2013 MotoGP Sepang 2 Test, Day 2 Times: Lorenzo Takes Top, Crutchlow Closes In

Jorge Lorenzo has topped the second day of testing at Sepang during the MotoGP class' second visit to the circuit, the factory Yamaha man finding the three tenths of a second he was seeking on day 1 of the test. Lorenzo was quick right out of the gate, setting a blistering mid-2:00 lap on his first exit, a time nobody would better except himself before the afternoon break. Even more impressive than his time is his consistency, however: Lorenzo is seemingly able to crank out mid-2:00 laps at will. The Spaniard's performance so far has been eerily similar to the test last year, where he laid the foundation for his 2012 title by grinding out lap after lap at race pace.

With Lorenzo on top of the timesheets, Dani Pedrosa was forced to settle for second, over a third of a second behind his main rival for the title. Pedrosa had spent most of the day working on suspension settings for Honda RC213V, but had been hampered by a problem with one of his bikes. Tomorrow, he told reporters, his team would try to put the best of what they'd found at the test together. 

An impressive Cal Crutchlow set the 3rd fastest time of the day, the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha man six tenths off the pace of Lorenzo on the factory bike. The lap by Crutchlow is close to his best time around the Malaysian circuit, and given the disparity between his satellite-spec M1 and the factory bike of Lorenzo, all the more admirable. Crutchlow also held off both Repsol Honda's rookie revelation Marc Marquez and nine-time world champion Valentino Rossi, though Crutchlow's margin over the two was slim. Marquez' gap to his Repsol Honda teammate remains around three tenths of a second, a gap that is sure to close as the Spaniard gains more experience.

Rossi's second test at Sepang is not going entirely to plan. After losing a good part of the first day to a technical issue, the Italian had a lot of ground to cover, Rossi finding himself uncharacteristically among the leaders in terms of numbers of laps put in. Rossi's target is his teammate, but with Lorenzo in his current form, that's a tough target.

The two satellite Hondas occupy the 6th and 7th slots on the timesheet, Alvaro Bautista getting the better of Stefan Bradl on Wednesday, and this time by a decent margin. Behind the Hondas, signs of improvement from Ducati, benefiting from the revised weight distribution, with the tank placed under the seat helping to centralize mass and the electronics moved to the forward part of the bike, underneath the front section of the tank.  Both men are still a second and a half off the pace of Lorenzo, but their times are inching towards being respectable. There is still a mountain of work to do for Ducati, but it is getting done, albeit very slowly.

The improvement is not just visible with the factory Ducatis. Andrea Iannone made some progress with the Pramac bike as well, moving up into 11th slot, and finally getting ahead of Aleix Espargaro on the Aspar Aprilia, Espargaro continuing to dominate the CRT class despite suffering massively with jet lag. Iannone is still nearly six tenths behind Bradley Smith, however, the Tech 3 rookie continuing to make steady progress in the class.

While one Pramac bike moves closer to the front, Ben Spies is losing ground. The Ignite Pramac man struggled to a 17th time on Wednesday, over three seconds behind Lorenzo and two seconds slower than his best time from last year on the Yamaha. Whether Spies is still suffering with his shoulder remains to be seen; a heavy fall on Tuesday cannot have helped.

The weather had been kind to the riders at Sepang, with the rain holding off all day, despite dark clouds continually threatening the track. The hope is that this will continue for Thursday, and the final day of testing.

Results from MotoGP Sepang 2 Day 2:

Pos No. Rider Bike Time Diff Prev.
1 99 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 2:00.282    
2 26 Dani Pedrosa Honda 2:00.651 0.369 0.369
3 35 Cal Crutchlow Yamaha 2:00.907 0.625 0.256
4 93 Marc Marquez Honda 2:00.992 0.710 0.085
5 46 Valentino Rossi Yamaha 2:01.065 0.783 0.073
6 19 Alvaro Bautista Honda 2:01.208 0.926 0.143
7 6 Stefan Bradl Honda 2:01.485 1.203 0.277
8 69 Nicky Hayden Ducati 2:01.778 1.496 0.293
9 4 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati 2:01.803 1.521 0.025
10 38 Bradley Smith Yamaha 2:02.023 1.741 0.220
11 29 Andrea Iannone Ducati 2:02.608 2.326 0.585
12 41 Aleix Espargaro Aprilia ART 2:02.905 2.623 0.297
13 51 Michele Pirro Ducati Test 2:02.920 2.638 0.015
14 T2 Katsayuki Nakasuga Yamaha Test 2:02.946 2.664 0.026
15 T1 Wataru Yoshikawa Yamaha Test 2:03.354 3.072 0.408
16 8 Hector Barbera FTR Kawasaki 2:03.428 3.146 0.074
17 11 Ben Spies Ducati 2:03.460 3.178 0.032
18 14 Randy de Puniet Aprilia ART 2:03.518 3.236 0.058
19 7 Hiroshi Aoyama FTR Kawasaki 2:03.990 3.708 0.472
20 9 Danilo Petrucci Suter BMW 2:04.279 3.997 0.289
21 17 Karel Abraham Aprilia ART 2:04.350 4.068 0.071
22 37 Takumi Takahashi Honda Test 2:04.512 4.230 0.162
23 5 Colin Edwards FTR Kawasaki 2:04.656 4.374 0.144
24 68 Yonny Hernandez Aprilia ART 2:04.671 4.389 0.015
25 71 Claudio Corti FTR Kawasaki 2:04.709 4.427 0.038
26 67 Bryan Staring FTR Honda 2:05.439 5.157 0.730
27 52 Lukas Pesek Suter BMW 2:06.206 5.924 0.767
28 33 Michael Laverty PBM Aprilia 2:07.721 7.439 1.515

 

Lap records and best times from Sepang 1 2013 and Sepang 2 2012:

2013 Sepang 1 test Dani Pedrosa Honda 2:00.100
2007 Race record Casey Stoner Ducati 2:02.108
2012 Pole record Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 2:00.334
2012 Sepang 2 test Casey Stoner Honda 2:00.473

 

2013
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Total votes: 43

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Comments

...... CAL up to 3rd.

