MotoGP: Bastianini Under Lap Record On Day Two Of Sepang Test

MotoGP: Bastianini Under Lap Record On Day Two Of Sepang Test

© 2024, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc. By David Swarts.

Editorial Note: The official All-Time MotoGP Lap Record at Sepang was a 1:57.491 set by Francesco Bagnaia in 2023.

 

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More, from a press release issued by Dorna.

#SepangTest: Bastianini hits back to head Martin & Binder on Day 2

The laptimes tumble on Wednesday as the 1:57 club expands and the ‘Beast’ takes to the top

Wednesday, 07 February 2024

Ducati Lenovo Team’s Enea Bastianini produced late brilliance on Day 2 of the Sepang Test, claiming top spot thanks to a new, albeit unofficial, outright lap record. Five riders all bettered 2023 Champion Pecco Bagnaia’s (Ducati Lenovo Team) pole position lap from late last year, with The Beast firing in a historic 1:57.134 to once again prove his pace in Malaysia. 

 

Jorge Martin (89). Photo courtesy Dorna.
Jorge Martin (89). Photo courtesy Dorna.

 

Prima Pramac Racing’s Jorge Martin had to settle for second in the end after leading the pack for the vast majority of the day. The Spaniard finished 0.139 seconds adrift of 2023 Malaysian Grand Prix winner Bastianini. KTM and Aprilia were hot on the heels of the Ducati duo too, with Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) completing the top three ahead of Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing).

After an under-the-radar opening day in Sepang, 2023 World Champion Bagnaia also joined the party, claiming the final spot inside the top five with a 1:57.469, leaving him just over three tenths behind his teammate.

Ducati Lenovo, Prima Pramac, Pertamina Enduro VR46 & Gresini

Bastianini, Martin and Bagnaia all put themselves under the lap record on Wednesday, with all three doing their laps with the Bologna factory’s much-improved new engine. The bulk of their work was focused on aerodynamics, however, with a united consensus yet to be reached. Michele Pirro was also back out subbing for Franco Morbidelli.

A late tumble for Marco Bezzecchi (Pertamina Enduro VR46 Racing Team) couldn’t dampen what was otherwise another positive day for The Doctor’s squad. The #72 rounded out Day 2 in ninth place, and ahead of one name he had his eye on, whilst Fabio Di Giannantonio continued to impress. The Italian was one of the riders on top form in the second half of 2023, and he’s carried that momentum into 2024 despite the team switch.

 

Alex Marquez (73). Photo courtesy Dorna.
Alex Marquez (73). Photo courtesy Dorna.

 

Nobody did more laps than Gresini Racing’s Marc Marquez as he looked to make up for some lost time yesterday after a couple of small issues. The eight-time World Champion clocked 72 laps in total, 10 of which were an impressive Tissot Sprint simulation alongside his teammate. The #93 was just over 2 seconds quicker than the Sprint-winning time in 2023. But Alex Marquez on the #73 was a further two seconds quicker again…

Red Bull KTM & Red Bull GASGAS Tech3

Binder led the charge on Wednesday, but superstar rookie Pedro Acosta (Red Bull GASGAS Tech3) found yet another step forward, posting a 1:57.726 – a lap good enough for the middle of the second row of the grid in 2023. Big smiles for his side of the box! It was a tougher day on the other side, however, with Augusto Fernandez frustrated at his lack of progress after a couple of issues lost him some time. Steps forward, he reported, but not fast enough yet.

 

Brad Binder (33). Photo courtesy Dorna.
Brad Binder (33). Photo courtesy Dorna.

 

On the orange side, Jack Miller joined Binder in working their way through KTM’s various aerodynamic upgrades. The Australian finished 15th as the two take up the workload first refined by test riders Dani Pedrosa and Pol Espargaro in the Shakedown.

