2014 MotoGP Sepang 2 Day 2 Final Times: Pedrosa Exerts His Authority

Dani Pedrosa put in a blistering lap at the end of the session to lead the second day of testing for the MotoGP class at Sepang. On a track which was much improved from Wednesday, Pedrosa - still suffering from jet lag and physically weakened - put himself nearly three tenths clear of the field.

Second slot was once again filled by Aleix Espargaro, proving that the Open Yamaha can put in fast single laps with ease. Whether Aleix can maintain that pace over a full race is still uncertain, as the elder of the two Espargaro brothers has yet to put in a race simulation. Yesterday's fastest man Alvaro Bautista was quick once again, grabbing third just under half a second off the time of Pedrosa. The new Showa rear shock is proving consistently better for the Gresini Honda man. Bautista also put in a race simulation, but was slower than the other satellite Honda, Stefan Bradl also having put in a race simulation. Though Bradl was only 6th on the timesheets, his race run was strong, consistently posting laps in the low 2'01.

Valentino Rossi ended the day in 4th, the Italian faring much better with the new Bridgestone tires than his teammate Jorge Lorenzo. Lorenzo is completely demoralized by his pace on the new rear Bridgestone, ending the day down in 9th, over a second off the pace of Pedrosa. Lorenzo wasn't even this far off the pace of the front runners at Assen, where he rode after breaking his collar bone.

The improvement in the Ducati camp looks consistent, Andrea Dovizioso ending the day in 5th, three quarters of a second behind Pedrosa, while teammate Cal Crutchlow had a much better day as well, setting the 7th fastest time just over a tenths off the time of Dovizioso.


Pos No   Rider Time Diff Diff previous
1 26 Dani Pedrosa Honda RC213V 2:00.039    
2 41 Aleix Espargaro Yamaha FTR Open 2:00.320 0.281 0.281
3 19 Alvaro Bautista Honda RC213V 2:00.500 0.461 0.180
4 46 Valentino Rossi Yamaha M1 2:00.605 0.566 0.105
5 4 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati GP14 2:00.787 0.748 0.182
6 6 Stefan Bradl Honda RC213V 2:00.902 0.863 0.115
7 35 Cal Crutchlow Ducati GP14 2:00.952 0.913 0.050
8 44 Pol Espargaro Yamaha M1 2:01.027 0.988 0.075
9 99 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha M1 2:01.049 1.010 0.022
10 38 Bradley Smith Yamaha M1 2:01.098 1.059 0.049
11 29 Andrea Iannone Ducati GP14 2:01.173 1.134 0.075
12 68 Yonny Hernandez Ducati GP13 Open 2:01.658 1.619 0.485
13 5 Colin Edwards Yamaha FTR Open 2:01.996 1.957 0.338
14 69 Nicky Hayden Honda RCV1000R Open 2:02.088 2.049 0.092
15 14 Randy De Puniet Suzuki Test 2:02.139 2.100 0.051
16 8 Hector Barbera Avintia Kawasaki 2:02.149 2.110 0.010
17 45 Scott Redding Honda RCV1000R Open 2:02.652 2.613 0.503
18 7 Hiroshi Aoyama Honda RCV1000R Open 2:02.786 2.747 0.134
19 51 Michele Pirro Ducati GP14 Test 2:02.799 2.760 0.013
20 89 Katsuyuki Nakasuga Yamaha M1 Test 2:02.802 2.763 0.003
21 63 Mike Di Meglio Avintia Kawasaki 2:03.946 3.907 1.144
22 17 Karel Abraham Honda RCV1000R Open 2:05.198 5.159 1.252
23 9 Nobu Aoki Suzuki Test 2:07.462 7.423 2.264


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Its been said many times already, but Aleix is killing the motogp field with ease so it seems. If he's taking the scalps of full factory riders this season... his stock will triple by the end of the year! He needs a full-factory ride! Pedrosa or Bradl's seat may be Aleix's next year! Yamaha needs to have another full factory rider (AE41) next year if Rossi decides not to retire!

Ducati would be fools to choose the Open category. This pretty much proves they'll stay Factory.

