2013 MotoGP Sepang 2 Test, Day 1 Times: Pedrosa Fastest, Bradl Impresses

Dani Pedrosa has taken up at the second Sepang MotoGP test where he left off after the first. The Repsol Honda man led for most of the day, having set a fast time fairly early in the morning. His rival at the Factory Yamaha squad did much the same, Jorge Lorenzo taking 2nd a couple of tenths behind Pedrosa.

Marc Marquez continues to impress, the Spanish prodigy ending the day with the 3rd fastest time, just over a third of a second off his Repsol Honda teammate, and a little over a tenth behind reigning world champion Jorge Lorenzo. Also  impressive was Stefan Bradl, the LCR Honda man achieving his stated aim for the test of matching the pace of Valentino Rossi. The strong times by Marquez and Bradl demoted the Factory Yamaha returnee to 5th, though the difference was minimal, just a few hundredths separating the threesome.

Cal Crutchlow led another close duo, the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha man some seven tenths off the pace of Pedrosa and a quarter of a second behind Rossi. He just kept ahead of Alvaro Bautista, the Gresini Honda rider taking 7th less than a tenth behind Crutchlow.

Better news for Ducati, with Andrea Dovizioso cutting the gap to the leaders to 1.2 seconds, still a sizable distance, but a lot more respectable than the 2 seconds at the first test at Sepang. Nicky Hayden was also closer, three tenths behind his new teammate and a second and a half off the time of Pedrosa. The two factory Ducatis put themselves ahead of Bradley Smith on the second Tech 3 Yamaha, the young Englishman taking tenth place, two seconds off the pace of Pedrosa.

Aleix Espargaro once again reigned in the CRT category, closing the gap on the Tech 3 Yamaha of Smith and demoting the Pramac Ducatis of Ben Spies and Andrea Iannone to 13th and 14th respectively. Hiroshi Aoyama is the next best CRT rider, grabbing the 17th time on the FTR Kawasaki, three seconds behind Pedrosa and eight tenths slower than the pace of Espargaro. Aoyama put his bike well ahead of the second Aspar Aprilia ART ridden by Randy de Puniet, while Colin Edwards closed on De Puniet's tail on the Forward FTR Kawasaki. Michael Laverty, who had shown so strongly on the PBM Aprilia at the first test at Sepang, was forced to spend the whole day in the garage, as the PBM team worked to get his PBM-built chassis ready for the track, the team taking some time to get the electronics ready.

The test was cut short by heavy rain which came around 3pm, while the riders were all still in the garages for lunch, sheltering from the tropical heat. Only Pedrosa and Bradl put in any real time in the wet, though Claudio Corti ventured out for a couple of exploratory wet laps before returning to the pits.

The rain will have done nothing to help conditions at the circuit. The track was already dirty from the rains of the previous few days, and a heavy downpour in the afternoon will have done little to improve it. More rain is forecast for Wednesday, though the final day of the test on Thursday looks like being much better, perhaps allowing the riders to get in a full day. Being the tropics, however, those forecasts can change quickly.

Times at the end of day 1:

Pos No. Rider Bike Time Diff Prev.
1 26 Dani Pedrosa Honda 2:01.580    
2 99 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 2:01.815 0.235 0.235
3 93 Marc Marquez Honda 2:01.942 0.362 0.127
4 6 Stefan Bradl Honda 2:01.959 0.379 0.017
5 46 Valentino Rossi Yamaha 2:02.028 0.448 0.069
6 35 Cal Crutchlow Yamaha 2:02.272 0.692 0.244
7 19 Alvaro Bautista Honda 2:02.362 0.782 0.090
8 4 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati 2:02.801 1.221 0.439
9 69 Nicky Hayden Ducati 2:03.143 1.563 0.342
10 38 Bradley Smith Yamaha 2:03.632 2.052 0.489
11 T2 Katsayuki Nakasuga Yamaha Test 2:03.734 2.154 0.102
12 41 Aleix Espargaro Aprilia ART 2:03.941 2.361 0.207
13 11 Ben Spies Ducati 2:04.047 2.467 0.106
14 29 Andrea Iannone Ducati 2:04.050 2.470 0.003
15 T1 Wataru Yoshikawa Yamaha Test 2:04.590 3.010 0.540
16 51 Michele Pirro Ducati Test 2:04.626 3.046 0.036
17 7 Hiroshi Aoyama FTR Kawasaki 2:04.743 3.163 0.117
18 14 Randy de Puniet Aprilia ART 2:05.288 3.708 0.545
19 37 Takumi Takahashi Honda Test 2:05.510 3.930 0.222
20 5 Colin Edwards FTR Kawasaki 2:05.518 3.938 0.008
21 9 Danilo Petrucci Suter BMW 2:05.827 4.247 0.309
22 17 Karel Abraham Aprilia ART 2:05.838 4.258 0.011
23 68 Yonny Hernandez Aprilia ART 2:05.908 4.328 0.070
24 8 Hector Barbera FTR Kawasaki 2:06.062 4.482 0.154
25 71 Claudio Corti FTR Kawasaki 2:06.306 4.726 0.244
26 67 Bryan Staring FTR Honda 2:06.730 5.150 0.424
27 52 Lukas Pesek Suter BMW 2:07.991 6.411 1.261

Records and times from previous tests

2013 Sepang 1 test Dani Pedrosa Honda 2:00.100
2007 Race record Casey Stoner Ducati 2:02.108
2012 Pole record Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 2:00.334
2012 Sepang 2 test Casey Stoner Honda 2:00.473


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At this rate, by the end of the year, they will be almost at the level they were at in 2010 with the carbon-fibre chassis. In the pre-race warm-up at Sepang that year, Stoner and Hayden were 0.090s and 0.501s respectively off the fastest time. And in 2010 Sepang Qualifying, Stoner was 0.486 seconds off pole, while Hayden was just 0.10 seconds off the pole time.

