2018 Sepang MotoGP Test Tuesday 12pm Times: Lorenzo Under Lap Record As Riders Hunting Times

With next to no rain overnight, the MotoGP riders were met with a bone dry and blistering hot track on Tuesday morning, which meant they went straight to work. First order of business was a time attack: with air temperatures still rising, this was the best chance of a fast time the riders had been given during all three days of the test. 

Their attempts were rewarded. Half the field was quickly into the 1'59s, and before noon, Jorge Lorenzo had smashed the existing unofficial lap record of the track set by Marc Marquez in 2015. Lorenzo's time of 1'58.830 was just a fraction under the 1'58.867 set by Marquez, but it is a sign of both how much faster Lorenzo is this year, and how much the Michelins have improved in their first two seasons back in MotoGP.

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2018 Sepang MotoGP Test Monday Round Up: Motor Monday, Miller Monday

The second day of MotoGP testing at Sepang turned out to be Motor Monday. Four of MotoGP's six manufacturers dedicated their day to gathering the data to make a decision on their 2018 engine. All of them have the lessons of 2017 in mind, when the rule on sealed engines caught Suzuki out completely, and Honda to a lesser extent. Make the wrong choice in testing, and you have nineteen races to spend regretting it, much as Suzuki did last year.

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2018 Sepang MotoGP Test Monday 5pm Times: Marquez Takes Over As Riders Put In Final Charge

More changes in the standings as the final hour starts. With the risk of rain increasing at the end of the day, everyone is trying to post a fast lap before the session ends. Marc Marquez is currently fastest, having taken over from Andrea Dovizioso. Jack Miller and Jorge Lorenzo have jumped into the top five.

Times at 5pm:

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2018 Sepang MotoGP Test Monday 4pm Times: Dovizioso Still Fastest As Pol Espargaro Crashes

Just one change in the order since 2:30pm, with Alvaro Bautista having improved his time. Andrea Dovizioso is still fastest, just a fraction quicker than Valentino Rossi, while Marc Marquez is third, all three riders getting into the 1'59s. Alex Rins is fourth quickest, making it four different manufacturers in the top four. Pol Espargaro's seventh fastest time takes that total to five different factories in the top seven, with only Aprilia missing. 

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2018 Sepang MotoGP Test Monday 12:30pm Times: Dovizioso Leads As Riders Start Early

Overnight rain meant the riders were forced to wait for the track to dry before getting underway, but by 11am, it was dry enough for the action to commence. The track is busy at the moment, with riders with a lot of work to do making use of the dry conditions. Andrea Dovizioso is fastest at 12:30, the Ducati rider getting quickly up to speed and taking over on his fourth lap. Cal Crutchlow is second quickest on the LCR Honda, while Pol Espargaro continues to impress on the KTM in third.

Times at 12:30:

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2018 Sepang MotoGP Test Sunday Press Releases

Press releases from the MotoGP teams after the first day of the Sepang test:

Dani Pedrosa tops the standings on day 1 in Sepang, Marc Marquez seventh

Dani Pedrosa set the fastest time of the opening day of the Sepang test, with a mark of 1’59.427” on his 55th lap (out of 56), while Marc Marquez ended seventh overall with a best time of 2’00.290” on his 50th lap (out of 51).

In typical Malaysian fashion, the morning dawned under heavy rain, so the asphalt was still wet when the track opened at 10 a.m.

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2018 Sepang MotoGP Test Sunday Round Up: Deceptive Pace, And New Engines, New Frames, New Hopes

The first day of testing after the winter break is always tough, and often deceptive. Riders spend the day trying to get their heads around mind-warping speed which simply can't be replicated by time on an MX or Supermoto bike. They have to deal with cramp in muscles they had forgotten existed, and which are only taxed by the very specific task of wrangling a 157kg MotoGP around Sepang's serpentine tarmac at speeds of over 320 km/h. They have to do all this in tropical heat, temperatures in the mid 30s °C and humidity of over 70% or more. The fresh-faced youngsters who spoke to us the day before are looking about 20 years older at their debriefs.

So sure, we have a timesheet, with names ranked in order of fastest lap. But that ranking should be regarded with a certain amount of caution. The first day of the test is a day of acclimatizing to riding the fastest racing motorcycles in the world again, and preparing for what is to come before the season starts. "The target today is just ride," Andrea Iannone said on Sunday night. "Ride, recover the feeling and arrive ready for tomorrow to start the plan we have."

Some recover that feeling faster than others, of course, and some aim to put in a fast lap and establish themselves, while others prefer to focus on getting back into a race rhythm, and working on all that entails. But in the end, the results should be taken with a grain or two of salt, at the very least.

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2018 Sepang MotoGP Test Sunday Times: Pedrosa Tops Busy Day Of Testing

Dani Pedrosa topped what ended up being a full day of testing at Sepang. After a damp start to the day, the track dried out around 1pm and conditions improved after that. The riders took full advantage of the good conditions to ride until the end of the day, racking up the laps. 

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2018 Sepang MotoGP Test Sunday 5pm Times: Rossi On Top As Track Stays Dry

Valentino Rossi heads the timesheets at 5pm at Sepang, the sun still shining and the riders taking full advantage of the dry weather. Rossi is three tenths quicker than Dani Pedrosa, while Andrea Dovizioso is a fraction behind in third. 

The day has been relatively incident free so far. Cal Crutchlow and Alvaro Bautista both crashed, though both apparently without injury. Andrea Iannone's Suzuki packed up halfway round the track, leaving him standing. With the last hour of the test approaching, a few riders could attack Rossi's fastest time at the end of the day. 

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2018 Sepang MotoGP Test Sunday 4pm Times: Dovizioso Heads Viñales As Pace Hots Up

The track is now fully dry, and almost the entire grid are grinding out the laps at 4pm. Andrea Dovizioso currently leads, just ahead of the Yamahas of Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi. Cal Crutchlow is the first of the Hondas in fourth, a fraction faster than Jorge Lorenzo on the second factory Ducati and Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez on the Repsol Honda. 

Cal Crutchlow had a very minor spill, but nothing too serious judging by the damage to his LCR Honda.

Times at 4pm:

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2018 Sepang MotoGP Test Sunday 2:30pm Times: Marquez Quickest As Track Dries

The track is pretty close to dry now at Sepang, and testing is beginning to take place in earnest. As of 2:30pm, Marc Marquez was the quickest of the lot, just ahead of Maverick Viñales and Dani Pedrosa. But the dry track is changing very quickly, and the track is very busy, as teams squeeze as many laps as possible into the afternoon before the rain comes.

Times at 2:30pm:

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