Sepang Test Saturday Final Times: Quartararo Tops Second Day Of Testing

Times plummeted at the end of the second day of testing at Sepang, the riders using the cooler temperatures and ideal track conditions to chase a quick time at the end of the day. Fabio Quartararo came out on top, setting the quickest time of the day and coming up a quarter of a second short of his own qualifying record. The Petronas Yamaha rider spent almost all of his day on the 2020 Factory Spec Yamaha M1, and set his quickest time on the bike.

Jack Miller ended the day second, after having sat on top of the timesheets for most of the day. The Pramac Ducati rider was seven hundredths slower than Quartararo, and spent his time testing a new Ducati aerodynamics package, though it was more of an evolution of the current package than a radical revolution.

Dani Pedrosa impressed on the KTM, the Spanish test rider setting his fastest ever lap around Sepang, three tenths off the official lap record, and just under a tenth slower than fastest man Quartararo. Third place for Pedrosa demonstrates the value of having such a strong test rider, Pedrosa clearly fast enough still to compete.

Joan Mir was the fastest Suzuki, the Spaniard sixteen hundredths behind Quartararo, and a tenth of a second faster than Franco Morbidelli on the A-Spec Petronas Yamaha, while Maverick Viñales was six hundredths slower on the Monster Energy Yamaha. All three Yamaha riders with Factory Spec machinery spent all of their day on the bike. Alex Rins ended the day as seventh, a quarter of a second behind his Suzuki teammate, and ahead of Pol Espargaro on the KTM. Marc Marquez was ninth fastest, despite a small crash on the Repsol Honda, which left him uninjured. Valentino Rossi rounded out the top ten, putting all four Yamahas inside the top ten, and demoting Aleix Espargaro to eleventh on the Aprilia RS-GP.

Times at the end of Saturday:

Pos No Rider Bike Time Diff Prev
1 20 Fabio Quartararo Yamaha M1 1:58.572    
2 43 Jack Miller Ducati GP20 1:58.641 0.069 0.069
3 26 Dani Pedrosa KTM RC16 1:58.662 0.090 0.021
4 36 Joan Mir Suzuki GSX-RR 1:58.731 0.159 0.069
5 21 Franco Morbidelli Yamaha M1 1:58.831 0.259 0.100
6 12 Maverick Viñales Yamaha M1 1:58.893 0.321 0.062
7 42 Alex Rins Suzuki GSX-RR 1:58.978 0.406 0.085
8 44 Pol Espargaro KTM RC16 1:58.989 0.417 0.011
9 93 Marc Márquez Honda RC213V 1:59.097 0.525 0.108
10 46 Valentino Rossi Yamaha M1 1:59.116 0.544 0.019
11 41 Aleix Espargaro Aprilia RS-GP 1:59.224 0.652 0.108
12 35 Cal Crutchlow Honda RC213V 1:59.247 0.675 0.023
13 9 Danilo Petrucci Ducati GP20 1:59.257 0.685 0.010
14 63 Francesco Bagnaia Ducati GP20 1:59.313 0.741 0.056
15 4 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati GP20 1:59.342 0.770 0.029
16 88 Miguel Oliveira KTM RC16 1:59.365 0.793 0.023
17 73 Alex Márquez Honda RC213V 1:59.661 1.089 0.296
18 33 Brad Binder KTM RC16 1:59.780 1.208 0.119
19 5 Johann Zarco Ducati GP19 1:59.825 1.253 0.045
20 53 Tito Rabat Ducati GP19 2:00.189 1.617 0.364
21 50 Sylvain Guintoli Suzuki GSX-RR 2:00.286 1.714 0.097
22 30 Takaaki Nakagami Honda RC213V 2:00.347 1.775 0.061
23 27 Iker Lecuona KTM RC16 2:00.396 1.824 0.049
24 91 Yamaha Test 3 Yamaha M1 2:00.791 2.219 0.395
25 90 Yamaha Test 1 Yamaha M1 2:00.920 2.348 0.129
26 38 Bradley Smith Aprilia RS-GP 2:01.119 2.547 0.199

Records:

Year No Rider Bike Time Session
2019 9 Danilo Petrucci Ducati GP19 1:58.239 Sepang Test
2019 20 Fabio Quartararo Yamaha M1 1:58.303 Q2
2019 46 Valentino Rossi Yamaha M1 1:59.661 Race
           
2020 44 Pol Espargaro KTM RC16 1:59.444 Sepang Shakedown
Round Number: 
0
2020
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Comments

Smith is a complete waste of space on the aprilia. How does he expect them to let him ride the bike this season when he's slower than Yam test riders not named Jorge.

 

Smith is a complete waste of space on the aprilia. How does he expect them to let him ride the bike this season when he's slower than Yam test riders not named Jorge.

 

This is the problem of issuing times for testing, especially the first full test of the season. Smith slow, how do we know what he was being asked to do? Pedrosa third fastest, why not offer him a factory ride? Marquez only ninth, has he lost the plot?
 

When the flag drops, the bull***t stops. Never a truer word.

 

So true. Like David pointed out, according to the Sepang test last year, we should have seen a very different 2019 season than we actually did. We don’t know what everybody is working on during the test, especially on the first days. Still I am a bit worried about Smith’s speed, that always seems to be more than two seconds off. That may be good enough for most testing purposes, but not for the races. Still, it’s early days of course.

We also know that Aprilia have only brought two 2020 bikes to test. So he might be holding back a bit. 

With Savadori so far more than four seconds off the pace and Smith staying around 2,5 seconds, I’d like to see Karel Abraham have a go on the new Aprilia. He’s always been on second- or third-rate machinery and still managed to show some decent speed on different occasions.

Such a shame we probably won’t see Iannone on the RS-GP20. That would have been really interesting. 

Regarding test times-

Some of the bikes being tested here are not going to be raced in the first half of the season. Test riders often go out on the current-year development bike, with goals of refining parts to be used later in the year.

In other words, all factories have the '2020 race package' which will arrive in Qatar ready to race, and the '2020 development package' which is used to test ideas and material that will not be raced until after the summer break.

It is not likely they are going to tell anyone who is riding what.

Smith has often lapped under the pace. Not "that pace" up front, the pace outside of blue flag land of 3 racers on tough weekends or badly hurt. That is not meaningful, outside of a few ultra basics like reliability testing. P.Espargaro is a hero.

Smith finished 2015 6th in the Motogp championship, to Pol's 9th.  It wasn't even close, with Smith on 181pts to Pol's 114.  Iannone was highest placed Ducati that year, just 7 points ahead of Smith in 5th, with Dovi and Crutchlow comfortably in his wake. Not a bad effort on what was very much a B-spec M1 at the time.

Different bike, different tyres, and there are plenty of similar/better riders who would also find themselves out in the wastelands, as Zarco and Lorenzo illustrate.

Smith deserves more respect than he gets.  

 

This disparagement of a fast, cerebral and engaging rider baffles me. If I were a snide person I would be all over Tito Rabat's case as to when exactly he plans to either pull his thumb out of his arse and try or gtfo of the way of riders who truly do want to go fast and prosper in their careers. But I'm not.

Bradley was never a back marker, maybe not the fastest but neither the slowest. This is testing, for all we know he was being used as a mule to check out all sorts of ideas and was never expected to be fast this weekend.

I'm super impressed with Pedrosa hauling the KTM to within a tenth of the all-singing, all-dancing French wunderkid. I hope it leads to some real results this year.