Dani Pedrosa topped the timesheets once again on the second day of testing at Sepang, the Repsol Honda man getting off to a flying start and cracking into the 2'00s early in the session. He was joined there by Jorge Lorenzo, the Factory Yamaha rider once again shadowing Pedrosa, ending the day just two hundredths behind the Repsol rider. Marc Marquez confirmed his first day times were no fluke, the only other man to post a lap in the 2'00s, though the rookie was a quarter of a second slower than his teammate on Wednesday, losing a fraction of the ground.
It would be one of the larger understatements of the decade to say that the first MotoGP test of the year at Sepang was eagerly anticipated. After the anti-climactic washout that was Valencia, many big questions of the 2013 season had been left hanging in the air over the winter. Given that motorcycle racing fans hate a vacuum even more than Nature does, they filled it, with speculation, conjecture, hyperbole and not a small amount of vitriol.
Press releases issued by Honda, Yamaha, some CRT teams and Bridgestone after the first day of testing at Sepang:
Strong start for Repsol Honda Team in Sepang
The Repsol Honda Team have begun 2013 in the best possible way, with Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez finishing the first day 1st and 3rd respectively.
With the first full day of MotoGP testing behind us, we can start to compare times between this year and last year. Conditions were broadly similar, though as the CRT bikes had done a few laps over the past couple of days, there was slightly more rubber on the track than at the end of January in 2012. But discarding the difference in conditions between the two tests, a pattern emerges from the relative improvement or decline of the various riders.
Dani Pedrosa has ended the first full day of MotoGP testing at Sepang at the top of the timesheets. The Repsol Honda man was fast throughout the day, finally setting a time that would not be beaten with an hour left of the test.
It's nearly time. In a few short hours, the full MotoGP field will roll out onto the track for the first time this year, and the 2013 MotoGP season will officially get underway with preseason testing.
The FIXI Crescent Suzuki team unveiled their 2013 World Superbike contender today, posting photos on the team's website of the bikes, before they were shipped off to Australia for the upcoming test and opening round of the 2013 season. Below is the press release issued, and the photos of the bike:
2013 FIXI CRESCENT SUZUKIS UNVEILED
Team Suzuki Press Office - February 4.
The second day of the special CRT test at Sepang, laid on to allow the teams using the brand new Magneti Marelli spec ECU, was as beset by problems as the first day. If technical problems and a lack of parts had been the bane of day 1, it was the weather which dogged the teams, though technical problems persisted. Heavy rain in the morning meant that only Danilo Petrucci went to put in a few laps before running into an electrical issue with a coil left the engine running on two cylinders.
The first day of the extra two-day test for the CRT teams laid on to allow the teams using the new Magneti Marelli spec ECU has been almost entirely wasted. A lack of parts and above all, a lack of data with the new system meant that the day was spent mostly in the garage, with very few laps turned out on the track.
Bridgestone issued the following press release, explaining their strategy for 2013, and the tires to be tested for possible use in the upcoming MotoGP season:
Bridgestone rolls out new rubber for the first MotoGP™ group test of 2013
Saturday, February 2 2013
Bridgestone heads to Malaysia’s Sepang International Circuit to support the first MotoGP™ group test of 2013, as the world’s largest rubber goods manufacturer begins its fifth season as the official tyre supplier to the class.
With the first full test for the World Superbike class behind us, and the first test of the MotoGP grid about to get underway at Sepang at the end of this week, it is time to take a look at motorcycle racing's preseason, and evaluate where we stand so far. Just what is the state of play for both MotoGP and World Superbike in 2013?
The long wait of so many MotoGP fans is nearly over. The 2013 MotoGP season is about to get underway, or rather, the phony war of testing, which is the first step on the road to the 2013 MotoGP season. In just a few hours' time, the howl of the CRT machines will fill the grandstands at Sepang, joined two days later by the roar of the MotoGP prototypes.
The prospects of both MotoGP and World Superbikes visiting Wales took a step closer yesterday. Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta and Events Managing Director Javier Alonso flew to the UK earlier this week for a series of meetings about the proposed Circuit of Wales, a new facility that is to be built near Ebbw Vale, in South Wales.
While the Tech 3 MotoGP effort has been well-funded due to the team's association with energy drink brand Monster Energy, the team's Moto2 bikes have been relatively unadorned. With the departure of Belgian rider Xavier Simeon, and the loss of backing from Belgian TV station RTL, Tech 3's Moto2 effort looked to go with little backing for 2013.
With launch season in full swing, the next team to kick off their 2013 campaign was the CAME IODA Racing project. The team, run by former Aprilia supremo Giampiero Sacchi, will field two riders in MotoGP and one in Moto2. In the premier class, Danilo Petrucci returns to the team once again for his second year. He will be joined by former 250cc man Lukas Pesek, the Czech rider having found the prerequisite funds to secure a slot alongside Petrucci. Frenchman Johann Zarco will contest the Moto2 season for the team.