2022 Sepang MotoGP Test Sunday Final Times: Bastianini Tops First Test Of Season

Enea Bastianini ended the second day of the test on top of the timesheets, the Gresini Ducati rider putting in a very fast time early in the day to dive under the lap record which Aprilia's Aleix Espargaro had taken 10 minutes earlier from Danilo Petrucci, set in 2019. With rain arriving just before 2pm, the track was never dry enough again to improve times, though several riders took the wet track to get a feel for wet conditions.

Pramac Ducati rider Jorge Martin was third fastest, a fraction over Petrucci's old record, and just ahead of Alex Rins on the Suzuki GSX-RR. Maverick Viñales made it two Aprilias in the top five, while Pecco Bagnaia was the fastest of the Factory Ducatis. Fabio Quartararo was seventh quickest and fastest Yamaha, ending the day under a tenth faster than Marc Marquez, the Repsol Honda rider quickly back up to speed after his injury. Johann Zarco was ninth, while Pol Espargaro rounded out the top ten.

The paddock is now packing up and ready to head to Indonesia, for their first taste of the Mandalika circuit. They have three days there before the preseason is over and they head to Qatar for the opening race of 2022.

Times at the end of Day 2

Pos No Rider Bike Time Diff Prev
1 23 Enea Bastianini Ducati GP21 1:58.131    
2 41 Aleix Espargaro Aprilia RS-GP 1:58.157 0.026 0.026
3 89 Jorge Martin Ducati GP22 1:58.243 0.112 0.086
4 42 Alex Rins Suzuki GSX-RR 1:58.261 0.130 0.018
5 12 Maverick Viñales Aprilia RS-GP 1:58.261 0.130 0.000
6 63 Francesco Bagnaia Ducati GP22 1:58.265 0.134 0.004
7 20 Fabio Quartararo Yamaha M1 1:58.313 0.182 0.048
8 93 Marc Márquez Honda RC213V 1:58.332 0.201 0.019
9 5 Johann Zarco Ducati GP22 1:58.413 0.282 0.081
10 44 Pol Espargaro Honda RC213V 1:58.420 0.289 0.007
11 10 Luca Marini Ducati GP22 1:58.430 0.299 0.010
12 36 Joan Mir Suzuki GSX-RR 1:58.529 0.398 0.099
13 30 Takaaki Nakagami Honda RC213V 1:58.607 0.476 0.078
14 43 Jack Miller Ducati GP22 1:58.645 0.514 0.038
15 88 Miguel Oliveira KTM RC16 1:58.701 0.570 0.056
16 72 Marco Bezzecchi Ducati GP21 1:58.710 0.579 0.009
17 73 Alex Márquez Honda RC213V 1:58.800 0.669 0.090
18 33 Brad Binder KTM RC16 1:59.016 0.885 0.216
19 25 Raul Fernandez KTM RC16 1:59.180 1.049 0.164
20 49 Fabio Di Giannantonio Ducati GP21 1:59.197 1.066 0.017
21 35 Cal Crutchlow Yamaha Test M1 1:59.262 1.131 0.065
22 4 Andrea Dovizoso Yamaha M1 1:59.284 1.153 0.022
23 87 Remy Gardner KTM RC16 1:59.348 1.217 0.064
24 21 Franco Morbidelli Yamaha M1 1:59.365 1.234 0.017
25 40 Darryn Binder Yamaha M1 1:59.857 1.726 0.492
26 50 Sylvain Guintoli Suzuki GSX-RR 1:59.996 1.865 0.139
27 85 Takuya Tsuda Suzuki GSX-RR 2:05.678 7.547 5.682
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....I know, it doesn't really show what everyone has, as there is ALOT of sandbagging, BUT.....#93 looks pretty good on a new bike/after injuries/etc. You KNOW he wants to show everyone Godzilla is back on track!

Is he on a 2022 or 2021? I assumed he wouldn't have taken the ride if it was last years bike, but don't know for sure.

And not getting on with it all that well, based on an interview on MotoGP.com

He has the 2022. He has some adapting to do from the Duc! Outlook so-so. Insert praise of Quarty, criticism of Blue. Glad he is here, wondering if he is wondering about the Aprilia yet? 