Aprilia & Trackhouse Racing

There were some contrasting emotions in the factory Aprilia box with Aleix Espargaro taking that impressive fourth, whilst Maverick Viñales was struggling with rear grip and, as a result, didn’t push for a time attack. But he reported the aim, regardless, is to be fast all year, not just one lap. The Spaniard was 18th today, one place and one tenth ahead of a similarly frustrated Miguel Oliveira. Trackhouse Racing’s Oliveira, still, said Espargaro’s fast lap was good to see for the whole squad as each work on their own programmes.

 

Aleix Espargaro (41). Photo courtesy Dorna.
Aleix Espargaro (41). Photo courtesy Dorna.

 

The trio also lapped together in the midday sun, ostensibly to check out the effect of the slipstream and potentially to put the machine through its paces in the heat, something that was tricky for the factory at times in 2023. Lorenzo Savadori, meanwhile, is the replacement for Raul Fernandez at Trackhouse for the rest of this test as Fernandez recovers from a crash on Day 1, with nothing broken but precaution the name of the game.

Repsol Honda & CASTROL/IDEMITSU Honda LCR

Repsol Honda’s Luca Marini and Idemitsu LCR Honda’s Takaaki Nakagami put together the longest runs of anyone on Wednesday: 13 consecutive laps apiece. 10 of Marini’s laps were in the 1:59s, compared to only two 1:59s between all four Honda riders in last year’s Sprint and Grand Prix. 

 

Joan Mir (36). Photo courtesy Dorna.
Joan Mir (36). Photo courtesy Dorna.

 

Joan Mir (Repsol Honda Team) was also able to put in a headline laptime, taking the final spot in top ten. The 2020 World Champion was six tenths quicker than his Q1 performance last year, but reiterated that a lot of work is still to be done. Johann Zarco (CASTROL Honda LCR), meanwhile, was another tenth and a half off Mir – but he’s been the Honda rider most praising the leap already made. 

Monster Energy Yamaha

Electronics was the key focus for Yamaha, but Fabio Quartararo was left wanting a little more. The Frenchman managed to improve on his best lap from last year’s Malaysian Grand Prix but he was still three quarters of a second adrift of top spot. He said they’re still suffering a lack of pace during time attacks, something they’ll continue working on. The 2021 World Champion could only manage 11th today, with his new teammate Alex Rins a quarter of a second further back in 13th. But on the speed trap, there was a big ray of light for the Iwata marque as Quartararo was the outright quickest.

 

Fabio Quartararo (20). Photo courtesy Dorna.
Fabio Quartararo (20). Photo courtesy Dorna.

 

That’s all she wrote on Wednesday! There’s more action on yet to come on Thursday from 10:00 local time (UTC+8) until 18:00, so make sure you join us on motogp.com and across social media to get the full lowdown as the #SepangTest concludes. Then it’s off to Qatar for another two days of testing before that first date with racing destiny at Lusail in March.

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Pertamina Enduro VR46 Racing Team:

DAY2 IN MALAYSIA FOR THE PERTAMINA ENDURO VR46 RACING TEAM

The work of Di Giannantonio and Bezzecchi continues at Sepang. Both under the wall of 1.58 and respectively in sixth and ninth position in the combined standings
 
SEPANG (Malaysia), February 7th 2024 – Another productive day for the Pertamina Enduro VR46 Racing Team at the Sepang International Circuit where the first official MotoGP testing sessions of the 2024 season are underway. Fabio Di Giannantonio and Marco Bezzecchi, riding the Ducati Fluo Stream, they are both under the wall of 1.58 and finished in sixth and ninth place in the combined of the Day2.

Able of a chronometric step already in the morning, Fabio sets an excellent 1’57.619, a time that mean a gap of just four tenths from the provisional P1 (Bastianini, 1’57.134). 54 laps on the eve of the last day of work, tomorrow from 10.00 AM local time.

First ever to back to the track, Marco, immediately dealing with the first time attack of the season and he signs a best of 1’57.867. For him too, around fifty laps and a crash in the final minutes of the session at turn 7.

 

Marco Bezzecchi (72). Photo courtesy Pertamina Enduro VR46 Racing Team.
Marco Bezzecchi (72). Photo courtesy Pertamina Enduro VR46 Racing Team.

