MotoGP: Martin Close To All-Time Lap Record On Day One Of Sepang Test (Updated)

MotoGP: Martin Close To All-Time Lap Record On Day One Of Sepang Test (Updated)

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





More, from a press release issued by Dorna:

#SepangTest: Martin & Acosta steal the limelight on Day 1

The 2023 title challenger sets the benchmark as the rookie continues to shine

Tuesday, 06 February 2024

Prima Pramac Racing’s Jorge Martin seemed out to lay down a marker on Day 1 of official track action at the Sepang Test, and that he did. The Spaniard fired in an impressive 1:57.951 after only two hours of running on Tuesday morning, which is only half a second adrift of the fastest-ever lap of Sepang. It remained untouched for the remainder of the day.


Pedro Acosta (31). Photo courtesy Dorna.
Pedro Acosta (31). Photo courtesy Dorna.


In hot pursuit came another headline-maker of late: Red Bull GASGAS Tech3’s Pedro Acosta. The rookie all-but matched his best lap from the Shakedown to take second overall, continuing to impress. Only 0.008 of a second behind Acosta comes 2021 Champion Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™) in third, finishing the first day of the test only two tenths adrift of his best lap from the 2023 Malaysian Grand Prix – promising early signs as the Japanese factory look to make leaps forward in 2024.


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


It was a tougher day for two riders likely to be key title rivals in 2024: reigning World Champion Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) and eight-time World Champion Marc Marquez (Gresini Racing MotoGP™). Pecco crashed out at Turn 11 on his very first lap of the day, whilst Marquez had to contend with some small technical issues. The #1 ended up 16th and the #93 found a late lap to finish ninth. Still, it’s Day 1 and their focus remains far from time attacks thus far…


Francesco Bagnaia (1). Photo courtesy Dorna.
Francesco Bagnaia (1). Photo courtesy Dorna.


Ducati Lenovo, Prima Pramac, Pertamina Enduro VR46 & Gresini

Seven of Ducati’s eight full-time riders hit the track on Tuesday as Franco Morbidelli (Prima Pramac Racing) continues his recovery from a training crash at Portimao, sitting it out until the first race weekend of the year as a precaution. He was replaced by Michele Pirro.


Marc Marquez (93). Photo courtesy Dorna.
Marc Marquez (93). Photo courtesy Dorna.


Ducati occupied seven places in the top ten on a positive opening day for the Bologna factory. For Martin, Bagnaia and Enea Bastianini (Ducati Lenovo Team), work continued on their 2024 engine, which received rave reviews at the Valencia Test in late November. No sign for the moment of the wildly new aerodynamics package that Gigi Dall’Igna teased at their Official Launch, however, only the updated side fairings seen at the Shakedown.


Fabio Di Giannantonio (49) and Marco Bezzecchi (72). Photo courtesy Dorna.
Fabio Di Giannantonio (49) and Marco Bezzecchi (72). Photo courtesy Dorna.


Pertamina Enduro VR46 Racing’s Fabio Di Giannatonio closed out the opening day in fourth, with now-teammate Marco Bezzecchi in eighth despite a late crash at Turn 4 with half an hour left on the clock. Gresini Racing’s Alex Marquez was just over half a second adrift in seventh. They’re all focused on adapting to the new-to-them 2023 machine.

Red Bull KTM & Red Bull GASGAS Tech3

As Acosta continued to grab headlines at the sharp end of the timesheets, both Brad Binder and Jack Miller went to work for the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing squad, after Dani Pedrosa reportedly did a first run through to wean out the best new parts at the Shakedown. Augusto Fernandez (Red Bull GASGAS Tech3) was also out on track for the first time in 2024.


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


Nobody did more laps on Tuesday than Miller, who totalled a dizzying 69. The Austrian factory focused their attentions on electronics and a new exhaust system, as well as some aerodynamic and engine updates as they look to close that gap to Ducati – a smaller task than anyone else as of the end of 2023.

Aprilia & Trackhouse Racing

After not bringing much outwardly new to the Valencia Test, the Noale squad have been busy over the winter with new aero, engine, swingarms and chassis all on show on Tuesday. Maverick Viñales was fastest of the lot with a 1:58.470 to leave himself sixth on Day 1, with Aleix Espargaro P13 and Trackhouse Racing’s Miguel Oliveira in P15.


Maverick Vinales (12). Photo courtesy Dorna.
Maverick Vinales (12). Photo courtesy Dorna.