... to be drawing any conclusions from a two day test the last 1/4 of which was rained out, BUT, Yam is not looking good.  The 'Shrink's prophecies of doom may well be accurate.  I'm particularly interested in Modbidelli, who ran so well in 2020 and has been literally nowhere since the knee injury prior to France last year.  I really like him and hope he can turn it around.

I'm with you regarding Morbidelli, I really like him too and it's never good seeing a rider you like down the bottom of the timesheets, but for me the important point is that Franki was *only* 1.2s behind. Assuming that Gresini don't have a lot of parts to test on the GP21s then they can chase set up and a fast time, and if Franki was concentrating on testing and sorting out the new bike, and not going for an outright fast lap, then *only* 1.2s behind is hopefully not bad. However, this backs up the earlier comment about the Marc - first time out on the revolutionary new RCV and just 0.2 off the fastest lap, that is quite a statement.

Bummed to see Morbidelli so low down. And hoping (praying!) that the knee injury may have damaged him for good.

We’ve discussed it many times, what the impact from serious injury can do to a rider’s confidence and/or subconscious. Some make a full physical and mental recovery, perhaps more don’t. I’d be gutted if he doesn’t improve, really am a big fan of his eloquence and thoughtfulness.

Fingers crossed!

I don't think you really mean this Ivanhoe "And hoping (praying!) that the knee injury may have damaged him for good."

Anyhow, after going through the data on mgp.com I saw a few things. It surely looks like Aprilia have found more than just a quick lap. Especially Espargaro stringed together eleven really low 1.59's from lap from lap 23-34 starting it off with a 1.58. Rins was the rider who dipped in to the 1.58's the most times on day two with a total of eight laps. That tells me he could pretty much do it at will, several of them being two laps in a row. It will be really interesting to see how this transfers to upcoming qualifys and races.

This is just the first test so basically the times are a load of nothing. However, bored out of my mind as I am today I had a good look. I looked at Bastianini, Aleix, Martin, Rins, Vinales, Bagnaia, Fabio, Marc, Zarco, Pol and Mir.

So, looking at all the times recorded for each rider over the two days. The timing sheets give all sorts of times, hours long laps for example.  Filter out anything over 2'05. No limit on the fastest laps. I'm thinking to only include laps within a range of the average for each rider but currently have not reached that depth of stupidity. So just simple, only laps less than 2'05.

There's many reasons why a rider might have more or less laps in this range...pace, technical issues etc but regardless...name, average lap of laps under 125 seconds, standard dev of those laps and the number of laps under 125 seconds. If you plot all the laps under 125 (not the table) out low to high on a chart...Rins and Fabio are a way ahead and Rins the best of the lot. Sure there is the fast laps and everybody has them but the rest...it is so. You could say Fabio is super consistent because it's the same bike as last year but the times also, in terms of laps under 125s or laps <122 and >119 (however you want to range it except time attack) Rins and Fabio are in a different race. Aleix near though.

But...that's tests.

A ESPARGARO 119.919 1.19 43 laps
RINS 120.100 1.14 65 laps
QUARTARARO 120.151 0.85 62 laps
MIR 120.252 1.17 53 laps
BASTIANINI 120.454 1.48 40 laps
VIÑALES 120.494 1.80 51 laps
ZARCO 120.523 1.13 52 laps
MARTIN 120.787 1.35 40 laps
P ESPARGARO 120.807 1.62 58 laps
BAGNAIA 120.873 1.37 51 laps
M MARQUEZ 121.175 1.28 63 laps


I will now go an write down 'Stop being a d***head' 1000 times.


... well past bored, lol. Interesting numbers, though. I'd love to see Rins keep the thing on the pavement this year; he's often faster than Mir until he bins it, after all.

The chart is quite striking but i'm not uploading it anywhere. Rins and Fabio are flat lined compared to the others. Looking again 2'05 is too large. Most riders have 2'04 laps, Fabio never drops out of the 2'02s and Rins the 2'03s I'm too lazy to do any of this manually so next time i'm bored i'll throw in something for consecutive laps. I'll figure out a way to filter all but serious laps...i mean come on 2'04 stop messing around and ride the dam bike !

