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Feb 27, 2014

Pedrosa Goes To The Top On Day Two Of MotoGP Test Two At Sepang

Dani Pedrosa (26) on his Repsol Honda at Sepang.

FIM MotoGP World Championship

Sepang, Malaysia

February 27, 2014

Best Combined Test Times (all on Bridgestone tires):

1. Dani Pedrosa, Spain (Honda RC213V), 2:00.039

2. Aleix Espargaro, Spain (FTR-Yamaha), 2:00.320, Open

3. Alvaro Bautista, Spain (Honda RC213V), 2:00.500

4. Valentino Rossi, Italy (Yamaha YZR-M1), 2:00.605

5. Andrea Dovizioso, Italy (Ducati GP14), 2:00.787

6. Stefan Bradl, Germany (Honda RC213V), 2:00.902

7. Cal Crutchlow, UK (Ducati GP14), 2:00.952

8. Pol Espargaro, Spain (Yamaha YZR-M1), 2:00.999

9. Jorge Lorenzo, Spain (Yamaha YZR-M1), 2:01.049

10. Bradley Smith, UK (Yamaha YZR-M1), 2:01.098

11. Andrea Iannone, Italy (Ducati GP14), 2:01.173

12. Yonny Hernandez, Colombia (Ducati GP13), 2:01.658, Open

13. Colin Edwards, USA (FTR-Yamaha), 2:01.996, Open

14. Nicky Hayden, USA (Honda RCV1000R), 2:02.088, Open

15.Randy De Puniet, France (Suzuki), 2:02.139, Test Rider

16. Hector Barbera, Spain (FTR-Kawasaki), 2:02.149, Open

17. Scott Redding, UK (Honda RCV1000R), 2:02.652, Open

18. Hiroshi Aoyama, Japan (Honda RCV1000R), 2:02.709, Open, crash

19. Michele Pirro, Italy (Ducati GP14), 2:02.799, Test Rider

20. Katsuyuki Nakasuga, Japan (Yamaha YZR-M1), 2:02.802, Test Rider

21. Mike Di Meglio, France (FTR-Kawasaki), 2:03.946, Open

22. Karel Abraham, Czech Republic (Honda RCV1000R), 2:05.198, Open

23. Nobuatsu Aoki, Japan (Suzuki), 2:07.302, Test Rider

More, from a press release issued by Repsol Honda:

Pedrosa fastest on day two

Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa has finished the second day in Sepang at the top of the time sheets.

Dani, who was still suffering from some jet-lag, had a quiet morning and only completed 15 laps. In the afternoon he began to work properly, focusing on setup of the front of his RC213V and also with mappings, completing 57 laps with a fastest time of 2’00.039 on lap 55. Tomorrow, the final day in Sepang, he will switch to work on rear setup before the team heads to Australia for the final Winter three-day test.

The Repsol Honda Team confirmed yesterday that Dani’s teammate, Marc Marquez, will not be fit enough to test before the first race of 2014, after breaking his fibula in a training accident. The Qatar GP weekend will begin on Thursday 20th March.

Dani Pedrosa

1st - 2'00.039

“Things went well this afternoon, even though this morning we were still having some issues and I wasn't able to ride comfortably. I had to stop early in order to make some big changes to the bike, and when we restarted after lunch I felt more comfortable and put in better laps. We focused on the front end and were able to find a good setup. Tomorrow we will focus on making progress with the rear, because we have to get the new tyre working better and increase grip. If all goes well, then perhaps tomorrow we will be able to do a race simulation”

More, from a press release issued by NGM Mobile Forward Racing:

Aleix Espargaró shines in Sepang

It was another positive day for the NGM Forward Racing Team at Sepang circuit with Aleix Espargaró finishing second (2.00.320), only 0.281 behind Dani Pedrosa, the fastest rider today, after having been on top of the time sheets for almost the whole test session.

On board of his Forward Yamaha FTR, Aleix could improve his lap times already during the morning session, then in the afternoon he continued working on the set up of the first and second machine. Despite the torrid temperatures that obliged the riders to stay in the garage in the early hours of the afternoon, the Spaniard succeeded to lower his lap times, closing with a very positive 2’00.320.

It was a positive day also for his team mate Colin Edwards, who celebrated his 40th anniversary. In total Colin completed 45 laps, 2’01.996 was his best time.

