Halfway through the final day of testing at Sepang, and the track has fallen silent as most of the riders break for lunch. The only man disturbing the peace is Michele Pirro, grinding out the hard yards in the heat of the day, earning his keep as Ducati's test rider the hard way.
The day started bright, early and fast. Almost the entire grid went for a time attack in the first half hour after the track was open. Times tumbled, with Marc Marquez walking away with the fastest ever two-wheeled lap of the circuit, setting a time of 1'59.533 and smashing Casey Stoner's record here from 2011. Marquez was not the only man under the two-minute mark, though, being joined by Valentino Rossi, Jorge Lorenzo and the increasingly impressive Aleix Espargaro on the Open class NGM Forward Yamaha FTR.
Aleix Espargaro was not the only rider to impress. Andrea Dovizioso set the fastest time by a Ducati around circuit, a couple of tenths quicker than Casey Stoner's best time from 2010. Pol Espargaro is making a strong debut at Sepang, just over a second off the leaders in 8th, while Nicky Hayden has cut his deficit to Marquez by another half a second, and eight tenths quicker than his fastest time of Wednesday.
After the early attack, several riders started a long test run, pounding out a lot of laps. Here, too, Marquez had the upper hand, running for 15 or more laps at a pace in the low 2'00. More people are expect to work on tire endurance in the afternoon, all trying long runs. The riders are also testing the new communication lights, with the circuit flags now being shown on riders' dashboards via a system of signal lights. First impressions of the system were positive on Wednesday, once it was up and running, but a more complete evaluation should be completed by the end of the day.
Times at 2pm:
|1||93||Marc Marquez||Honda RC213V||1:59.533|
|2||46||Valentino Rossi||Yamaha M1||1:59.727||0.194||0.194|
|3||99||Jorge Lorenzo||Yamaha M1||1:59.866||0.333||0.139|
|4||41||Aleix Espargaro||Yamaha FTR Open||1:59.998||0.465||0.132|
|5||6||Stefan Bradl||Honda RC213V||2:00.112||0.579||0.114|
|6||26||Dani Pedrosa||Honda RC213V||2:00.223||0.690||0.111|
|7||4||Andrea Dovizioso||Ducati GP14||2:00.370||0.837||0.147|
|8||41||Pol Espargaro||Yamaha M1||2:00.655||1.122||0.285|
|9||29||Andrea Iannone||Ducati GP14||2:00.725||1.192||0.070|
|10||19||Alvaro Bautista||Honda RC213V||2:00.788||1.255||0.063|
|11||38||Bradley Smith||Yamaha M1||2:00.896||1.363||0.108|
|12||35||Cal Crutchlow||Ducati GP14||2:01.060||1.527||0.164|
|13||69||Nicky Hayden||Honda RCV1000R Open||2:01.514||1.981||0.454|
|14||51||Michele Pirro||Ducati GP14 Test||2:01.782||2.249||0.268|
|15||5||Colin Edwards||Yamaha FTR Open||2:02.292||2.759||0.510|
|16||14||Randy De Puniet||Suzuki Test||2:02.486||2.953||0.194|
|17||68||Yonny Hernandez||Ducati GP13 Open||2:02.556||3.023||0.070|
|18||72||Kosuke Akiyoshi||Honda RC213V Test||2:02.619||3.086||0.063|
|19||89||Katsuyuki Nakasuga||Yamaha M1 Test||2:02.788||3.255||0.169|
|20||7||Hiroshi Aoyama||Honda RCV1000R Open||2:02.819||3.286||0.031|
|21||45||Scott Redding||Honda RCV1000R Open||2:02.973||3.440||0.154|
|22||70||Michael Laverty||PBM Aprilia||2:03.187||3.654||0.214|
|23||8||Hector Barbera||Avintia Kawasaki||2:03.444||3.911||0.257|
|24||23||Broc Parkes||PBM Aprilia||2:03.810||4.277||0.366|
|25||63||Mike Di Meglio||Avintia Kawasaki||2:04.516||4.983||0.706|
|26||17||Karel Abraham||Honda RCV1000R Open||2:05.974||6.441||1.458|