Will it be easier for the Factory teams to find 3/4ths of a second, or the Open machines to find 1.5 seconds? I don't think it's as obvious as you seem to be implying. Seeing Aleix go faster than last year's Tech 3 bike shows me that the Open software doesn't automatically relegate you to the back of the Factory bikes. Since they'll all be on the Open software (the following year?), I like the idea of them getting a head start on the inevitable.

It's all about the race distance. Ducati is still making big changes and not being able to rewrite the software to fit the newest iteration of the chassis is a big disadvantage.

They can still alter parameters in the championship software. There are no big changes full stop if they stay the factory option, the engine freeze inhibits major chassis changes which is the real disadvantage.

Maybe Ducati should tear a page from Yamaha's book by leasing the GP14 engine to as many chassis manufacturers as possible. Perhaps one of the chassis manufacturers could find something that works.

Ducati would be fools to stay factory. They need to put together a 5 year plan of attack and plan for the future and open class would be their best bet to develop engines. Gotta remember 5 engines that cannot be modified in any way shape or form will make it difficult to move the engine around in the Chassis to find the right set up.

Since when has 5 years been a possibility in this class? 2002-2007 990s, 2007-2012 1000s. So, at the end of your 5 years they, in theory, would have caught up just enough for HRC to then stamp their collective feet for another rule change! That is one of the principle reasons there ARE only 3 manufacturers in the class (4 from next year, in theory). It is also why those that are there are content (relatively) to have more changes to the rules, it successfully manages to maintain the status quo.
Having said that, I think that your premise is correct; Get a head start in what is going to be the only class next year. Unfortunately, I don't think it is going to be anything more than a lot of hard work for very little gain.

Fools? I think not. As reported on other sites Dovi was riding with open software today. Uncertain though if his best time was set with open software.

I think the bigger question with Aleix isn't whether he can go all race at that pace. The real question is can he be fast with the FTR chassis?
I'm huge on AE41, but he's essentially riding a satellite bike right now. Can we say anything about his times? He's not even on the bike he'll be riding this year! What if it turns out FTR's chassis doesn't react the same or what if there is no chassis at all?
I want to see him do well this year, but I don't think you can get hyped when a huge component of the bike hasn't even been tested yet.

I wonder if that FTR chassis is ever going to show up. Forward has an excellent chassis at their disposal now. Why pay FTR to build one ?

Perhaps this is just what the root cause is of the 'delivery problems' between FTR and Forward.......

... they have one Yamaha chassis per rider, and Yamaha won't be supplying more. Awfully tough if not impossible to get through an entire season with just one!

if there is no FTR chassis, is the Forward team even allowed to compete??? If its a real Yamaha M1 engine with a real Yamaha M1 Chassis would that not violate the Open Class rules? Wouldn't it just be a satellite bike with Controlled electronics??? I'm seriously asking haha not being a jerk.

I believe the only requirement for "Open Class" entries is that they run the Magnetti Marelli Spec Software... This is why Ducati has the choice to go either way with their current factory machines.

>>Wouldn't it just be a satellite bike with Controlled electronics???

Also known as an Open bike. Honda could swap software on Marquez's bike and reclassify it as open.

At least we will finally have a true comparison for a factory designed and fabricated frame to a constructor designed and fabricated one. FTR is definitely putting themselves out there trying to match the performance of the best all-around bike on the grid. Then again, if they were not up for the challenge they would not be in the paddock.


Really? According to the riders, the HRC is better on the brakes, has better stability and is better coming out of the corners, which leaves the Yamaha chassis as the best? Come off it!
If the past is anything to go by (and a lot has happened since the days of Harris-framed 500s), FTR will have all the chassis dimensions of the factory M1. That, though, is a long way from having a useable chassis. Any chassis manufacturer who can get within 1 sec of a factory frame's performance, even with all the chassis data, is going to be doing really well.
Having said that Aleix is, once again, doing a stupendous job. I've been saying for a long time how much he deserves a full fat ride, the problem is the lack competitive rides. Having only 4 competitive factory rides and only 3 factories is not a good situation to be in.

"Honda could swap software on Marquez's bike and reclassify it as open ..."

Which, of course, they could do, mop the floor with everyone again, and the whining and bitching would start anew ...

It's so funny. Does anyone really think electronics is the reason Marc is so fast? He spent years on GP machines with no electronics and wiped out the field.

But somehow, a spec ECU and spec software that's heavier, way more expensive and less effective is going to make the racing better.