Tomorrow the NGM Forward Racing Team will be back on track for the third and final day of testing at Sepang racetrack, in Malaysia.

Colin Edwards:

“I’m satisfied of the work done today. I could improve my feeling with the front and I could make the bike turn better, but there is still a lot of work to do. I think I need to adapt my riding style to the new bike and also to get closer to the style used nowadays by the youngest riders in order to enter and exit the corners as I like. Anyway in the middle of today’s test session I could do my best lap time and I want to thank the team for the great job."

Aleix Espargaro:

“Today we worked on the set up of the two machines and I’m very confident because last year I never succeeded to have the same confidence on both bikes. Here in less than 2 days I have found a good feeling and I’m very satisfied. In the afternoon I tested the new Magneti Marelli software, which is a step forward especially when the tyres start to drop. I hope we can do a long run tomorrow and check how the bike work on the race distance.”

More, from a press release issued by LCR Honda:


Sepang, 27 Feb: the pre-season testing continued today at Sepang circuit with track conditions generally improved than yesterday when the LCR Racer Stefan Bradl focused on hard tyre evaluation. In grueling 32 degrees the LCR racer finished the session covering 52 laps with a best time of 2’00.902 (6th overall): his best time was half a second better today. The former Moto2 World Champion put in a solid and consistent run for LCR and focused on different set-up adjustments to improve braking stability.

Stefan: “Today the track conditions were somewhat better than yesterday but still not comparable with Sepang first test session. It’s tough riding the bike with this heat; however today we kept working on the race-long performance and we are quite happy about our pace. Throughout the day we made several adjustments trying to improve braking stability and, at the end of the day, we gained some good results. Tomorrow we will put all these things together and we will go for a faster lap time”.

More, from a press release issued by Dorna:

Pedrosa moves ahead as track conditions improve

Dani Pedrosa ended the second day of February’s second Sepang test at the top of the pile, with track conditions somewhat better than on Wednesday

In the continued absence of his injured World Champion teammate Marc Marquez, who will not return to testing before the season opener at Qatar, Pedrosa shoulders the responsibility in finalising Repsol Honda’s preparations for the 2014 season. He stepped up to the plate late on Thursday with a 2’00.039s best effort as the track cooled in the early evening.

Pedrosa had struggled with jet lag on arrival in Malaysia but the best time of the week so far put him ahead of Aleix Espargaro who impressed again with his sheer pace to end the day 0.281s off the top – having led for much of the afternoon.

Like many of the riders Espargaro’s focus switched to race simulation in the afternoon and those longer runs will continue on Friday before the test concludes.

Wednesday’s top man Alvaro Bautista was third, finishing with a 2’00.500s best time as he again made good use of his new Showa rear shock.

Fourth on the timesheet was Valentino Rossi (+0.566s) who appears to be more comfortable with the new 2014 Bridgestone compounds than his Yamaha Factory Racing colleague Jorge Lorenzo (+1.010s) who was ninth. Lorenzo’s issue is with edge grip which affects corner speed, previously a strong point and something he will look to improve before Qatar.

Andrea Dovizioso repeated his impressive recent pace in fifth (0.748s) with the GP14 showing real signs of improvement.

Down the timesheet in 19th Ducati Test Team rider Michele Pirro put in the laps with Magneti Marelli software as the Ducati ‘Open’ decision gets closer. Dovizioso’s colleague Cal Crutchlow made a late jump to seventh and was less than 0.2s behind the Italian knowing that his teammate is his immediate benchmark – whilst Andrea Iannone was 11th on the Pramac Racing Ducati (1.134s).

Stefan Bradl put in a solid and consistent run for LCR Honda, following another long run he did on Wednesday. His best time was half a second better today and he finished sixth.

The new seamless gearbox was well received by Monster Yamaha Tech 3 pair Pol Espargaro and Bradley Smith on Wednesday – and a second day of ultra-smooth upshifts for those two saw them finish eighth and tenth respectively. The younger Espargaro was the only top ten rider not to improve on his day one time.

A 40th birthday celebration for Colin Edwards saw him make an improvement of more than 0.7s as he focused on improving cornering technique on his new ‘Open’ class NGM Mobile Forward Racing Yamaha.

The ‘Sepang2’ test concludes on Friday, before Ducati Team, Repsol Honda and Yamaha Factory Racing head to Phillip Island for a three day test starting on Monday.