Raul Fernandez (Trackhouse Racing) only managed 21 laps in the end after a highside in the opening 15 minutes of the day. He did get back out on track but then headed for further checks at local hospital.


Alex Rins (42). Photo courtesy Dorna.
Alex Rins (42). Photo courtesy Dorna.


Monster Energy Yamaha

We saw a few updates from Yamaha at the Shakedown, and they will be pleased to see Quartararo sitting third on the timesheets and new recruit Alex Rins just outside the top ten in 11th after Day 1 of the Sepang Test proper. The Iwata factory’s main focus on the opening day was aero, as well as fine-tuning their new and improved engine. There was also a new tail unit in use, and the marque had Cal Crutchlow joining test duty once again.


Johann Zarco (5). Photo courtesy Dorna.
Johann Zarco (5). Photo courtesy Dorna.



There was a lot going on down at HRC on Tuesday. Brand new swingarms, aero, engines and chassis are just the start of a totally revamped RC213V. And the early signs are positive with Johann Zarco (CSATROL Honda LCR) claiming the final spot inside the top ten on the timesheets. For a completely new bike – with Joan Mir (Repsol Honda Team) confirming they’d not even brought the 2023 machine to Malaysia – that’s a positive first day. Mir was P14, new teammate Luca Marini P17 and Takaaki Nakagami (IDEMITSU Honda LCR) P20.

That’s a wrap on Day 1! There’s more action on Wednesday and Thursday from 10:00 local time (UTC+8) until 18:00, so make sure you join us on and across social media to get the full lowdown!




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


The Sepang MotoGP™ Official Test got underway on Tuesday morning at the Sepang International Circuit as the whole MotoGP™ grid joined the action in Malaysia to start preparing for the upcoming 2024 season, which will kick off in Doha, Qatar on March 8-10, 2024. Amongst those who got to reunite with their bikes after two long months, there was Red Bull GASGAS Tech3’s Augusto Fernandez, officially not a rookie anymore, who got his second campaign in the main class started.

After finishing first overall in the three day-Sepang Shakedown, 2024 sole MotoGP™ rookie Pedro Acosta continued to make the headlines on the opening day of Sepang Test, as he closed the day second fastest rider with a 1’58.220, 0.289 seconds away from 2023 runner-up Jorge Martin. Fabio Quartararo was not far in third with a 1’58.228. The young shark also clocked the fastest speed of the day in 336.4 km/h, tied with Luca Marini and Jorge Martin, in addition to ending the day fastest of anyone in sector 3. Impressive numbers for the nineteen year-old boy, whose main focus today was to try different parts to gather data for the team. Electronics was also on the menu for the young rider, after he felt it was an area which he needed to find more comfort in following Sepang Shakedown.

Officially not a rookie anymore, Augusto Fernandez kicked off his second season with the Red Bull GASGAS Tech3 with his first track day of 2024. After two long months without his RC16, Tuesday was more about getting back the feeling. The morning was a bit rough with a small crash which slowed down today’s game plan, but the afternoon offered Fernandez the opportunity to try the 2024 package, with the carbon chassis. He focused on the set up, and admitted feeling better lap after lap in the second half of the day. After sixty-four laps, he closed the first day with a 1’59.543 (lap 63). The preparation for 2024 continues on Wednesday in Sepang as a second day of testing awaits the MotoGP™ class.


Pedro Acosta

Position: 2nd

Time: 1’58.220

Laps: 60

“Even if we did a good lap time in the end, it was not our main focus today, but we orientated ourselves more towards trying different parts and settings. It was a good day, because we improved our pace, and also the way I am riding with used tyres, which is a really important point for the races. I had some parts I was requested to try, so we got on with them, did a couple of laps to get the data in. It was nice to be able to get some work done for the team, and help as much as I could.”


Augusto Fernandez

Position: 21st

Time: 1’59.543

Laps: 64

“It was not the first day we were dreaming of unfortunately. We had a game plan to follow, but we lost a bit of time in the morning. In the afternoon, we tried the new bike with the new chassis, and that’s when I started to recover a bit, get the feeling back again, but I was pretty slow all day. We have things clear for tomorrow, we know what our package should be for the second day to be at a good pace, so I am looking forward to continuing the work with the team.”




More, from a press release issued by Repsol Honda:

Repsol Honda Team continue work at the Sepang Test

Joan Mir and Luca Marini were joined by the entirety of the MotoGP World Championship in Malaysia, the duo ending in 14th and 17th respectively on the factory Honda RC213V machines.

