2014 MotoGP Sepang 1 Day 2 Times At 2pm: Marquez Fastest, Aleix Shines, Ducatis Improving

Marc Marquez tops the timesheets halfway through the day at Sepang, with the track gone quiet in the heat of the day. The Repsol Honda man punched in a very fast lap shortly before 2pm to break into the 1'59s, the first rider to do so this test. Marquez' time is still 0.3 off the fastest ever time around the circuit, set by Casey Stoner back in 2011.

Marquez is now four tenths ahead of his Repsol Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa, who had led for most of the session. Stefan Bradl is just three thousandths of a second slower than Pedrosa, making it three Hondas topping the timesheets. An armada of Yamahas follow the Hondas, with Valentino Rossi fastest, ahead of Aleix Espargaro on the Open class Yamaha FTR, Bradley Smith on the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha, and Jorge Lorenzo on the second factory Yamaha. Times are close, however, with less than three tenths separating Pedrosa in 2nd from Lorenzo in 7th.

8th is Andrea Iannone, the Pramac Ducati rider continuing his impressive run at the test. Iannone's time of 2'00.855 is the fastest a Ducati has been around the Sepang circuit since the test here in Sepang in February 2010, when both Casey Stoner and Nicky Hayden were quicker. Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow are also more competitive than Ducati riders in the past, Dovizioso's time in the low 2'01s quicker than at previous tests.

The Aspar team has found some more speed for their production racer. Nicky Hayden is over a second quicker than he was yesterday, and though he is still well over 2.3 seconds slower than Marquez, he is ahead of the second NGM Forward bike of Colin Edwards and just behind Ducati test rider Michele Pirro.

Times at 2pm:

Pos No   Rider Time Diff Diff previous
1 93 Marc Marquez Honda RC213V 1:59.926    
2 26 Dani Pedrosa Honda RC213V 2:00.336 0.410 0.410
3 6 Stefan Bradl Honda RC213V 2:00.339 0.413 0.003
4 46 Valentino Rossi Yamaha M1 2:00.464 0.538 0.125
5 41 Aleix Espargaro Yamaha FTR Open 2:00.547 0.621 0.083
6 38 Bradley Smith Yamaha M1 2:00.603 0.677 0.056
7 99 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha M1 2:00.615 0.689 0.012
8 29 Andrea Iannone Ducati GP14 2:00.855 0.929 0.240
9 41 Pol Espargaro Yamaha M1 2:01.061 1.135 0.206
10 19 Alvaro Bautista Honda RC213V 2:01.110 1.184 0.049
11 4 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati GP14 2:01.146 1.220 0.036
12 35 Cal Crutchlow Ducati GP14 2:01.396 1.470 0.250
13 51 Michele Pirro Ducati GP14 Test 2:02.177 2.251 0.781
14 69 Nicky Hayden Honda RCV1000R Open 2:02.287 2.361 0.110
15 5 Colin Edwards Yamaha FTR Open 2:02.545 2.619 0.258
16 68 Yonny Hernandez Ducati GP13 Open 2:02.675 2.749 0.130
17 72 Kosuke Akiyoshi Honda RC213V Test 2:02.692 2.766 0.017
18 7 Hiroshi Aoyama Honda RCV1000R Open 2:03.034 3.108 0.342
19 45 Scott Redding Honda RCV1000R Open 2:03.200 3.274 0.166
20 14 Randy De Puniet Suzuki Test 2:03.205 3.279 0.005
21 89 Katsuyuki Nakasuga Yamaha M1 Test 2:03.794 3.868 0.589
22 70 Michael Laverty PBM Aprilia 2:04.374 4.448 0.580
23 8 Hector Barbera Avintia Kawasaki 2:04.551 4.625 0.177
24 23 Broc Parkes PBM Aprilia 2:04.816 4.890 0.265
25 17 Karel Abraham Honda RCV1000R Open 2:05.261 5.335 0.445
26 63 Mike Di Meglio Avintia Kawasaki 2:05.355 5.429 0.094


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I am very impressed by Aleix's capability to punch way above his weight. I have a feeling that he has a legitimate shot at podium this year. High fuel consumption circuit + new engine tuned for max power = profit.

This looks like a proper test session. I was afraid that the differences between outfits would be massive. Can't wait for Qatar!

Aleix is truly impressive. What is also impressive is FTR's ability to build a chassis.