More, from a press release issued by Pramac Racing:

Day two wraps up at Sepang


Andrea Iannone - PramacRacing - was unlucky as the first half of the day was unfruitful because of a minor technical problem and a crash, which was luckily without consequences for "Maniac Joe". Work could restart only in the afternoon. Today for Andrea was the first time with the Open class software. Tomorrow the team will continue the work on the Open electronics to gather as much information as possible for Ducati to help them decide what to do for the upcoming championship.

Yonny Hernandez - Energy T.I. Pramac Racing - demonstrated right away that the work on his GP13 Open was going in the right direction. In the first part of the test session Yonny rode about one second faster than Sepang 1, laying down a time of 2'01"685, his best lap ever on the Sepang circuit.

Andrea Iannone

"Today has been a hard day, even though we improved compared to yesterday. We found some solutions to some problems I had. Now we have to concentrate on tomorrow and understand what to do on the bike. My team and I have some ideas on what to do to improve, but let's wait to get a better idea. I thank my team, Ducati and all the guys that support me."

Yonny Hernandez

"I'm really happy with the work done today, we improved the bike a lot. I think now I can make another step forward, because my lap times are better. I was able to finish a lap in 2'01''6 and the rhythm is much better than yesterday. I solved a lot of problems with the electronics, and I get more and more feeling each lap. I think tomorrow I will improve a little. I want to thank the Team for the work done. Today we made a step forward!"

More, from a press release issued by Drive M7 Aspar Team:


Nicky Hayden and Hiroshi Aoyama again focus work on chassis set-up on second day in Malaysia

Whether it is due to the strange track conditions, or as several riders suggested yesterday, the new tyres that Bridgestone have brought to Malaysia, the pace at the second preseason MotoGP test at Sepang remains some way off that at the first. Two weeks ago several riders lapped inside the two minute mark but today's fastest time was set by Dani Pedrosa with a lap of 2'00.039.

The DRIVE M7 Aspar Team was one of the busiest on track, with Hiroshi Aoyama clocking up 72 laps - more than any other rider today. Like yesterday both Aoyama and his team-mate Nicky Hayden produced their best lap times at the end of the day, having worked principally on improving the chassis and suspension set-up of their respective Honda machines.

14th Nicky Hayden 2'02.088 (59 laps): "The track is still pretty dirty but the conditions today were slightly better than yesterday, when it was particularly slippery - especially in turn one. It was still really hot but we were able to get plenty of work done, mainly on the suspension and general set-up. We also worked a bit on the gearbox although at the moment there is not much for us to try in this area and it is quite time consuming work. The feeling today was pretty good, we improved the lap times and hopefully we can continue to do that tomorrow through a combination of improving the bike and also my riding. We have a couple of things still to try tomorrow as part of a long run."

18th Hiroshi Aoyama 2'02.786 (72 laps): "We continued adjusting the suspension today and managed to improve the feeling quite a lot. This wasn't really reflected in the lap time but we are satisfied with the work we did today. The track conditions were still quite bad but we managed to get a lot of work done and now we have a lot of data to go through and see where we can improve. Maybe we are losing too much time in the fast corners because I don't have the confidence to get on the gas so tomorrow we will need to try and put that right. At the moment though we are concentrating on getting the bike turning better so we can pick up the corner speed."

More, from a press release issued by Scott Redding's publicist:

Second day at Sepang brings improvement for Scott

Scott Redding saw a significant improvement in his lap time aboard the Team Go & Fun Gresini Honda RCV1000R, during the second day of testing at the Sepang circuit in Malaysia.

The 21-year-old Briton worked his way through a number of chassis geometry options in a bid to improve stability under braking today. As a result, Scott ended the day almost a second quicker than yesterday, with a lap time of 2’02.662.

Scott will use the third and final day of testing tomorrow to continue work on improving the chassis setup. The MotoGP rookie will also be looking to further refine the electronics package on the Honda RCV1000R he’ll race for the first time in Qatar, where the 2014 MotoGP World Championship season finally gets underway on 21st March.

Scott Redding // 2’02.652 // 54 Laps

“I’m happy enough with the outcome today. We worked a lot on improving stability under braking and there was a definite improvement compared to yesterday, which can be seen in the lap times. Tomorrow we will continue to work in the same direction and I hope we can make another step forward in this area. The final day of testing tomorrow will also give us the opportunity to work a little more on the electronics.”