 

MARCO BEZZECCHI – 72

I’m sorry for the ending, the crash wasn’t necessary. I’m happy with the work done, we tried different things and gathered a lot of information. I’m not completely satisfied yet, because I can still make a step in riding. I’m not at 100%, but we already have some ideas for tomorrow. At the moment, if things remain like this, I don’t think we will do a race simulation. I prefer to focus on the setup, but we don’t rule out the possibility of finding some good solutions tomorrow and thus changing our plan.

 

Fabio Di Giannantonio (49). Photo courtesy Pertamina Enduro VR46 Racing Team.
Fabio Di Giannantonio (49). Photo courtesy Pertamina Enduro VR46 Racing Team.

 
 

FABIO DI GIANNANTONIO – 49

I am surprised, in a positive way obviously. In the morning we struggled a bit, I tried two front tires and I wasn’t completely comfortable in riding. We were a little late on the plan, but in the afternoon we tried a change that made us take a big step forward also in terms of quality. We went very fast, we worked well and we moved in the direction we wanted. In terms of flying lap, maybe we’re missing something, but I’m not worried. I’m really happy with the pace and tomorrow maybe we’ll try a Sprint Race simulation.

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Monster Energy Yamaha:

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Search for One-Lap Speed at Sepang Test Day 2

Sepang (Malaysia), 7th February 2024

SEPANG MOTOGP OFFICIAL TEST

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP’s Fabio Quartararo and Álex Rins continued their programme at the second day of testing at the Sepang International Circuit. The teammates put in numerous laps and took 11th and 13th place respectively in today’s and the combined timesheets.

11th F. QUARTARARO 1’57.888 / 53 LAPS

13th Á. RINS 1’58.110 / 50 LAPS

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP’s Fabio Quartararo and Álex Rins were back on track at the Sepang MotoGP Official Test for a second day of riding in Malaysia. They continued to work through a number of different settings, taking 11th and 13th place respectively in today’s and the combined testing rankings.

Quartararo continued to show his motivation at the Sepang Test, completing 53 laps in total during which he tried various set-ups. The Frenchman showed off the 2024 YZR-M1’s top speed, clocking 338.5km/h. However, he is still looking to improve his time attack results. His best time of 1’57.888s, set on lap 7, kept him in 11th place, 0.754s from first.

After a solid first day of testing, Rins resumed his work on electronics and bike set-up. Getting more and more used to the YZR-M1 over the course of 50 laps, he bettered his time by 0.606s compared to Day 1. His 1’58.110s, set on lap 49, had him end Day 2 in 13th place with a 0.976s margin to the top.

 

Fabio Quartararo (20). Photo courtesy Monster Energy Yamaha.
Fabio Quartararo (20). Photo courtesy Monster Energy Yamaha.

 

FABIO QUARTARARO

We are first on top speed today, but that’s not what we aimed to be first in. The bike is very fast, but we still have to improve our fast lap. We’re finding little improvements, but nothing great. We have to find a solution, especially on the rear grip, where I think we are missing out a little bit. Hopefully we can make a step tomorrow and in the Qatar Test.

 

Alex Rins (42). Photo courtesy Monster Energy Yamaha.
Alex Rins (42). Photo courtesy Monster Energy Yamaha.

 

ÁLEX RINS

We are quite happy with the results we got today. We focused a little bit more on the electronics side, just trying to improve the things we tried yesterday. I also tried some different swingarms, and we also worked on the set-up. Overall, I made some kilometres on the bike, and I’m able to understand the M1 better, so I can try to find a better set-up to adapt the bike to my riding style. The engine that Fabio tested in Valencia and that they brought here – but a modified version – works quite well. So, we will start the season with this engine, for sure.

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Repsol Honda:

Mir finds a second on second day of Sepang MotoGP Test action

Both Repsol Honda Team riders made improvements as they continued to work on their 2024 machines, Joan Mir rounding out the top ten and Luca Marini in 17th.

