Testing is well and truly underway at Sepang, with the bikes rolling out on to a relatively clean track in good conditions. Sepang has not seen any rain for weeks, and the temperature is cooler than in recent years. The good conditions are reflected in the times.
With the teams having taken a break for lunch, Marc Marquez sits on top of the timesheets, the reigning world champion starting the season as he left off at Valencia. Marquez and Repsol Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa are both riding the 2014 version of the RC213V, with its characteristic large air intake on the front of the fairing, resembling a basking shark feeding.
Jorge Lorenzo is the second fastest man so far, the Factory Yamaha rider three tenths off the time of Marquez, and just fractionally ahead of teammate Valentino Rossi. Rossi has made a strong start to the test, leading the times at one stage in the morning. The two satellite Hondas follow the two Factory Yamahas, Stefan Bradl two tenths behind Rossi, but fractionally quicker than Alvaro Bautista.
The biggest surprise of the day has been Aleix Espargaro. The NGM Forward rider on the Open class Yamaha FTR is just three hundredths behind Bautista, and ahead of Dani Pedrosa on the factory Honda. The spec Dorna software seems to be working extremely well with the Yamaha M1 engine, the bike right among the satellite machinery, and ahead of the two satellite Tech 3 Yamahas of Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaro. Aleix had proven to be fast last year on the Aprilia ART. Now with more horsepower, the elder of the Espargaro brothers has put the Open class cat among the Factory Option pigeons. Espargaro's teammate Colin Edwards has only just started lapping, having spent the morning waiting for his bike to be ready.
At Ducati, Andrea Iannone is fastest on the Pramac machine, ahead of Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow on the factory bikes, and Yonny Hernandez on the Open GP13. There is little to choose between them, though, two tenths overing Iannone in 10th to Hernandez in 13th. Dovizioso, Crutchlow and Iannone are all riding a heavily modified GP14, with a new frame, bodywork, exhaust routing and seat unit. Ducati are still evaluating the option of entering the Open category, with no decision due until the end of February. Given the performance of Aleix Espargaro, and the amount of work needed on the Desmosedici, it seems almost inevitable that Ducati will go the Open route.
Times at 2:15pm
|1||93||Marc Marquez||Honda RC213V||2:00.767|
|2||99||Jorge Lorenzo||Yamaha M1||2:01.082||0.315||0.315|
|3||46||Valentino Rossi||Yamaha M1||2:01.121||0.354||0.039|
|4||6||Stefan Bradl||Honda RC213V||2:01.320||0.553||0.199|
|5||19||Alvaro Bautista||Honda RC213V||2:01.390||0.623||0.070|
|6||41||Aleix Espargaro||Yamaha FTR Open||2:01.419||0.652||0.029|
|7||26||Dani Pedrosa||Honda RC213V||2:01.514||0.747||0.095|
|8||38||Bradley Smith||Yamaha M1||2:01.939||1.172||0.425|
|9||41||Pol Espargaro||Yamaha M1||2:02.012||1.245||0.073|
|10||29||Andrea Iannone||Ducati GP14||2:02.697||1.930||0.685|
|11||4||Andrea Dovizioso||Ducati GP14||2:02.744||1.977||0.047|
|12||35||Cal Crutchlow||Ducati GP14||2:02.860||2.093||0.116|
|13||68||Yonny Hernandez||Ducati GP13 Open||2:02.891||2.124||0.031|
|14||51||Michele Pirro||Ducati GP14 Test||2:02.925||2.158||0.034|
|15||89||Katsuyuki Nakasuga||Yamaha M1 Test||2:03.126||2.359||0.201|
|16||7||Hiroshi Aoyama||Honda RCV1000R Open||2:03.770||3.003||0.644|
|17||69||Nicky Hayden||Honda RCV1000R Open||2:03.853||3.086||0.083|
|18||72||Kosuke Akiyoshi||Honda RC213V Test||2:04.267||3.500||0.414|
|19||14||Randy De Puniet||Suzuki Test||2:04.596||3.829||0.329|
|20||45||Scott Redding||Honda RCV1000R Open||2:05.022||4.255||0.426|
|21||8||Hector Barbera||Avintia Kawasaki||2:06.305||5.538||1.283|
|22||23||Broc Parkes||PBM Aprilia||2:06.474||5.707||0.169|
|23||17||Karel Abraham||Honda RCV1000R Open||2:06.755||5.988||0.281|
|24||63||Mike Di Meglio||Avintia Kawasaki||2:07.136||6.369||0.381|
|25||70||Michael Laverty||PBM Aprilia||2:08.290||7.523||1.154|
|NC||5||Colin Edwards||Yamaha FTR Open|