More, from a press release issued by Yamaha Factory Racing:

Sepang (Malaysia), 27th February 2014

Yamaha Factory Racing riders Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo completed the second of the three days of testing today that mark the second official test of the 2014 MotoGP pre-season schedule.

The riders were again out at the Sepang International circuit in Malaysia, putting their 2014 YZR-M1 machines to the test as they continue to look for the optimum set up using the new 2014 Bridgestone tyres.

Valentino Rossi was able to improve on his time of yesterday, taking nearly seven tenths of a second off to move up to fourth place in the overall timesheets for the day.

Jorge Lorenzo continues to find the 2014 tyres challenging in the hunt for the perfect set up. The Mallorcan was unable to make a big step forward today and completed the second day in ninth, just over a second from the front man Dani Pedrosa.

Valentino Rossi

4th / 2'00.605 / 60 laps

“The main issue for this test is to try and improve our M1 with the new 2014 tyre. We tried some things but at the end of the day we are not very happy. I am in fourth place, the lap time is quite good but we are half a second behind the other guys. We are suffering with this tyre; our bike becomes difficult to manage. Tomorrow we will try again but we have not so many options. Every track has a different story but we are quite worried because it looks like we are in trouble with this tyre. We hope that in other tracks we will have less problems but here in Sepang, especially compared to the first test, it is more difficult.”

Jorge Lorenzo

9th / 2'01.049 / 57 laps

“Today I am very disappointed, especially in the tyre behaviour. Nothing has changed compared to yesterday. I still don't have the confidence to ride as I want to. Tomorrow is another day, we still have eight hours to find the right way so we will work hard and hopefully by the end of tomorrow we will have solutions.”

Team Director Massimo Meregalli

“We are having some difficulties that we were not expecting that we are working hard to try and solve. We are trying to fit this new tyre to our bike but it’s not looking so simple. We are consistently collecting information but the grip we are looking for is still missing. Here in Sepang the circuit doesn't also offer the grip that we are used to which isn’t helping the situation. For sure we will continue to work as hard as possible to make it better and find a different setting to give us what is missing at the moment. It won't be easy but I am still confident we can find it. At the moment Vale is suffering a bit less in these conditions due to his riding style. Jorge is having much more difficulties. Jorge is quite often more aggressive on the throttle and this is not helping in these conditions with the tyres.”

Team Manager Wilco Zeelenberg

“A very difficult second day. We are still trying to give Jorge the confidence he needs to go faster. The lack of grip that he is experiencing is not helping so we are dong everything we can to help solve that issue.”

More, from a press release issued by Ducati Corse:

Development work continues for the Ducati Team on day 2 of testing at Sepang

The second day of IRTA testing at Sepang was once again characterized by excellent weather conditions that allowed the two Ducati Team riders to make the most of the time available during the day. Both Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow were able to continue important development work with their Desmosedici GP14 bikes.
Dovizioso began the second day well, immediately recording – on his eighth lap of the morning – a best time of 2m00.787s, a result that took him up to third in the provisional standings. In the afternoon he was not able to improve his time, but in any case he was satisfied with a fifth place overall in the combined two-day standings.
Crutchlow on the other hand is continuing his learning phase with the GP14, and even though he has not yet managed to find the right feeling with the bike, in the afternoon he improved by almost half-a-second to finish the day seventh overall.
Once again solid support was provided by Ducati’s official test-rider Michele Pirro to the development programme on the Test Team’s Desmosedici GP14.
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 5th (2m00.787s)
“Today was again positive, the track is not as quick as the Sepang 1 tests so the times are a reference only to a certain point, but it’s always important to make comparisons with the others. We can say that we closed the gap to the front-runners and I am very pleased with the improvement over these two days. We’re refining the set-up of the bike, at this moment there isn’t much new material to try but we’ve managed to find something interesting. I really didn’t expect that and it’s a positive thing to experience this sensation. Today we also tried out the ECU with the Open software, there are a few different controls with it and it obviously doesn’t work as well as our Factory software, but tomorrow we’ll do some more tests.”
Cal Crutchlow (Ducati Team #35) – 7th (2m00.952s)
“We made some progress this afternoon as well, we were on similar settings to yesterday. I never felt comfortable until lunchtime really, then we started to make some changes to the bike and it felt a lot better at the end of the day. Things are coming better, again me and Dovi have gone quicker, me quicker than at the last test, even though the track conditions are not so good. We’re making progress, but we’ve still got a lot to do.”