Also, very happy with AB19 & SB6 where thru are.
Let's hope they can continue with this ever increasing pace come race day.

All the colored Ducks are still struggling I see......

Total votes: 62

Would give Cal just a couple of new bits for his bike to make the fight even more interesting and also to save his balls a bit this year as i fear he will be riding over the limit a lot just to keep up with the front guys.
Dovi and Ben must really be scratching their heads and thinking WTF have they done (other than the obvious big payday) as they are going to suffer some extremely demoralizing times this coming season, as the tests times are showing already.
Well done to Bradley and also to Marc on their race paces thus far..

We just need the season to get started proper now.......

Total votes: 73

pisses me off that qatar day is still so far in future..every year dec-march is so boring and these tests destabilise the hard-maintained patience even more.

Total votes: 67

Shouldn't this

"...Both men are still a second and a half off the pace of Pedrosa..."

be

"...Both men are still a second and a half off the pace of Lorenzo..."?

Total votes: 63

Over the past tests, I got so used to writing "Pedrosa" as the fastest that I made a mistake here. Fixed now, thanks!

Total votes: 65

that ducati are so off the pace. It's looking like they will never be competitive again. If I were the CEO, and the Panigale worked out in WSBK, I would ditch motogp. What's the point in running with the ART? Not only that, but they are sucking the likes of Ianone and Dovi into their black hole. And those riders, especially Dovi, need a decent factory ride.

Bring on Suzuki, and I really really hope Aprilia (proper prototype racer) too.

Which brings me on to Espargaro. Why Monster Tech Yamaha didn't snap him up to replace Dovi is beyond me. I can only imagine that Aprilia have promised him big things in the future. I mean, the guy is a half a second to a second ahead of his team mate!!! And his team mate is RdP!! The guy's out-performing his team mate more than any other rider in the paddock.

As for Lorenzo - it's like watching roger federer play tennis. He makes it look easy and you start to take it for granted. I am expecting BIG things from Dani this year - even more than last year - because in the absence of CS27 and a on-fire Dani, this year is going to be a calk walk for Jorge.

Total votes: 77

I don't know but I think Bradley Smith was the big english hope before Cal arrived and Dorna did everything the could to give him a MotoGP ride (TV money...). I don't belive Smith is worthy of the ride he's got now considering his last year in Moto2. There are better CRT and Moto2 riders out there.

But I would be happy if he proved me wrong!

Total votes: 69

Everyone seems to forget is that the Tech3 Mistral 610 is underdeveloped compared to the Stuer/Kalex Moto2 bikes (no offence to Tech3, as I wish more teams would develop their own bikes).

Yes, Smith is the slowest of the Yamaha/Honda prototype riders, but he's also a rookie. Give the lad a chance.

Total votes: 63

It's interesting how Ducati's 1.5 seconds off the pace is deemed "respectable". But for the previous 2 years, 1.5 seconds was a complete nightmare and insurmountable catastrophe! Hmmm....

Crutchlow is impressive and I hope he continues to stick his nose in there.

But testing is exactly what it is....testing.

Racing is where these kids cut their teeth. And when it comes to race day, there's only a handful with the grit and toughness to win. Even though Lorenzo rips off consistently good times, in race trim my money would be on sightly slower Pedrosa, Marquez and definately Rossi.

When Lorenzo (like Stoner) is raced hard, his record isn't as favorable.

Total votes: 73

assuming you're talking of motogp and not the lower classes (where they all had to race battles almost every race to win), no idea what gives the impression that dani has more chance of winning if raced hard (except brno 2012 i cant seem to remember him doing so) and marquez hasnt even raced in motogp yet..agreed jorge and casey dont have as much favourable a record in motogp battles (particularly casey) as rossi, but that's only compared to rossi.

Total votes: 67

Ducati seems to be making surgical slices with a scapel, (hope that is spelled correctly), to make changes to the bike. Dovi seems to have improved greatly, Nicky too. The changes were not large, but what was changed made a difference. Seems like their engineering crew is more focused this year. Maybe too much pressure with Rossi there. Perhaps that caused them to run around like teenage girls in love with Justin Bieber at his concert.

Too early to tell, but that change in where the fuel went seems to have cut half a second in time due to the change in feeling. Dovi says it is in the corners that he feels more confident. Cannot remember what part, but seeing that corner entry, middle, and exit was the problem. Any improvements help.

Cal is getting more and more of my respect everyday. His mental strength seems to be growing with every ride. Lorenzo, Pedrosa, and Marquez are on another planet. This is just testing, when it comes down to racing I am sure they will all pull out more pace than is seen in these test sessions. Rossi... it is a relief to see him doing decent times again. He was never really much of a qualifier or the best in tests. His true colors come out in the races. So I am waiting for the first five races before I say a damn thing about him. Thanks for all the coverage. Reading this site is one of my favorite addictions.

Total votes: 52