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Buriram MotoGP Test Ends With Pedrosa Quickest

The three-day MotoGP test at the Chang International Circuit in Thailand has come to an end with Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa posting the quickest time around the new track. On the whole, the latest Factory Honda machines under Pedrosa, Marc Marquez and Cal Crutchlow were all very quick – filling three of the four top spots. The remaining results were quite mixed.

Johann Zarco (Yamaha) posted the second fastest time around the circuit, and was quick all three days. Interestingly, Zarco has decided to stick with the sweet handling Yamaha M1 chassis used two years ago by the factory riders. Those factory riders, including Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales, struggled somewhat … Viñales was 8th quickest, while Rossi was 12th.

Surprises? After being very strong at the recent Sepang test, Ducati’s Jorge Lorenzo was slow – there is just no other way to put it. Lorenzo posted the 16th quickest time, only 5th fastest among the Ducatis on the track. Jack Miller, on the other hand, looks extremely good on his Ducati – having posted the 6th quickest time. Miller is ecstatic and says he has not been this confident on a bike since his Moto3 days.

Suzuki’s Alex Rins was also consistently quick, ending in the number 5 spot (more than 1/2 a second quicker than 15th place teammate Andrea Iannone). Another surprise, of sorts, was the poor showing of KTM. With Pol Espargaro injured, the two KTM pilots (Bradley Smith and Mika Kallio) could only manage the 18th and 19th quickest times.

Take a look here for full combined results from the three-day test.

See more of MD’s great photography:



  1. Norm G. says:


    this just in (teletype sound in background) for season 2019 Team Tech 3 switching from “hand me down” Yamahas to KTM “RC-Colas”.

    BOOM GO THE KATOOMS…!!! (and the minds of many a MotoGP fan)

    • mickey says:

      surely you are kidding. How bad can things go for Yamaha?

      • Jeremy in TX says:

        I read that too on the French press.I didn’t see that coming.

      • Norm G. says:

        re: “surely you are kidding.”

        nope, Herve says they went “Godfather” on ’em.

        Q: but really, what’s a team principal to do in these situations…?

        A: wait for the morning he wakes up with a horse head in his bed…? not so much.

        Q: How bad can things go for Yamaha?

        A: not too bad if team SKY VR46 steps up to the big leagues.

  2. Tom Baxter says:

    Interesting comments about Dani’s weight. It seems to be an issue year after year in similar comments…lighter, so bigger advantage was the theme about 5 years ago. I enjoy track days and my warmers get the rear up to about 140F whereas after a 20 min session in summer temps, the rear is 30 to 40 degrees above that. Any idea how the warmers do in MotoGP? It would be interesting to know the temp in the warmers, then after the “warm up” or siting lap.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      Surely, if it were just a matter of weight, his team could find the ways and means to distribute an extra 30 to 40 lbs of ballast to the bike? Maybe there is something in the rules that prohibit that, but I don’t recall anything. I think the problem Dani has getting heat into the tires must go beyond just his weight.

      • TimC says:

        The autopilot is DEFLATING

      • marloweluke says:

        I always wondered about that too. I remember in one of the smaller classes, probably GP125, that there was a minimum weight limit for both bike and rider. Some teams had to add ballast to the bike in order to reach the minimum weight limit. Surely some lead weights strategically placed on Dani’s bike should do the trick.

  3. Vrooom says:

    Suzuki has to be thrilled to have Rins in 5th. The top 16 riders are within 1 second of each other, that’s like a moto 2 test. Hafizh Syahrin is a new name, thus the 22nd place. Still ahead of Karel Abraham though.

  4. 5229 says:

    You have here three Honda riders consistently lapping well in these recent tests. As with last year the Honda seems to adapt well to most tracks. The same cannot be said for the other bikes.

  5. Randy D. says:

    Zarco staying with `16 M1 chassis like last year in `18.

    Lorenzo thinking of doing same (keep`17 chassis vs.`18 Ducati chassis). Took JL most of last year to adapt to his ride and start to look competitive.

    Whereas Jack Miller looks fastest on new Ducati even tho he’s new to riding a Ducati.

    Of course none of this shows whose going to win a race for sure yet.

  6. mickey says:

    Man it would be great if Dani could put it all together this year for a Championship.Probably won’t happen but he deserves it.

    • VLJ says:

      He’ll deserve it when he wins it. Titles aren’t handed out as lifetime achievement awards, or Good Guy consolation prizes. If he really wants to win one, he’s going to have to adhere to the prime axiom of racing: Job One is to beat your teammate. Dani has to lose the mentality of always playing the caddie/wingman role for Honda.

      Now, if MotoGP would limit the calendar to nothing but southeast Asian tracks, Dani would be a lock. No idea why, but the guy is an absolute terror whenever there is a realistic chance of a cobra sighting on the track!

      • Dave says:

        Re :”Dani has to lose the mentality of always playing the caddie/wingman role for Honda.”

        That is more likely a matter of job security than mentality. Can’t speak to moto racers, but it was well known that in the Schumacher era of F1, Ferrari #2’s driver was under contract to finish behind #1 unless explicitly permitted to do otherwise.

      • mickey says:

        Well of course he needs to win it, I’m not suggesting they just give it to him. He needs to ride better than everyone else for the whole season. Avoid the crashes, avoid the injuries and dnfs, be more aggressive and earn the most points. He has the talent. HE was on the podium more than anyone but Marquez again last year. But a couple of bad races and a could of dnfs took him out of the picture..again. This may be his last year with Honda. Would like to see him finish it off with a WC? Going to be tough to do, lots of competition.

      • Pacer says:

        I think he is good on those tracks because of the higher temperature. He seems to have issues bring tires up to heat.

      • Norm G. says:

        re: “If he really wants to win one, he’s going to have to adhere to the prime axiom of racing…”

        which to everyone and their nana’s chagrin is NATCORK.

        unfortunately this “deal breaker” is out of the lad’s hands. however if Honda WANTS Dan to win in honor of their 70th anniversary celebration…? then no worries, he will do so.

        • VLJ says:

          NATCORK will never be the reason Dani doesn’t win a championship, not when his teammates at Repsol Honda routinely win the title on the exact same kit.

          Riding that bike for that team his entire career, Dani’s failure to win a title is strictly on Dani.

        • xLaYN says:

          NANCONI = No Ammount of Natcork Can Overcome Norm Insistence

          • Norm G. says:

            re: “NANCONI”


            OMG, so many tears of joy shed just interacting with the “motley crew” of MD.

    • Pacer says:

      If he can figure out how to make a cold tire work for him, then he could make a run.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      That would be pretty sweet. I agree it is a long shot, though.

      I do believe he has the talent to be competitive against most of the grid, but he has had serious issues with the Michelin tires that I’m not sure can be overcome with bike setup or riding style. That, and there is always Marquez to contend with even when everything goes right. But I think Pedrosa could be a dark horse like Dovisioso was last year.

      We won’t have to wait too long to see if the latest tires and bike changes favor Dani or not. Can’t wait for the season to kick off!

      • Norm G. says:

        re: “Pedrosa could be a dark horse”

        Beige Horse…

        good or bad, that’s as “dark” as his handlers allow in the Murg era. but wait, cry not for Dan (Argentina) as long as he’s willing to play “2nd fiddle”, Repsol Oil sees to it that he and the family Ramal want for NOTHING.

        it’s good to be a Catalonian King. (Mel Brooks voice)