Having already finished a busy two days of on track action during the Shakedown, the Repsol Honda Team were back out for another three days of riding. Conditions remained stable throughout the day with an extended lunch break allowing the majority of MotoGP riders to avoid the worst of the Malaysian heat. Continuing on with a refined testing plan based on the Shakedown saw the pairing of Joan Mir and Luca Marini complete 81 laps.

Mir finished the day as the fastest of the two riders thanks to a best time of 1’58.741, set on lap 42 of 43. The #36 and his team spent Tuesday experimenting with the setup of his 2024 Honda RC213V, continuing to gain valuable information for the upcoming season. Tomorrow, the second day of the official test, offers a chance to further improve his feeling and lap time.

Meanwhile, Marini continued to quickly adapt to life on the Honda and ended just 0.3s off Mir’s best time. Improving his feeling with each and every exit, the Italian remained content with the work he and the team have managed to achieve in the two days of the Shakedown and today. With a number of items to test and work through, there’s still plenty on the agenda for the newest Repsol Honda Team rider.

Two more days of running are still ahead for the Repsol Honda Team as the Sepang Test continues at pace.

Joan Mir

14TH  1’58.741

“It’s only the first day so I am staying quite calm about everything as there’s still a lot more to come. We were able to improve Sector 3 and 4, our pace is good there. We were faster in the first half of the lap during the Shakedown. Today was about trying some new things and because of that it was the first day I think that we didn’t improve the bike. This can happen when you’re trying a lot of things. As I said, it is not a big problem because we will be back on track tomorrow. Tonight we need to compare our data.”

Luca Marini

17TH  1’58.969

“We have many things to try but everyone is working very hard and well. I am really satisfied with how the first days have gone because every time I get on the bike the feeling is better. It’s an enjoyable moment, learning the new bike, the new team and the new culture. We found something better in the last few days but of course there is still more to do. The step since Valencia has been good and everyone is working together well. The objective is to keep putting all the pieces together because there are many new things and improvements.”




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


First day of the official MotoGP testing session with Fabio Di Giannantonio and Marco Bezzecchi immediately among the fastest in P4 and P8

Sepang (Malaysia), February 6th 2024 – For the first time on the track on the yellow Fluo Stream Ducati Desmosedici GP of the Pertamina Enduro VR46 Racing Team, Fabio Di Giannantonio and Marco Bezzecchi are immediately among the fastest guys at the end of the first day of the MotoGP official testing session at the Sepang circuit with the fourth and eighth overall lap times.

For Fabio a first three days of work in Malaysia (first race in Qatar next 8/10 March), to get familiar with the new Team, the bike and the technicians. An immediately productive morning, with the Top3 at lunchtime, and then a best flying lap of 1’58.325 and 49 laps completed.

Among the very first riders on the track at 10.00 AM, Marco who signs a good 1’58.605 in the afternoon. Despite a crash in the penultimate run, at turn 4, fortunately without consequences, he closes the session with 54 laps.


First of all I’m really happy to be back on track with the new colors of the Pertamina Enduro VR46 Racing Team. The day wasn’t bad, I did a good job with the whole Team and we managed to fix some aspects of the bike. In terms of riding, at Valencia test, I wasn’t perfect and we needed to make some steps forward. I didn’t try the flying lap, but the pace wasn’t bad and I’m satisfied. Tomorrow we will continue in this direction, we will make some other changes and then the first time attack awaits us also to understand our real value.


I’m very happy, I was really looking forward to back on track. The sensations are really good, I immediately achieved my goal for the day. I wanted to start from the feeling I had in Valencia and start making a step. We succeeded immediately and we closed the session in crescendo with the entire Pertamina Enduro VR46 Racing Team. The atmosphere is excellent, I’m already faster than the last year and tomorrow we will continue working on the front of the Ducati. Overall, a good first day of school.



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

Positive First Sepang Test Day for Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP

Sepang (Malaysia), 6th February 2024


Following the Sepang Shakedown Test and the 2024 MEYM Season Launch event, the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP team got back into action at the Sepang International Circuit today. Both Fabio Quartararo and Álex Rins completed 46 laps, ending the first of three days of the Sepang MotoGP Official Test in 3rd and 11th place.             

3rd F. QUARTARARO 1’58.228 / 46 LAPS

11th Á. RINS 1’58.716 / 46 LAPS

Today, new Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP teammates Fabio Quartararo and Álex Rins kicked off the three-day Sepang MotoGP Official Test in Malaysia. The riders got straight to work, assessing electronics and settings tweaks. They ended in 3rd and 11th place respectively in the Day-1 timesheets.