Did Pedrosa actually utter a profanity in his post-test interview, as another website quotes him as saying? By God, the feller might be letting his hair down a little!

(p.s. Huge Pedrosa fan here. Seriously.)

I know it's just testing, and it's early days, and all that.
But I wonder how nervous Lorenzo might be.

Popular wisdom holds that Yamaha will cater to him
because he is their only hope for challenging the
reign of Honda and Marquez. But what if...

Yamaha decide to put their factory effort behind Rossi
this year? They could go all-in with him to try to beat
Marquez in the short term.

In subsequent years, Yamaha could throw in with
the Espargaro brothers. With Aleix going so well on the
open Yamaha, and Pol coming up to speed on the satellite
Yamaha, maybe Lorenzo is not looking so precious in
the long run.

If I can dream up this scenario, surely cut-throat Jarvis
can do the same. No wonder Lorenzo is so "demoralized".

much writing about what if! yamaha,jorge, esp brothers,rossi,jarvis.! but its so easy "its the tyre"
nothing more nothing less

bridgstone must have known that eliminating edge grip wil kill Jorge. its very simple! and more riders were complaining....
The 2013 tyre worked very well for honda and yamaha

I know it's a lot of what if's. And I know it's early days.
I'm just musing over the possibilities.

Yes, it's the tyre. So now what do Yamaha do?
Do they spend a lot of money to adjust the bike for the
new tyre and Lorenzo's riding style? Or do they perhaps
spend less money to make the bike work for Rossi?

As has been pointed out, Yamaha would likely lose Lorenzo.
But perhaps they're willing to do this since the Esp Bros
look so promising.

And if Yamaha become willing to lose Lorenzo, how fat
would that offer from Honda actually be?

It's a very depressing scenario for Lorenzo.

While Rossi has fixed his breaking issues he is also having problems with the new spec rear tire. Any changes Yamaha do to the bike to resolve that issue for Rossi will also benefit Lorenzo. The situation is not a 1 or the other.

Your also forgetting that Pol is doing well in testing but hasn't raced a single race in the big class and Alexi is benefiting for the softer open class tire. From Hayden's interview the harder open class tire (the same tire as the softest factory tire) doesn't work very well for the open bikes either. So who is to say Alex would fair any better on a factory bike if he was forced to use the same tires?

Lorenzo is pissed, but I doubt it is because he is worried about his stock going down. Neither Yamaha or Honda has made a secret of how they evaluate his stock and that is not going to change based on tires.

There are a lot of if's in your questions but they are not even remotely based on the situation on the ground.

Rossi's comments on the new spec rear tires

Hayden's comment on the Factory tire issue

grip on the Honda is not it's strength, which is what Yamaha has built around Lorenzo. I'm not sure Lorenzo is going to find it any better over at Honda (especially with Marquez their current golden boy)... and he certainly must know this.

I wonder if the new Bridgestone tyre is a political move to force the factories to move to open? Why else change to a tyre that everyone agrees is worse than last year? More secure says Bridgestone, hmm I say BS.

Actually the Honda riders seem pleased with the new tire.

Marquez: "We saw that we can improve our cornering and exiting, and also trying out the new Bridgestone tyre was very positive; they worked very well and I like them."

Pedrosa: "We have to see how they respond at other circuits, but the truth is that both the soft and hard can be used now, whereas last season you could only use the soft compound. The previous hard tyre had no grip, so in this sense things have also gone well."

... and Pedrosa: "Obviously edge grip is different from the tyre from last year but you have to work on the bike to make it better"

...Mandy Rice-Davies,"Well, they would say that wouldn't they."

With Yamaha apparently struggling and Lorenzo, their key competitor, struggling yet more, why would ever say anything other than the tyre is great.

As well as making life harder for their competition it may also hasten Lorenzo's dissatisfaction with Yamaha.

Without anyone blowing the top off the time sheets things are looking quite dicey. Precisely the lure for rule makers to keep a changing the rules, is or fondness for being surprised.

Everyone seems ecstatic that open bikes are coming with the assumption that having spec software will guarantee equal performance. But one question that hasn't been asked is does this guarantee that factories provide equal equipment to everyone?