The switch to the various (countless?) aluminium alloy chassis has been an abject failure. Whether the Ducati CEO who hired Rossi on a king's ransom will survive the year will be worth watching too...

How on Earth do you come to that conclusion... at what rate? Where is the logic, reasoning and comparison?

Where do you get your facts from, countless aluminium chassis? Are you confusing Ducati and Honda?

In regards to paying Rossi a high wage, when he joined them in 2011, he had won 2 of the last 3 championships... 7 of the last 10.. why wouldn't he be offered a huge salary?

>>The switch to the various (countless?) aluminium alloy chassis has been an abject failure. Whether the Ducati CEO who hired Rossi on a king's ransom will survive the year will be worth watching too...>>

Ah, yes....
Well, perhaps Ducati should have delivered the right changes and parts that were to appear (and never came up, up to this day), along with the "king's ransom".

The big news now are "weight distribution revision from a different fuel tank"!
(WOW! Very generous changes! *snorts*)

As someone said regarding this matter in another recent thread here:
"the question for Ducati's management is how long do you try to polish a T-rd?"
...it really begs the question...

Where did Casey and Nicky finish in the race in 2010?. The race was a lap shorter if i remember correctly.. Casey didn't, Nicky 6th was 19 secs from the front.. Last year Nicky was 4th and Rossi was 5th on the ducati and both well within the defacto 19 secs on a slightly longer race......
Of course it rained last year, though ducatis last effort to fix the turn in was arguably as bad in the wet as anything....

Cal Crutchlow rode well, but it does not answer the question you posed in your preview: why is he running? He is not getting new hardware from Yamaha and riding near the top takes a toll on the body. So why is he out there?

I think it may be because he has to be a part of the show. Not running at all or just a limited amount makes a statement, one Carmelo would not like. So suck it up and be part of the show. Grin and bear it. Any thoughts?

I feel badly for Cal. Unfortunately a victim of circumstance. He is fast but beholden to the Yam Gods and their willingness to let upgrades trickle his way. Not sure what choice he has other than to grin and bear it - unless Bautista performs poorly this year too and he can get that seat. A least on a Honda he stands a chance of a factory supported effort.

"unless Bautista performs poorly this year too"

Excuse me, but what exactly do you mean by "too"? If I recall correctly, Bautista finished 5th in the championship last year, ahead of Cal, with two podiums and a pole position to his name and exactly one (well publicised) race crash. I'm not quite sure how that's supposed to be poor performance with a Showa-clad satellite Honda. Please elaborate.

Riding well At contract time on a factory backed ride does not make a good season. Bautista finished 178 points off Jorge, was outside the Top 5 In 12 of 18 races and had two podiums. His results only began to get better after it was realized his seat was in jeopardy and he was the last of the protype riders signed. I like Bautista but that seems to be a page stolen from Toni Elias' play book and I think the seat would be better served by another rider.
As for Showa, the team consists of big boys and girls with no one holding a gun to their head to run Showa. If his results were due his suspension, why did the team this year agree to continue their partnership?

comparing Bautista to Elias!! Shame, double shame on you! ;-p
I'm not at all a Bautista fan, but he IS a good rider. However, he is not one of the riders that jumps on a different bike and feels completely comfy on it, he needs to get used to it and only then the performance comes. Given some time, Bautista will set some good laptimes on any machine (even the Duc). The same thing happened on Suzuki, get some time in the seat and come up with way better results the riders before him. At the end of their last season he was running with the top guys on a machine that he helped to develop, something his predecessors couldn't do. It wasn't Suzuki spending an awful lot of money in a machine that was doomed.

And yes, Honda is holding a gun to their head to develop Showa as alternative suspension. They don't get factory engines for nothing.

As much as I would love to see a more competitive Ducati, Ι have to remember that yesterday, as shown by the times, conditions were not optimal --and that its only then that Ducatis come closer than 2 second to front runners. I am afraid on dry asphalt they'll still prove handicapped by 2 secs.
I think Crutchlow can deliver some nice results, and should he find a permanent position, could develop in one of the cult figures of the GP show. Provided he be allowed to stay long enough.

Would like to see the Young Blood blowing some freshness but the bikes are so well, ultimately and totally controlled... Sad, that there is so little chance of recoverable mistakes. The races are becoming more and more unhuman, in the sense, mistakes and mistake correction is inherent in the riders' nature. But they are not allowed it anymore --not in races anyway.

I am curious as to what urban legend/myth started the whole "he only produces at contract time" garbage.

Trying to use Elias as a benchmark to this myth is also garbage.

On topic, I am more interested to see what happens to Marquez when the kid actually becomes fully comfortable/confident with the bike.

I think Spies would have been better off taking the Gresini ride as it is apparent that a second tier Honda is still leaps and bounds better than a factory backed Ducati. It killed me watching him struggle last season as he is far better than the results he posted.