Rain once again stayed away from the Sepang International Circuit as the MotoGP grid enjoyed an uninterrupted day of running. The Repsol Honda Team powered ahead with their testing programme, both riders able to make a step forward in their outright speed.

Wednesday in Sepang saw a return to positive progress for Joan Mir and his side of the Repsol Honda Team garage as they found some of the speed which had illuded them on the opening day. Already over half a second faster than his Qualifying time from the 2023 Malaysian GP and almost a full second faster than his time from the day before, Mir would ultimately end the day in tenth place with 39 laps completed. This left the #36 content with the work done and eager to make further improvements on the final day.

Another busy day in the Malaysian heat saw Luca Marini complete 41 laps with a best time of 1’58.394 – over half a second faster than his quickest time from Tuesday. In the afternoon, Marini turned his attentions to putting together a longer run to better understand the Repsol Honda Team machine over race distance. The exercise provided the Repsol Honda team and Marini with further areas to explore on the last day and later in Qatar.

The third and final day of the Sepang Test will begin at 10:00 Local Time.
 
 
 

 

Joan Mir (36). Photo courtesy HRC.
Joan Mir (36). Photo courtesy HRC.

 

Joan Mir

10TH  1’57.872

“Yesterday we tried a lot of things and today was about confirming those things which were working well. Today we had a base that I was comfortable with, so that is a great step to have made here and as a result I was able to improve my laptop by quite a lot. Already 0.6s faster than Qualifying here last year where I was ahead of my teammate. We are seeing the potential that’s there and I am happy with what we’ve done today, but we have to stay grounded and keep on working because there is still some margin. One last day here before we start thinking about the Qatar Test.”

 

Luca Marini (10). Photo courtesy HRC.
Luca Marini (10). Photo courtesy HRC.

 
 

Luca Marini

17TH  1’58.394

“It was another busy day in Sepang. I did a long run alongside trying many different things. The long run showed us many things and we were able to understand the work we need to do because I was wanting a bit more from it. It was positive to understand the bike and how it changes with the tyre wear during the course of a race. With new tyres I feel quite good so we need to match that feeling when the tyres are more used. This is why we go testing, to understand these points and to use the time we have to keep working on them. Time to rest and prepare for the last day here in Malaysia.”

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Red Bull GASGAS Tech3:

THE PREPARATION FOR 2024 CONTINUES IN SEPANG TEST AS BOTH ACOSTA AND FERNANDEZ IMPROVE ON DAY 2  

The hard work continued on Wednesday in Malaysia with the second day of the Sepang MotoGP™ Official Test, which saw both Pedro Acosta and Augusto Fernandez go through an intense day on a track, with a bit more than one hundred laps between them. The grid did not mess around on that second day as lap times went down quickly, and we saw the all-time lap record of the Sepang International Circuit being smashed two times today. It was first 2023 runner-up Jorge Martin who crushed the 1’57.491 of Pecco Bagnaia with a 1’57.273 after just a couple of laps in this morning. Later on, Enea Bastianini took over with an impressive 1’57.134 as he topped the timesheets on day 2.

Second fastest on Tuesday, which was already impressive for the young rookie Pedro Acosta, things got even better for MotoGP’s new #31 after he improved his fastest lap to 1’57.726 after just fourteen laps this morning, which is 0.494 seconds faster than yesterday. Had he been a MotoGP™ rider back in November, that lap time would have put him fifth on the grid of the 2023 Malaysian Grand Prix. A  small crash at turn 9 called it out for the morning session as the team headed to their lunch break, and the action resumed at 4pm. Overall, race pace has improved for the Spaniard who is feeling more and more comfortable on the RC16, and he also felt very positive about the electronics after another day of experience on the machine. Acosta will have one more day on Thursday to finalize his six day-testing program in Sepang. Let’s keep the good vibes for one more!

