1:59.658 0.543 0.221 6 / 58
4 IANNONE, Andrea Ducati Team 1:59.722 0.607 0.064 10 / 59
5 ROSSI, Valentino Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 1:59.833 0.718 0.111 19 / 59
6 SMITH, Bradley Monster Yamaha Tech 3 1:59.883 0.768 0.050 9 / 41
7 PEDROSA, Dani Repsol Honda Team 1:59.912 0.797 0.029 49 / 51
8 BARBERA, Hector Avintia Racing 2:00.244 1.129 0.332 8 / 52
9 ESPARGARO, Aleix Team Suzuki MotoGP 2:00.275 1.160 0.031 6 / 50
10 DOVIZIOSO, Andrea Ducati Team 2:00.468 1.353 0.193 10 / 43
11 ESPARGARO, Pol Monster Yamaha Tech 3 2:00.490 1.375 0.022 13 / 37
12 PETRUCCI, Danilo Pramac Racing 2:00.556 1.441 0.066 12 / 56
13 HERNANDEZ, Yonny Pramac Racing 2:00.603 1.488 0.047 45 / 54
14 VIÑALES, Maverick Team Suzuki MotoGP 2:00.604 1.489 0.001 11 / 43
15 BRADL, Stefan Forward Racing Team 2:00.685 1.570 0.081 10 / 45
16 REDDING, Scott Estrella Galicia 0.0 Marc VDS 2:00.695 1.580 0.010 7 / 57
17 HAYDEN, Nicky Drive M7 Aspar 2:00.813 1.698 0.118 15 / 49
18 PIRRO, Michele Ducati Test Team 2:00.875 1.760 0.062 8 / 48
19 BAUTISTA, Alvaro Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 2:01.310 2.195 0.435 7 / 58
20 DI MEGLIO, Mike Avintia Racing 2:01.487 2.372 0.177 8 / 37
21 ABRAHAM, Karel AB Motoracing 2:01.536 2.421 0.049 20 / 30
22 MILLER, Jack CWM LCR Honda 2:01.593 2.478 0.057 9 / 40
23 LAVERTY, Eugene Drive M7 Aspar 2:01.815 2.700 0.222 16 / 61
24 BAZ, Loris Forward Racing Team 2:02.587 3.472 0.772 11 / 47
25 DE ANGELIS, Alex Octo Ioda Racing Team 2:03.300 4.185 0.713 8 / 52
26 NAKASUGA, Katsuyuki Yamaha Factory Test Team 2:03.448 4.333 0.148 3 / 39
27 MELANDRI, Marco Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 2:03.569 4.454 0.121 4 / 48

21 Comments

  1. rg500g says:

    When’s Nicky going to retire? If I was a former champion, now 17th on the chart on customer equipment, I’d be asking myself how much longer I want to stare at a bunch of people’s buttocks w/o any hope of ever ever stepping on a podium ever again.

  2. Vrooom says:

    Impressive. Crutchlow probably felt like if he wasn’t faster than Ducati he’d made a huge mistake. He beat them by .06 seconds. Bradley Smith sure took it to Pol Espargo, along with Pol’s brother Aleix who handily beat him and piloted a Suzuki to a top 10 finish, incredibly for a new manufacturer.

    • Dave says:

      He Beat Ianonne by .13, for one lap, on the last day of the test. Given the improvement we’ve seen in the Ducati I think he’s made a bad move. No Honda without a Repsol paint scheme has won in years. It seems to be almost a matter of policy. Given that history, which bike do you think has a better chance of achieving a win in the future, a new and improving Ducati, or a satellite Honda?

      • bikerrandy says:

        Crutchlow had no idea what Ducati was going to come up with next when he made his switch. Hindsight is always 20-20. Up to now Ducati bikes were not competitive for years. Like Rossi he probably thought he could change that but like Rossi found out it was not possible.

        • Dave says:

          Re: “Crutchlow had no idea what Ducati was going to come up with next when he made his switch.”

          I bet he did. As an integral part of the team I’m sure he was aware of the plan and trajectory. Whether or not he believed in it? Another story.. He also achieved some great improvement on the old bike late in the last season.

          I stand by my point that he has to have known that he was trading 5-10th place for a maximum of 4th, as it has been extremely rare for any other Honda to penetrate the top-4. It is arguable that Ducati was already having more success than satellite Honda teams with Dovi’s 2x podiums, no?

          • As you say, I’d not count on it being easier to achieve more than 5th on a satellite Honda than on a satellite Yamaha, as Cal piloted on the past.

          • Dave says:

            It remains to be seen. These are single, flying laps. I find it interesting that both Lorenzo and Rossi achieved their fastest laps on the 19th, where most everyone else in the top of the order did theirs earlier (assuming that I am reading that correctly).

            What’s up with Pedrosa, 49th lap!?! Did he have a tire change or was that done on spent rubber?

  3. x-planer says:

    I’d like to see Kawasaki, Aprilia and BMW jump in too. It’d be nice to see a lot of manufacturers in MotoGP but it’s such a huge cash drain most of ’em simply can’t afford it. For many, it’s WSBK or MotoGP, but not both. I’m not sure what the answer is but to have one series with most of the manufacturers and all the best riders would be great. With WSBK getting a little closer to MotoGP each year, maybe WSBK could be a support class for MotoGP. I’d just like to see better racing among more riders and makes.

    I saw where Ferrari’s racing days may be numbered after it goes public due to the cash drain.

    These top tier racing programs have become so expensive they’re strangling themselves and there end up being only a handful of riders/teams who can win.

    • Dave says:

      Re: “I’d like to see Kawasaki, Aprilia and BMW jump in too”

      One down, two to go.

      BAUTISTA, Alvaro Aprilia Racing Team Gresini
      MELANDRI, Marco Aprilia Racing Team Gresini

  4. Gary says:

    I sure would like to see Ducati and Suzuki in the mix. Fingers crossed.

  5. Gutterslob says:

    Total number of laps – Marquez 73
    That plus a fastest lap 0.3 quicker than the second fastest guy. Damn!!

  6. Martin says:

    Close lap times mean a lot of pushing and shoving at the front; it will take some aggressive riding to get on the podium.

  7. bagadonitz says:

    I enjoy motorcycle racing.

  8. Jeremy in TX says:

    It will be interesting to see how fast these riders are in the last five laps.