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|02-01-2016, 08:50 AM||#1|
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MotoGP Sepang test Lorenzo dominates day one
All riders took to the track with the specECU and Michelin tyres
2015 MOTOGP World Champion Jorge Lorenzo has continued his domination in 2016 after finishing day one of the Sepang test a second clear of the rest of the field.
Twenty-one riders in total took to the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia 21 riders took to the track for the first time since November. This test is the first where all riders are on track with the spec-ECU and Michelin tyres.
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Lorenzo continued where he left off in 2015 - dominating the rest of the field. A lap time of 2:00.684 put the Spaniard over a second clear of his team-mate Valentino Rossi who finished the day in second.
Lorenzo’s lap was only 0.078s slower than his fastest lap of the race in 2015, but this time with unknown and new factors such as tyres and electronics. Lorenzo completed seven laps under the 2:02 mark whilst three were in the 2:00's. Lorenzo's pace is a positive start to the 2016 season and possibly the start of the journey to his sixth World Championship title.
Rossi completed 55 laps in total with his fastest lap of 2:01.717 being completed on his 52nd lap. The Italian set just a single 2:01 lap, but did manage 12 laps inside the 2’02's.
Rounding out the top three was Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa. The Repsol Honda rider continued to assess two engine specifications as throughout 2015 the Honda riders struggled with 'an overly aggressive engine' and therefore addressing this issue is their main aim of this three-day Sepang test.
Fourth was Danilo Petrucci, 1.127s shy of Lorenzo’s best time and 0.101s ahead of factory Ducati rider Andrea Iannone. Petrucci, along with Scott Redding, will race the GP15 in 2016. Iannone spent the majority of day one on the GP15, but the new 2016 Ducati did debut later on in the day.
Hector Barbera made it three Ducati machines in the top six as the 2015 Open Champion put his Avintia Ducati GP14.2 in sixth. Behind him was fellow Spaniard Marc Marquez, who set a 2:02.278, over 1.5 seconds behind Lorenzo. Scott Redding, Aleix Espargaro and Cal Crutchlow rounded out the top ten and were all within two seconds of Lorenzo.
Despite being in the top ten, Team Suzuki Ecstar had major issues as they suffered an engine failure, but fortunately this was their 2016 machine meaning the valuable seamless shift gearbox was spared.
MotoGP Rookie of the Year, Maverick Viñales, finished the day in 11th, 0.001s faster than Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Pol Espargaro. Both Espargaro and Bradley Smith tested their 2015-spec Yamaha, similar to that of which Rossi and Lorenzo raced last year. Smith suffered a minor off at Turn 15 but was unhurt and eventually ended the day in 15th.
After completing 40-laps Andrea Dovizioso was down in 13thas he spent a majority of his day on the GP15. Behind the factory rider was Aspar MotoGP Team’s Yonny Hernandez as, like the rest of the field, the Colombian adapted to the new Michelin tyres.
Hernandez's team-mate Eugene Laverty has had an unfortunate start to the season after a fall at Turn 4 left him with a broken right wrist which has now ruled him out of the remainder of this test.
MotoGP rookie Tito Rabat completed 53-laps on-board his Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS machine. The team was solely focused around the rookie as team-mate Jack Miller is currently sat on the sidelines due to a broken leg.
Sepang MotoGP test times - Day 2
Sepang MotoGP test times - day two
Rossi 'motivated after Ducati'
Marquez leads Rossi at halfway mark
Sepang MotoGP test times - Day 1