HRC Sepang Private Test Day 3: Marquez Ends Test Fastest As Rain Stops Play

The weather offered the HRC riders another window of opportunity on the final day of testing at Sepang, with the track dry enough for a few more hours of riding on Wednesday. Marc Marquez leaves the circuit as fastest of the two full-time MotoGP riders, the young Spanish rookie unable to match his time from Tuesday as he worked through a range of set up options ahead of the test in February. A longer run had been planned at the end of the day, but the return of the rain put a halt to any such ambitions.

Alvaro Bautista was also slower on the final day of testing, his gap to Marquez consistently just under six tenths of a second, just as it was on Tuesday. Bautista spent more time evaluating the Showa suspension and new brake parts from Nissin, as part of a program to decide whether to continue with the Japanese-built suspension and brakes or not. At the end of the test, Bautista told Jose Maroto of Spanish magazine Motociclismo that he and the team had decided to continue with the Showa suspension, a decision that will please HRC, as Honda plan to use Showa suspension on their production racer to be launched in 2014.

Honda's test program for 2012 is now at an end, just as Ducati's final test of the year commences at Jerez. The next time Honda take to the track will be at the first official MotoGP test of 2013, between February 5th-7th, back in Sepang.

Times from final day of testing, courtesy of the @MotoGP Twitter feed:

Pos Rider Time Diff Previous
1 Marc Marquez 2:01.560    
2 Alvaro Bautista 2:02.150 0.590 0.590
3 Kousuke Akiyoshi 2:03.300 1.740 1.150
4 Takumi Takahashi 2:06.320 4.760 3.020

Pole record: 2:00.334 - Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha, 2012)
Lap record: 2:02.108 - Casey Stoner (Ducati, 2007)  

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Total votes: 44

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Why are there so many tests at Sepang, official and indepdendent? The test track (indepdent) seems to define the bike - i.e. Honda @ Motegi cf. Yamaha & Ducati @ Mugello but I don't see the merit of Sepang. I would have thought a variety ranging from point-and-squirt (e.g. Valencia) to the flowing (e.g. Mugello, Phillip Island, Brno) and somewhere inbetween (e.g. Jerez, Catalunya, Aragon, or Motegi) if not an explcit balance of both like Sachsenring or Donington Park with the lovingly named "car park section" ammendment. *inviting counter-evidence shit-storm*

Can someone explain?

Also, go Marquez! (inb4 testing is testing, not racing. *duh*) Here's hoping Rossi is back in winning form (though for how many?) and we have 4 aliens again! Because 4 is better than 2. (But not as good as 8. Bring on the so-called "production racers" but not that sham known as CRT.)

Total votes: 216

it is warm. You wouldn't want to winter test at Motegi . Plus I think it's a much better track than Motegi

Total votes: 208

Malaysia is closer to Japan than Europe, that is one factor.

Another is the track itself. It has a mix of everything and is a very good test of the bikes.

Total votes: 198