Sepang 2 Test Day 3 - Lorenzo Takes Top Time

The final day of testing at Sepang saw an already depleted field thin out even more, with Nicky Hayden electing to head for home yesterday. That left only the Fiat Yamahas of Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo and the Gresini Hondas of Shinya Nakano and Alex de Angelis running laps, with the Kawasaki and Yamaha test teams making up the numbers.

Rossi spent much of the day concentrating on long runs on race tires, which produced evidence of significant progress in the Yamaha garage. The Italian site GPOne.com has an interesting comparison of the times set by Rossi and Casey Stoner at this test and the previous test at Sepang. For the sake of readability, I have reproduced them here:

Lap no. Rossi,
Feb 7th
Rossi,
Jan 24th
Stoner,
Jan 24th
1 2'56.609 2'03.485 2'01.940
2 2'03.419 2'02.290 2'01.865
3 2'02.161 2'02.201 2'01.584
4 2'01.834 2'02.741 2'01.910
5 2'01.781 2'02.073 2'01.693
6 2'01.869 2'02.219 2'13.140
7 2'01.551 2'01.879 2'01.570
8 2'01.764 2'01.852 2'01.510
9 2'01.627 2'02.241
10 2'01.550 2'02.239
11 2'01.839 2'02.524
12 2'02.001 2'02.128
13 2'01.965 2'02.165
14 2'02.292 2'02.276
15 2'02.312 2'38.814
16 2'02.140 2'03.473
17 2'02.018 2'02.064
18 2'01.952 2'02.172
19 2'01.920 2'02.469
20 2'01.437 2'04.038
21 2'01.701 2'02.112
22 2'01.982

Rossi's fastest lap of 2'01.190 led the timesheets for much of the day, until Jorge Lorenzo started to test qualifying tires, the Spanish rookie quickly getting up to speed on soft rubber and coming within a tenth of a second of the existing pole record. On race tires, however, the 250 world champion was doing less well, only occasionally dipping into the 2'02 bracket.

The Gresini Honda men finished the test behind Rossi, still some way off the pace, with Shinya Nakano once again beating his rookie team mate Alex de Angelis.

Of the test teams, it was Kawasaki's Olivier Jacque who managed the most impressive times, taking half a second off his fastest time on Thursday, and getting within spitting distance of genuine race pace. The remaining riders were at least 2 seconds off the pace, with Yamaha's test riders significantly slower than the Kawasakis.

Testing resumes in just over a week's time, with the official IRTA test at Jerez. All of the teams will be present at that test, which will include the official qualifying session, where the fastest rider will win a BMW sports car. That qualifying session will be broadcast live on TV channels in some parts of the world, especially in Europe. Check your local listings for more details.

Pos. Rider Bike Time Fast Lap Total Laps
1. Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 2'00.705 72 73
2. Valentino Rossi Yamaha 2'01.190 23 48
3. Shinya Nakano Honda 2'02.135 14 23
4. Alex de Angelis Honda 2'02.193 12 20
5. Olivier Jacque Kawasaki 2'03.021 17 50
6. Tamaki Serizawa Kawasaki 2'03.623 29 31
7. Yamaha Test Team P Yamaha 2'06.000 26 27
8. Yamaha Test Team T Yamaha 2'06.040 28 44

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