MotoGP Sepang test, Day One – Pedrosa leads rain-shortened day

Afternoon showers frustrate MotoGP field following slow times in the morning due to dirty tarmac; Dani Pedrosa, Jorge Lorenzo, and Marc Marcquez continue to lead after first day

2013/02/07 - mgp - Test - Sepang - MotoGP - Dani Pedrosa - Repsol Honda - RC213V - ActionAndrew Northcott

Day One of the second official MotoGP preseason test at the Sepang circuit in Malaysia didn’t start off all that well due to poor pavement grip in the morning’s opening session caused by rains during the previous days, with most of the riders’ times about 1.5 seconds slower than the first Sepang test last month. To make matters worse, just as the track began to clean up and grip started to come back in the afternoon, torrential rain brought a halt to the action at 2:30pm local time, forcing the teams to wait until tomorrow to continue.

Despite the limited track time, the top three remained the same from last month’s Sepang test; Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa was once again quickest, with Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo second and new MotoGP wunderkind Marc Marquez in third. A somewhat surprising fourth quickest was LCR Honda’s Stefan Bradl, with the German slipping underneath Valentino Rossi’s time by 0.017 seconds; Rossi continued his return to form aboard the Yamaha M1 with a strong showing on the first day, even though his 2013 machine was struck with engine problems, forcing him to use the 2012 spare for his practice runs.

Following Rossi was Monster Tech 3 Yamaha’s Cal Crutchlow, with Gresini Honda’s Alvaro Bautista in tow. The Ducati factory pairing of Andrea Dovisioso and Nicky Hayden managed to pare the distance to the quickest time down to 1.5 seconds from the more than 2 seconds of the previous Sepang test, with all the Ducatis (including those of Ben Spies and Andrea Iannone) sporting a new fuel tank that put the bulk of the fuel lower and closer to the bike’s center of mass. Hayden remarked that it “helped make the bike a little nimbler on change of direction. Also, I'm able to brake better with the same amount of pressure on the lever.”

MotoGP Sepang test Day One results:
1. Dani Pedrosa (SPA) Honda 2:01.580
2. Jorge Lorenzo (SPA) Yamaha 2:01.815
3. Marc Marquez (SPA) Honda 2:01.942
4. Stefan Bradl (GER) Honda 2:01.959
5. Valentino Rossi (ITA) Yamaha 2:02.028
6. Cal Crutchlow (GBR) Yamaha 2:02.272
7. Alvaro Bautista (SPA) Honda 2:02.362
8. Andrea Dovisioso (ITA) Ducati 2:02.801
9. Nicky Hayden (USA) Ducati 2:03.143
10. Bradley Smith (GBR) Yamaha 2:03.632
11. Katsuyuki Nakasuga (JPN) Yamaha 2:03.734
12. Aleix Espargaro (SPA) ART/Aprilia 2:03.941
13. Ben Spies (USA) Ducati 2:04.047
14. Andrea Iannone (ITA) Ducati 2:04.050
15. Wataru Yoshikawa (JPN) Yamaha 2:04.590
16. Michele Pirro (ITA) Ducati 2:04.626
17. Hiroshi Aoyama (JPN) FTR/Kawasaki 2:04.743
18. Randy De Puniet (FRA) ART/Aprilia 2:05.288
19. Takumi Takahashi (JPN) Honda 2:05.510
20. Colin Edwards (USA) FTR/Kawasaki 2:05.518
21. Danilo Petrucci (ITA) Ioda/Aprilia 2:05.827
22. Karel Abraham (CZE) ART/Aprilia 2:05.838
23. Yonny Hernandez (COL) ART/Aprilia 2:05.908
24. Hector Barbera (SPA) FTR/Kawasaki 2:06.062
25. Claudio Corti (ITA) FTR/Kawasaki 2:06.306
26. Bryan Staring (AUS) FTR/Honda 2:06.730
27. Lukas Pesek (CZE) Ioda/Aprilia 2:07.991