I wonder if the conversation about "Open" category has started in the Factory Yamaha garage yet? If Lorenzo is struggling with fuelling then I have no doubt that he will be asking the question. I would love to know the horsepower difference between Factory Yamaha engine on 20L electronic settings over the Open Yamaha engine on 24L settings.

The engine, the frame and the swingarm are from a 2013 M1. The triple clamps, suspension links, fuel tank, fairing, seat unit, etc., are all FTR.

I'm glad to hear that Suzuki won't be in Open class in 2015.

They haven't decided yet. They are testing with the Magneti Marelli ECU, and are aiming at being Factory Option. But they are keeping open the option of going Open class, and are testing the spec software.

Matthew Birt wrote:

Matthew Birt ‏@birtymotogp 9h
Suzuki testing standard Dorna/Magneti Marelli hardware with their own Mitsubushi software in Sepang. No plans to run in Open class in'15

The phrase 'No plans to go Open' from a company spokesman (who spoke to Matthew Birt, probably Davide Brivio) is very different from 'we will not go Open'. As I wrote, they are hoping to take the Factory Option, but are not ruling out Open if the Factory Option doesn't work out.

Some interesting comments from Rossi about the NGM project too: "And I am worried because maybe Yamaha gave too much of a good bike to them! But it is early and we have to see in a simulation, and for me the softer tyre helps a lot for the lap time and the 24-litres. But I think it will be interesting, especially in the qualifying on Saturday if somebody with a MotoGP bike doesn’t make the perfect lap, they could start behind two or three Open bikes."

OK, so the first part is certainly in jest, but the soft tyres could help to upset the grid order, especially with the short qualifying format. Would they last race distance though?

And obviously 24 litres of fuel in a full factory bike would be useful, but is the handicap of the spec electronics worth 4 litres of fuel?

jorge cant ride smooth with 1 litre less fuel, rossi seem to do little better but his race ends this year oin the final lap. jorge wil be 25lapsx0.6 slower. so honda will be the fuel limit winner. this has nothing to do with rider competition anymore. honda always threaten to leave. im sure if yam had no issue and honda had the yam issue they would quit again. stupid rules. i want fights like in 2013 but 2014 will be a farce

About quitting, do you even know why Honda left championship at the end of 1967? Why would Honda quit if they had fuel consumption issue? I think they would solve the problem. I sure that Yamaha will solve this issue too.

Proof that perserverence pays off! When it is incredibly difficult to get anything close to a factory ride, he knucles down on whatever he is offered and does his best, even if - as I hope he will prove this year - he is capable of better.

inb4 it's only day 2 of the second test.

...damned if they don't. Their factory bike rips in testing, we all knew the bike would get better and faster. They are totaly against the spec rules but they offer a Production option, they didn't expect their production racer to be embarrased by Yamaha's production racer, so what do they do? Do Honda have the means to give their proddy a few more horsepower? If they do, they might want to do that before Sepang 2. HRC are in a very tricky spot.

Before we write the open Honda off, if you ignore Aleix, Nicky finished in front of Colin on the Yamaha (and it is still early days). Aleix has embarrassed all the open riders - nearly 2 seconds ahead of Nicky and a full 2 seconds up on Colin and split Rossi and Jorge. Why does he keep getting bypassed - must be top of the list when Rossi retires.

Aleix is the man - we knew that last year.

Everything else, up in the air! for now. That's how we like it :)

Sit tight, dudes. We're at the wait and watch end of the process, so no point getting ahead of ourselves. Save it for after the first race.

I wonder what Cal has going through his mind riding that Ducati!!! He must be cursing up a storm inside his helmet while the other factory riders are out of sight way ahead of him. AE41 deserves a factory bike like David said last year! Yamaha should give him a full-blown satellite machine like Tech3 has... like his brother Pol. Hayden??? Keep the hope alive.

... what Cal is thinking right now. I'm 100% sure he didn't thinck he would be top 5 at this moment. what realy matters is what he will be thinking bye the end of his season in prospect to 2015.
And I know what he will be thinking at the end of this month though, when his first paycheck comes in !

Can't complain too much when you're making more in two months than you did all last year!

Ducati might get their mess sorted yet. If these are the bikes they have to use all year it might be exciting to see them go open.

open option will requires a new tank, and mess up center of gravity, etc. that is a engineering/risk cost yamaha will consider and use to reject an open option.