MotorcycleDaily.com – Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

Ducati Dominates Sepang MotoGP Test With Four Riders Under Lap Record

Danilo Petrucci

As official testing opened for the 2019 MotoGP championship at Sepang this week, the teams finished three interesting days that ultimately saw Ducati dominate its competition. The top four lap times were all recorded by Ducati riders – each of them breaking the unofficial lap record for the circuit previously held by Jorge Lorenzo.

New Factory Ducati rider Danilo Petrucci recorded the fastest lap overall, followed by impressive rookie Francesco Bagnaia (last year’s Moto2 champ). Filling out the top four spots, and also aboard Ducati’s, were Jack Miller in third and Andrea Dovizioso in fourth.

Maverick Viñales was the quickest non-Ducati rider – bringing his Factory Yamaha up to the fifth position. Defending MotoGP champ Marc Marquez (Honda) could only manage the 11th quickest time as he nurses his left shoulder back to strength.

Take a look here for full, combined test results. Below is the press release from the Ducati Team:

The Mission Winnow Ducati team archived the first official MotoGP tests of 2019 at Sepang (Malaysia). In the third and last session, all riders tried to set their fastest time in the morning – with cooler temperatures and, consequently, faster track conditions – and both Danilo Petrucci and Andrea Dovizioso were able to break the previous, unofficial best lap (1:58.830) posted by Jorge Lorenzo one year ago as a factory Ducati rider. 

Petrucci clocked 32 laps, posting a phenomenal 1:58.239, which put him in first position. Dovizioso finished in fourth position, with a personal best of 1:58.538, 0.299 seconds behind his teammate with 36 laps to his tally. The riders also tried a new fairing with a different aerodynamic profile, giving positive feedback. 

The strong performances by Pecco Bagnaia and Jack Miller, respectively second and third on Pramac Racing Team’s Desmosedici GP bikes, further underscored Ducati’s overall competitiveness during this test. 

Danilo Petrucci (#9 Mission Winnow Ducati) – 1:58.239 (1st)
“Today we started off on the right foot: I was supposed to try two ‘time attacks’ but one attempt, done with a medium rear tyre, was enough. When I saw the lap time on the dashboard, I was really happy. After that, we resumed our work on some new items. Unfortunately, however, I crashed while I was trying a new fairing around midday. Given the fact that I was also experiencing some issues with blisters in my hands, we decided to stop a bit ahead of schedule to recover and make sure we’re at our best in the next tests in Qatar. Overall, it’s been a really positive test.”

Andrea Dovizioso (#04 Mission Winnow Ducati) – 1:58.538 (4th)
“All in all, this test has been positive. It was important to push to the limit again today because we only have another test before the season starts, and we managed to post a competitive time even on a flying lap after being really consistent in yesterday’s race simulation. Also, to see so many Ducati bikes at the front confirms that we have a good base. We also tried a new fairing, with positive feedback. It’s still early to draw conclusions, but I’m happy with the work done here and now we’ll look for more ways to improve ahead of Qatar.”

The Mission Winnow Ducati team will resume action at Losail (Qatar) for the second and final pre-season MotoGP test, scheduled for February 23-25. 


See more of MD’s great photography: Instagram

16 Comments

  1. Mick says:

    Time to look for Honda’s new rule change.

  2. bmbktmracer says:

    Crutchlow breaks 17 bones in his foot and comes out and runs with the big dogs. Dude’s a stud. Maybe this will be the breakout year for Jack Miller. And Bagnaia! Great season on the horizon.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      I am interested to watch Bagnaia. Watching him come up through the lower ranks, he seemed like one of those racers that has a little something extra.

      • Motoman says:

        Have to agree Jeremy. Sometimes he seemed to have an extra gear when he needed it. Wouldn’t be too surprising to see him win a couple races this year.

  3. fred says:

    Hopefully Marc and Jorge will heal quickly and completely. It looks like Cal & Tito are healing up nicely. This should be a great year for MotoGP racing.

  4. joe b says:

    Zarco in twentieth, shows how far KTM still has to go. That MM had 51% of laps under 2m1s, and Patrucci was 47% under 2m1s, with one good flying lap. MM recovering from shoulder injury. It looks like it will be an interesting year, again with the ducks fast on some days, seemingly lost on others, while Honda and MM always being a threat, and with the championship as their goal. Cant wait for the racing to start.

    • Superlight says:

      This is TESTING, not racing. Ducati might have been “lost” on some days, or maybe they were just testing new parts. It all means very little until race day.

    • Dave says:

      They’re way off of the fast laps that the Factory Ducati’s put down, but so was just about everyone else. in another article I read, Pol Espargaro was very excited at the progress the KTM guys have made with the bike. As Superlight points out, it’s a test, and there are more to come.

  5. Burtg says:

    I’ve always liked Danilo Petrucci. It’s exciting to see him get a top factory ride. Congratulations on his blistering lap!

    • Rapier says:

      There was always something sort of sad about American motorcycle racing when in the 60’s Honda was making 6 cylinder screamers the AMA was twisting itself into knots trying to keep side valve Harley’s competitive.

  6. Rapier says:

    What about the Harley team?

  7. Dave says:

    I had read that Aleix Espargaro was leaving MotoGP for pro cycling. Guess that’s out..

  8. MGNorge says:

    Quite an accomplishment!