Eager to make a strong start to the 2024 season, Quartararo got to work this morning with a game plan. He was going to dedicate Day 1 solely to fine-tuning electronics and settings. He rode 46 laps over the course of the first day and set a best time of 1’58.228s on lap 36/46 to take third place, 0.277s from the top.

Having spent the winter break working on the rehabilitation of his leg, Rins was reaping the rewards at the Shakedown Test and also today at the Sepang Test. He had a positive day at the office. He rode 46 laps over the course of eight hours of high-temperature testing. He set a best time of 1’58.716s on lap 18/46 and, despite not doing a time-attack, still placed 11th, 0.765s from the top.


I felt great! Basically, today we didn’t really test new items. I tested a lot of electronics and settings of the bike. From the outside you can’t really see what I tested, but it was a positive day. Tomorrow we will work in a similar way, and I think that it’s quite important for us to stay focused because I feel that we have the potential, but we still have to find it. The plan for tomorrow is the same as for today: try to find the best electronics set-up and try to also find the best setting of the bike. This is changing because of the new aero, we have to adjust the balance of the bike. But I’m feeling pretty happy about how we are working in the team.


I’m quite grateful for the work we are doing. We are testing many things. We have also tested in the Shakedown, two full days of work. And the way of working is quite nice – I like it, for sure! I’m getting used to the way they work, and they are getting to know the way I work. Today we tested many things on the electronics side, working on the really used tyre to understand how the Yamaha works, and if I can adapt the bike a bit to my riding style. So I’m quite happy. Let’s see tomorrow. Tomorrow we’ll have more chance to improve and to test more things, because today we only used one set of new tyres to test the items. So, everything is under control.




More, from a press release issued by Trackhouse Racing:

Trackhouse Racing – Sepang Test: Day 1

Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia:

America’s MotoGP Team completes its first day of running on track at the opening MotoGP test of 2024.

#88 Miguel Oliveira – spent the day getting comfortable on the Trackhouse Aprilia RS-GP 24 and testing a series of aero developments.

Completed: 54 Laps – 185.9 miles / 299.2 kilometers

Best lap: 1’58.750 (Pos 15th)

Top speed: 207.1 mph / 333.3 kmh

“It was a good day. I was very excited to get the tests going because I didn’t ride for a long time. I think everyone on the grid was excited to start. We did what we had to do; get the first impressions of the bike, start to ride it, try a few things, nothing crazy. We didn’t touch the bike too much. Some things work, some things didn’t, which is normal for a new bike. Immediately, what we feel is a lot of potential, but we still need to put everything together and balance the bike a lot better. The aerodynamic side is quite a bit different, so we need to adjust that. Overall, I felt good, although I had a small crash where I hurt my shoulder plate again a little bit, but it went much better throughout the afternoon and I could go through the complete plan that we had scheduled. Tomorrow we face another long day.”

#25 Raul Fernandez – suffered a massive high-side crash on only his 3rd lap of the day aboard his Trackhouse Aprilia RS-GP 23. Although he managed some running later in the day, medical advice means he will take no further part in the test and flies home, to Spain, to concentrate on recovery for the next test in Qatar, starting on February, 19.

Completed: 21 Laps – 72.3 miles / 118.4 kilometers

Best lap: 2’00.120 (Pos 22nd)

Top speed: 206.5 mph / 332.3 kmh

“First of all, I would like to say sorry to Aprilia and our Trackhouse Racing MotoGP Team. This morning in my first laps I had a big crash because of the track conditions. Honestly, I didn’t expect that coming. But because of that crash, I won’t be able to continue this test here in Sepang. I feel really, really, bad because we won’t have the chance to continue to understand the new bike better and to learn how it feels. For me, it’s just going to be important now to recover well and to rest. To ride the bike like this is not safe for me, so I need to focus on my recovery and try to be at 100% in the Qatar test in order to do all the work we planned to do here. Again, I want to say sorry to Aprilia and the team.”


“The first day of testing in 2024 is done. The weather was nice, but we have some bad news. Raul crashed this morning quite hard on a slippery race track with good feeling, but he hurt his hip quite badly. It looks like nothing is majorly damaged, but there was a huge impact on his pelvis and on a bone, that makes it better for him not to test anymore, but to recover and make sure that he is well in Qatar. Another impact could be a disaster. Miguel meanwhile did a lot of things. He tried many parts and pieces for the 2024 bike. He is happy with his feeling with the bike, but of course, we always want more. He did 54 laps and is ready to continue testing tomorrow.”

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