Thanks Wavey!


The Inline 4s still have their consistent rideable quick. Until they have to pass a Ducati, as said for years. But last year it became...tougher still. 

Quartararo is GORGEOUS on that thing! His corner speed is magic. Unlike Jack Miller, I loved watching the Suzuki carving things up too. Handling is always much more impressive and enjoyable to behold as a fan. And riding. But, losing the grunt war looks maddening. 

I REALLY don't want Ducati to run away with all the goodies. Please Yamaha, match the Suzuki? Keep the Quarty? I beg of you.


Quartararo Sun Eve after Sepang:

"If you check top speed, (the Aprilia is) super-fast. I was behind Aleix for half a lap and the turning was a lot. I’m impressed by them. For me Aprilia, Honda and Suzuki made a massive step."

He added: "Ducati were already super-fast at the end of the season. But the three that impressed me more are [Aprilia, Honda and Suzuki]."

"To be honest I don’t think we [Yamaha] made a step like that, by far. But that doesn’t mean we aren’t competitive. It just means the others made a bigger step than us."

"We are struggling in some areas. It's strange to see I was struggling more with new tyres. Normally the time attack is one of my favourite things and I knew I could improve a lot more. I know the others made a big step in that area."

"I tested a new chassis. I tested… I don’t even know what I tested. A chassis for sure. A set-up where we put the bike lower. And… that’s it! The day was not a really, really big day," Quartararo said.

"To be honest I expected much more from this test. But it’s like this. Let’s see. At Mandalika we can try more or less the same things as we have now. Just in a different track. Let’s see if there we can see more positives."

He also saved 2 new sets for a time attack later on but...it rained. Again, the most consistent rider out there at Sepang of the top ten, not slow and on very old tyres.

This is just the first test but let's think a little. Honda 2019, pre-season, they were in trouble with the bike. Let's imagine that ok, Ducati have built a new super bike that will destroy the field but they are having some teething issues with the bike. Once they iron these problems out then that's it booooom! In this field, given how tight things are...how many points they may lose before they can fix it ? Will each circuit throw up a new set of problems not anticipated. Must be perfect as Peco says.

Except they do pass Ducati. Think of Assen, think of the number of passes at Portimao, yes the Ducati blast back past...until they don't. If you remember Yamaha came out of the 2017/2018 bad times not only because Fabio arrived but because they cleaned up the aero (still the most tidy rear half) to help with top speed and improved their ability to get the power down out of the turns through software and chassis changes. I can't remember the race but that last change was very obvious Despite the lack of top speed on the bigger straights the other 95% of the lap they were staying with the Ducati despite being so down on power.

Now Sepang is a strange one. The last visit there was a Yamaha event. Front row lock out, win and fastest lap. Two of the front row, the Petronas boys, fell back during the race in the way Yamahas usually did until they fixed the exit traction issues. Nevertheless, seems to be a Yamaha track, maybe an inline 4 track on balance.

...and don't forget....


I don't think 'rideable' is an inline or V characteristic. The advantage of a bike which is easy to get to its potential is that when things aren't as they 'should' be, which is 99% of the time, they produce what they are capable of producing more often, on average, than the less rideable bike. The result, in my opinion, is the consistency or the lack of consistency that you see. Ducati push the tech, push for more and they get it. It's a rocket. It's cutting edge. I reckon the result is a diamond with a few too many sharp corners.

Austria 2021 extended highlights


^ In case Wavey's link doesn't work in your region (plus, I think this is good coverage)

Early on there are a few lovely aggressive Quarty "Mir --> Miller hip check" passes. First Martin, then Zarco. Then a couple of BRAVE limit shagging outside passes. Rain flags. 7 laps to go we have none other than Marquez, Bagnaia and Quartararo battling up front. 

AT THIS point, the next Yam is 14th, next Honda 15th. Important to note as we consider our read on the bikes of 2021.

Then? Rain induced mayhem. 

1) Binder w slicks

2) Bagnaia on wets

3) Martin on wets

Could it be that Ducati has created a far superior bike, they win most of the 2022 races, but the "gang of eight" constantly beat each other, and a rider on another brand scores enough points to take the title?