The first day back to school is never the easiest one, and it was the case on day 1 for Red Bull GASGAS Tech3’s Augusto Fernandez who struggled a bit to find the feeling on his RC16. Things slightly improved for the number 37 on Wednesday as he went under the 1’59, with a lap in 1’58.915 early into the day. The Spaniard continued his search for a better feeling in general, as he tried different settings, still using the carbon chassis. The feeling improved, and there were positives to take from this second day on track after fifty laps of hard work to get the progress going.  A crash at around 5:30pm put an end to his day, but the third and final one awaits him on Thursday as he aims to make a step and head to Qatar next week with a clearer vision on the directions to take for the season. The action will be back at 10:00 local time tomorrow.

 

Pedro Acosta (31). Photo courtesy Red Bull GASGAS Tech3.
Pedro Acosta (31). Photo courtesy Red Bull GASGAS Tech3.

 

Pedro Acosta 

Position: 8th

Time: 1’57.726

Laps: 52

“Just like yesterday, the lap time was not our main target, but it is obviously very good to finish the day half a second faster than day 1. We improved our pace, I am also getting accustomed to the electronics, and I understand everything a bit more in general and my feedback when I arrive at the box is also getting more complete as days go by. This is a good feeling in general. The other riders are very experienced and are a lot faster, but remember that it is my third time in Malaysia. Considering this, my pace is very good, and I would say that we are on our way!”

 

Augusto Fernandez (37). Photo courtesy Red Bull GASGAS Tech3.
Augusto Fernandez (37). Photo courtesy Red Bull GASGAS Tech3.

 

 
 

Augusto Fernandez

Position: 20th

Time: 1’58.915

Laps: 50

“We continued to try different things, different settings so I could feel comfortable on the bike, in addition to working on the aerodynamics. We have improved compared to yesterday, but we are still too slow. I ended the day with a late crash with just half an hour to go. This is not an easy test for us, nor an easy start to 2024, but we have pointed out the issues, so we know what we have to do tomorrow.”

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Trackhouse Racing:

Trackhouse Racing – Sepang Test: Day 2

Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia:

Track length: 3.44 miles / 5.54 kilometers

Air Temperature: 89.6°F / 32°C  

Track Temperature: 125.6°F / 52°C  

America’s MotoGP Team completes its second day on track at the opening MotoGP test of 2024. Today with the #88 Miguel Oliveira and in the absence of Raul Fernandez, following his withdrawal from the action after crashing heavily yesterday, the #25 piloted by Aprilia test rider Lorenzo Savadori.

 

Miguel Oliveira (88). Photo courtesy Trackhouse Racing.
Miguel Oliveira (88). Photo courtesy Trackhouse Racing.

 

#88 Miguel Oliveira – spent the day working the Trackhouse Aprilia RS-GP 24 through a program of set-up adjustments, electronic updates and further aero configurations.

Completed: 56 Laps – 192.9 miles / 310.4 kilometers

Best lap: 1’58.549 (Pos 19th)

Top speed: 207.1 mph / 333.3 kmh

“It was a long day. We had short stints and were trying a lot of things just to get a better understanding of the bike. Finally, to sum up the end of the day; I’m not having a lot of feeling at the moment and a bit of a hard time to understand how I can push and go faster. But anyway, I think I gave good feedback in the garage. We sit down tonight and look what we can improve for tomorrow. For sure, one of the most important points for me with this bike was the corner speed and that’s where I’m losing the most time. We are getting into that. Right now, the important thing is to know how to go fast because we have a good lap from Aleix (Espargaro). In terms of pace, we are not so far off, but we didn’t get a real good the time attack, so we miss around a second to the front.”

 
WILCO ZEELENBERG, TEAM MANAGER

“We tried many things throughout this second day. We are not happy with the lap times yet but, saying that, it means we need to work more to find the decent time. It’s great to see that Miguel is enjoying riding the new bike. Of course, it’s always easy to say, we need to be faster. Trying many things to find the right timing to do the time attack is never easy. I’m confident that we will find that quickly. That is very important. I also want to wish all the best to Raul. He is back home and had a disappointing start of the season, but at the same time we are happy that he is not more injured than he could have been. Let’s see how he will come back in Qatar. Meanwhile, we have one more day to go here in Sepang with Miguel.”

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