Valentino Rossi has topped the timesheets on the first day of the second Sepang MotoGP test. In a day marked by the weather, the Movistar Yamaha rider set a quick lap in the morning, before the extreme heat became too oppressive, to finish ahead of Dani Pedrosa on the Repsol Honda and Pol Espargaro on the Tech 3 Yamaha.
The weather played a major role all day at Sepang. The day started hot, the heat increasing towards the afternoon, causing the track to be greasy and prompting complaints of a lack of grip. That left a lot of riders stuck in their pit boxes to sit out the hottest part of the day, in the hope of doing more work at the end of the day. The weather gods were not inclined to be merciful, however, and heavy rain started falling around 4:30pm, just as riders were taking to the track once again. Rain and thunderstorms played havoc with the rest of the day, a couple of lightning strikes causing the session to be red-flagged, then restarted.
The difficult conditions left the timesheets looking a little less than representative. Rossi leads, but the Italian did not match his best time from the first day of the previous test, ending ahead of Dani Pedrosa and Pol Espargaro. Aleix Espargaro posted a creditable 4th-fastest time, the Suzuki rider nearly matching his best time from the first test at Sepang. Jorge Lorenzo and Marc Marquez take 5th and 6th, the two title favorites three quarters of a second behind Rossi, and separated by just a few hundredths of a second, with Cal Crutchlow and Bradley Smith just behind them. Maverick Viñales continues his impressive adaptation to the MotoGP class - the rookie benefiting from time on wet tires - ending just ahead of Andrea Dovizioso.
Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone spent some time on the Ducati GP15, but they were mostly concentrated on finding a set up. The lap which put Dovizioso into 10th on the timesheets was set on the Ducati Desmosedici GP14.3, the old bike which the two factory riders have to use as a reference for the new machine, but Iannone's fast lap was set on the GP15. It is still very early days for the new Ducati, with much improvement still to come.
Times at the end of the day:
|1||46||Valentino Rossi||Yamaha M1||2:00.414|
|2||26||Dani Pedrosa||Honda RC213V||2:00.543||0.129||0.129|
|3||44||Pol Espargaro||Yamaha M1||2:00.876||0.462||0.333|
|4||41||Aleix Espargaro||Suzuki GSX-RR||2:01.055||0.641||0.179|
|5||99||Jorge Lorenzo||Yamaha M1||2:01.162||0.748||0.107|
|6||93||Marc Márquez||Honda RC213V||2:01.190||0.776||0.028|
|7||35||Cal Crutchlow||Honda RC213V||2:01.222||0.808||0.032|
|8||38||Bradley Smith||Yamaha M1||2:01.241||0.827||0.019|
|9||25||Maverick Viñales||Suzuki GSX-RR||2:01.317||0.903||0.076|
|10||4||Andrea Dovizioso||Ducati GP15/GP14.3||2:01.355||0.941||0.038|
|11||45||Scott Redding||Honda RC213V||2:01.592||1.178||0.237|
|13||8||Hector Barbera||Ducati GP14 Open||2:01.926||1.512||0.186|
|14||69||Nicky Hayden||Honda RC213V-RS||2:02.062||1.648||0.136|
|15||29||Andrea Iannone||Ducati GP15/GP14.3||2:02.142||1.728||0.080|
|16||9||Danilo Petrucci||Ducati GP14||2:02.225||1.811||0.083|
|17||17||Karel Abraham||Honda RC213V-RS||2:02.394||1.980||0.169|
|18||6||Stefan Bradl||Forward Yamaha||2:02.410||1.996||0.016|
|19||68||Yonny Hernandez||Ducati GP14||2:02.606||2.192||0.196|
|20||50||Eugene Laverty||Honda RC213V-RS||2:02.730||2.316||0.124|
|21||63||Mike Di Meglio||Ducati GP14 Open||2:02.941||2.527||0.211|
|22||43||Jack Miller||Honda RC213V-RS||2:03.006||2.592||0.065|
|23||51||Michele Pirro||Ducati GP14.2||2:03.105||2.691||0.099|
|24||76||Loris Baz||Forward Yamaha||2:03.316||2.902||0.211|
|25||T1||Katsuyuki Nakasuga||Yamaha M1 Test||2:03.337||2.923||0.021|
|26||15||Alex De Angelis||Aprilia ART||2:03.966||3.552||0.629|