More, from a press release issued by Team Suzuki Press Office:

The Suzuki MotoGP Test Team continued its 2014 test programme on day two of the Sepang test in Malaysia today, finding better speed from the new engine and also better stability.

Test rider Randy De Puniet knocked 1.2-seconds off his best lap yesterday with a best time of 2:02.139 on his penultimate 59th lap of the 5,543km Sepang International Circuit.

The Suzuki MotoGP Test Team will continue to evaluate the new engine, electronic ignition and also a new chassis on the final day tomorrow.

Randy De Puniet:

“We continued to test the new engine specification and we found a better power delivery and more top speed, so it was positive.

“We were better than first test but we have to improve some more on power delivery, making it less aggressive. Our lap time is improved and we hope to make further steps tomorrow. The team is still working to improve the tyre grip on the edge but I felt a better stability in braking.

“I’m confident that we can further improve tomorrow as we have some more new settings to try to improve the engine and chassis.” 

More, from a press release issued by Monster Yamaha Tech 3:

Continued progress for Tech3’s Espargaro and Smith at Sepang

Monster Yamaha Tech3’s Pol Espargaro and Bradley Smith carried on with their testing programmes in positive fashion at the Sepang International Circuit. Both riders lapped confidently with their Yamaha YZR-M1’s, as preparations for the MotoGP World Championship season opening race at the Losail Circuit proceeded.

With traction improving and the dirt gradually clearing from the track, the Monster Yamaha Tech3 riders sought comfort and confidence in the set ups of their Yamaha YZR- M1 MotoGP bikes, as opposed to posting quick lap times today.

The weather was once again very humid and hot at the iconic Malaysian circuit, which is located nearly 50 kilometres south of Kuala Lumpur.

2013 Moto2 World Champion Pol Espargaro furthered his encouraging pre-season testing by completing 47 laps around the 5.543 km track, whilst continuing to learn his new MotoGP machine. Having sampled the seamless shift gearbox yesterday, and with a positive feeling for the Yamaha YZR-M1, the young Spaniard pushed on. Espargaro made as much use of the testing time as possible, and increased his experience and knowledge with his Monster Yamaha Tech3 team. He finished today’s session in 8th position with a best lap time of 2:01.027.

Young British rider Bradley Smith completed another solid day today with undertaking an abundance of laps and continuing with his testing programme. Having spent the preceding test day accustoming himself with the newly acquired seamless shift gearbox, today he continued to refine set up options on the Yamaha YZR-M1. Smith worked on the feeling of the bike with a full fuel load, and some front end and rear end settings. Once satisfied with the progress, the British rider expertly completed 60 laps in today’s session alone and finished the session in 10th place with a best time of 2:01.098.

The final day of testing commences tomorrow between 10am and 6pm (local time – GMT +8) at the Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia.

Pol Espargaro - 8th - 2:01.027:

“Today was the day I have struggled the most since riding the Yamaha, and unfortunately it was the first time I did not improve my lap time. Plus the track did not improve a lot from yesterday. In the morning it took me a bit of time to find the rhythm. I had a small crash this afternoon, but it was nothing serious and I am not hurt. However, we lost a lot of track time because of this. After that, we changed a few details on the bike to improve the handling, but when I tried to improve my time this afternoon, I did not feel comfortable. However, all the Yamaha’s struggled a little bit so I am not too worried.”

Bradley Smith - 10th - 2:01.098:

“It was another positive day, we tested many things and tried to learn as much as possible. We worked on the front end and found a few small details, before moving to the back of the bike. Unfortunately we couldn’t find a rear setting which worked without affecting something else, but it’s about trying to find the right compromise. I am really pleased that I did many 2.01 lap times. I felt confident and the bike is feeling good on the full fuel load, which is what we always targeted on improving. Track conditions today weren’t too bad, I know there is more potential but unless I make it happen, it won’t make any difference to the lap times. I’m still a bit off from where I would like to be. Looking at the factory riders, I would like to reduce the gap to them and become more consistent. I am really pleased with the work we have been doing. The team have worked extremely hard, so I want to say a big thanks to them. Hopefully, we can do a race simulation tomorrow and see how much we have improved since the first test.”