For example even with open software neither Honda or Yamaha need to provide seamless shifting hardware to any of the other teams. Nor do they need to provide them with pneumatic valves (ala Hayden's RCV1000R). And bikes such as the Avintia Kawi will lose any of the competitive edge that they currently have (no more softer option tires no more unlimited testing)

I'm all for open software but I think people are jumping to the conclusion that open software is the magic bullet that will all of a sudden guarantee closer racing throughout the field which it hasn't yet proven to be, even in F1. As for the close racing in Moto 2 and Moto 3; Moto 2 has no factory teams and completely stock hardware (randomly assigned to ensure fairness) and Moto 3 is a prime example of a factory, KTM, deciding to spend like crazy on hardware and only the two richest teams are winning. This year Honda is upping the ante and created a super one of for one team. How exactly is that fair? Or even allow tertiary teams the opportunity to win?

Scroll down and look at the Moto3 manufactur standings for the full effect of that I'm getting at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2013_Grand_Prix_motorcycle_racing_season

Nobody can realistically believe that spec software will create parity all through the field. That just won't happen. But, there is the potential for Dorna to back down the electronic rider aids through the spec software. This is why I support the concept... returning the primary method of traction control to the rider's right wrist.

I would add that 24L also means that some of those riders who are not able to run 20+ laps without making a single mistake may no longer be dropped off the freight train one by one after lap 5. Yes this may be penalising the aliens (at the end of last year there were only 3) but even the aliens were penalised last year if they farted at the wrong time and this year with 20L it looks like they will be smacked even harder if they fart at all.

So, it's not just the software uniformity but also the relaxing of the fuel consumption equation, and for some teams the ability to play with more engines as they sort out the best frame/engine combination.

Lastly, you are absolutely correct when you say that the factories will never give all satellite teams "full factory equipment" but the "full open rules" should hopefully level a great deal of the playing field to the point where the rider is clearly the major difference.

I guess sticking to my Moto 3 example if for the entire season we only get 3 guys on the podium and everyone else battling for 4rth and lower (rears stepping out, smoking and all), is that a championship that is healthy and really offering excitement? No matter how much development privateers do they don't have the funds to compete with factories when it comes to testing. The dollars spent on electronics will simply be shifted to new shifting mechanisms, fuel injection options and lower friction engine components.

In the 4 stroke, CAD designed era I absolutely don't think privateers can compete to win without harsh rules that pretty much dictate max spending, tight hardware limitations combined with strong enforcement.

So many people's opinions, all valid in one way or another. The thing I've taken away from the past 2 days Aleix wise, is he's not done a simulation....yet. Will he be as quick consistently over 20 laps? I hope so, because it would be great! Yes, I know, another if...

Jorge refused to speak to the media today, understandably, if you rocked up to work after a holiday and you couldn't do your job as well as you did before you'd be pissed too!!

Nicky's complaining of tyres, Colins complaining of tyres...so I cannot see that the Bridgestones this year are a "move towards open class". The facts are everyone hates them (except Repsol riders it seems). The cynic in me says HRC are sabre rattling. But I'm sure that's wrong, it better be.

Valentino is "worried" about the tyres as well. Sure the front end feels better, but he's gotta be thinking "for Christs sake what NEXT"? But, as he also said, different tracks give different results. Be very interesting to see what happens at Philip Island.

Brilliant to see Dani up the front, please, please, PLEASE Dani, this time...

I really don't think that DP is ever going to lift the title now, last year had to be his best chance and he didn't even manage to get 2nd. MM will just get stronger and HRC will have handed the reins over to him vis-a-vis development. DP's style may suit that direction of development, but I have my doubts.If Dp is to win it, he's going to have to hope for seriously bad luck for MM, don't forget that MM was in his first year last year and still beat DP by 34 points, he also had double the number of wins and only dropped off the podium twice all year, both times when he fell. Contrast that with DP's record; 3 times he failed to end on the podium, in spite of Rossi struggling most of the year. DP beat his team mate only 5 times last year, whereas MM did it 9 times to him. None of those are good statistics for DP, and things are only likely to get worse for him.
Yes, MM has broken his leg, but he is almost certainly going to be fit for the start of the season and, with last season's results in mind, MM has dealt what must be close to a fatal blow to DP's psyche. At this level, winning is as much about the psychology as anything else.