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|02-03-2016, 02:20 PM||#1|
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Jorge Lorenzo Leaves Sepang On Top
Photo Courtesy of Movistar Yamaha
Catch him if you can... Jorge Lorenzo led the way as the first test of 2016 concludes in Sepang, Malaysia.
The reigning MotoGP champ made a statement at the first test of 2016 – Jorge Lorenzo is still the top dog. On the third and final day of the pre-season test at Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia, the Movistar Yamaha rider threw down a 1:59.580 to set the top time of the day and displace Danilo Petrucci as the top time of the week. And to one-up that further, Lorenzo did it on the harder tire compound, which was the only option after Loris Baz’ high-speed crash on the front straight on day two (see http://www.sportrider.com/loris-baz-...ng-motogp-test). He also did it while under the weather.
“The lap times speak for themselves,” Lorenzo said. “They were very good lap times set with new electronics and a hard rear tires, because we can’t use the soft rear because of what happened yesterday. I’m very happy with Michelin, because they made a very big step with the feeling with the new front tires. Anyway, I felt very comfortable and fast during these three days, I’m still recovering from this illness that I have and for sure in Phillip Island we will be stronger and able to do a race simulation.”
It rained off and on throughout the day, but riders were still able to get in some solid laps, including Valentino Rossi who even led for a brief moment. Even though he was displaced by his teammate, Rossi was happy overall with the test.
Photo Courtesy of Movistar Yamaha
Valentino Rossi made an effort to take top honors at the test, but his teammate Lorenzo would not be outdone.
“I’m happy about the test and about today because, first of all, we did a good job and tried a lot of different stuff that gave some good information on how to improve the bike,” said Rossi. “I also set a 2:00.5, I think we can work on it and do better, but I’m in second place so that’s not so bad, it was a good test.”
Although Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez is used to being on top of the time sheets, the former champ took comfort in making steady progress over the three-day test.
“The last day went quite well because we improved every day here in Sepang,” Marquez said. “We are still far from where we'd like to be, but I think we have taken a good step forward and slowly we're getting there. We are working hard and there is room for improvement, which is what we have to focus on.”
LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow also continued to improve, moving into fourth by the end of the day. The not-so-retired Casey Stoner, Ducati’s new test rider, ended the day fifth, an impressive showing, after being on the sidelines for so long.
Photo Courtesy of Repsol Honda
Marc Marquez made steady progress throughout the three-day test.
“All in all it’s been a very good few days for us, and I’m surprised myself that I was able to do three days of testing,” Stoner said. “Physically I feel great at the moment, but I’m sure I won’t tomorrow! It’s been a really positive test, not only because we worked well with the bike, but also because I was able to get back up to speed right away.”
Marquez’ teammate Dani Pedrosa ended the day sixth, a positive result after the Spaniard spent most of the test struggling with set up.
As lucky as Petrucci was on Tuesday to set his fast time on the softer compound before the tires were withdrawn from the allocation, Wednesday got off to a rough start. In addition to the poor conditions, the Italian spent most of the day on the sidelines after losing an engine earlier in the day. Petrucci was able to bounce back and move up to seventh on the day. The Octo Pramac Yachnich Ducati rider’s fast time on day two held up to be the second fastest time of the test.
Factory Ducati’s Andrea Iannone was eighth ahead Petrucci’s teammate Scott Redding. Rounding out the top 10 was Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Maverick Vinales.
Photo Courtesy of Ducati
Even Casey Stoner surprised himself in his ability to get back into the swing of things after being away so long.
2016 MotoGP Sepang Test One Day Three Results: