2016 Sepang MotoGP Test Wednesday Final Times: Lorenzo Dominates, Rossi Second

The sun came out at around 4pm at Sepang, and quickly dried off the rain which had fallen throughout the early afternoon. The track dried, and most of the field took to the track again, everyone chasing a fast lap. 

Jorge Lorenzo ended the day fastest, the only rider to get under the two minute mark, and ending the test nearly a second quicker than his teammate Valentino Rossi. The Hondas made an improvement, Marc Marquez leapfrogging over Cal Crutchlow to take third, the LCR Honda rider dropping to fourth ahead of Casey Stoner. Stoner was the fastest of the Ducatis, with Danilo Petrucci in seventh and Andrea Iannone in eighth.

Times at the end of the day at Sepang:

Pos No Rider Bike Time Diff Prev
1 99 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha M1 1:59.580    
2 46 Valentino Rossi Yamaha M1 2:00.556 0.976 0.976
3 93 Marc Márquez Honda RC213V 2:00.883 1.303 0.327
4 35 Cal Crutchlow Honda RC213V 2:00.992 1.412 0.109
5 27 Casey Stoner Ducati GP15 Test 2:01.070 1.490 0.078
6 26 Dani Pedrosa Honda RC213V 2:01.161 1.581 0.091
7 9 Danilo Petrucci Ducati GP15 2:01.217 1.637 0.056
8 29 Andrea Iannone Ducati GP16 2:01.223 1.643 0.006
9 45 Scott Redding Ducati GP15 2:01.229 1.649 0.006
10 25 Maverick Viñales Suzuki GSX-RR 2:01.244 1.664 0.015
11 8 Hector Barbera Ducati GP14.2 2:01.434 1.854 0.190
12 41 Aleix Espargaro Suzuki GSX-RR 2:01.623 2.043 0.189
13 4 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati GP16 2:01.675 2.095 0.052
14 68 Yonny Hernandez Ducati GP14.2 2:01.774 2.194 0.099
15 44 Pol Espargaro Yamaha M1 2:01.870 2.290 0.096
16 38 Bradley Smith Yamaha M1 2:01.918 2.338 0.048
17 76 Loris Baz Ducati GP14.2 2:02.541 2.961 0.623
18 6 Stefan Bradl Aprilia RS-GP 2:02.792 3.212 0.251
19 21 Katsuyuki Nakasuga Yamaha M1 Test 2:02.940 3.360 0.148
20 53 Tito Rabat Honda RC213V 2:03.012 3.432 0.072
21 19 Alvaro Bautista Aprilia RS-GP 2:03.183 3.603 0.171
22 50 Eugene Laverty Ducati GP14.2 2:03.519 3.939 0.336

 

2016
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Comments

has lost nothing in his 4 year layoff.....looking forward to him racing and winning the Australian GP!!!

There's now absolutely no doubt that he has lost none of his speed. I certainly didn't think he'd be this quick, so soon after getting on the thing. After such a long time away, it really is amazing stuff.

I guess the old saying is true... you don't simply forget talent like that.

Rossi must surely be fizzing at being a second off from Jorge's time, though? His side of the Yamaha garage will surely be doing a lot of head scratching over the coming weeks. It's a massive gulf in lap time, at one of #46's better tracks, too.

Interesting times ahead!

Getting paid to do track days. As test rider, Stoner is pushing, but not on the bleeding edge. Must be a lot of fun.

What a situation for Ducati. What to do when your test rider is your fastest rider ? Behind closed doors, how hard must they be pushing him to ride full time right now ? How many requests to Marlboro for contract money lol ? And what must the other factory Ducati guys be thinking ? Lorenzo has said in the past that he knows Stoner can take any bike to its limit immediately. Despite electronics, tyres etc, its still the same guys at the top. Just as most pundits have said all along. The factories biggest advantage will always be that they can afford the best riders...

I always feel after a "test" that despite reading the times and comments of the riders/teams I end up better informed but unfortunately none the wiser. It's something to do with testing tyres, tactics, settings and parts without actually setting up to win a race. So who is really fast in anger?

I thought I'd heard the seamless gearbox was one step down from the factory ones of last year... but that aside, I think they did a lot of donkey-work for Yamaha. First validations? Seeing how many laps BS38 did.

It's interesting to see Stoner's pace after all the fuss that Marquez put up about Stoner not being on the pace on the Honda. Seems like that was a bunch of BS.

Stoner might not have had the pace because he was forced to test the RCV using Marquez and Pedrosa's setup and configurations, in like what, 3 or 4 days of testing throughout the whole year! That wasn't the reason Stoner wasn't allowed to replace Pedrosa (not that you said it was). In hindsight, I think Marquez and Alzamora must have known deep down that Stoner still had the pace and could very well make Marquez look bad, and now, they must be like, yep, it sucks, but we knew it...

but not only was Lorenzo the only one with 1:59 laps... he also had the most 2:00 laps... Looks as if he's "coming to grips" with the Michelin's and spec ECU pretty well... A long way to go... but that can be a scary proposition for the rest of the field... especially if he keeps his "mind right" and stays focused at the task at hand... It will be interesting to see how the Michelins do at race pace and full distance... If they don't drop off a whole lot, I think it might be wise to put a bit of money on JLo with the bookies...

Lorenzo is looking very ominous right now. The way he is setting fast times on the HARD tire is inspiring. Rossi seems to be pushing to match but is as of right now off the pace of his teammate. This is only the first test, but if Lorenzo just improves from there it will be hard for anyone to match him. He appears very relaxed and in control. Which to me means he may have more speed in him. Rossi says he did more 'dirty work', but Lorenzo says he is still recovering from a sickness. Cannot wait to see how the tests go at Phillip Island.

The Ducati riders have surprised me the most. Petrucci and and Barbera have both set some very solid times. We will see how they do come race day, but right now it looks like the Ducatis do not seem to be suffering from the changes so much. They seem to be going the same not matter what. Iannone I believe is slowing getting into his own groove. Cannot talk about the rest of the Ducatis without speaking about the Alien of Aliens on a Ducati. Casey Stoner. Even rusty the man is sheer force of inertia. This man has been off a motogp bike for a year and off a Ducati for YEARS. He comes up in 5th place! I hope he makes all the tests because it is a pure joy to see him out there on the track. Glad Ducati picked him up as a test rider.

Nice to Cal Crutchlow up there in the times. Marquez above him, was wondering about Marquez, because he usually seems to be able to set a fast time whether the bike is working or not.

Vinales I still believe is a sleeper. Seeing him in the top 10 gives me hope that he may be able to place a little higher than he did this last year.

It's been a very interesting few days to be sure. It's just so good to see the boys back at it. It's kind of a shame that the rain shortened the day 3 proceedings, especially with the soft tire off the table and everyone having to come to grips with the hard compound (see what I did there?) LOL! Man, that was a very scary moment when that tire let go on Loris. I was watching Dillon doing an interview when it happened and his reaction pretty much said it all. That sound of the bike getting balled up just makes you wince because you know there is a rider on the end of it. Very glad he was able to walk away from that. I imagine it will be a while before we hear the "official" root cause of the failure.

I know the urge to jump on Michilen is strong, but it's still somewhat early on in this new tire's development. I am confident They will get it right. It's almost ironic that it was a rear given the attention that has been given to the fronts. These versions of the front seemed much better than the first runs that were tested. It is not known if more new compounds will be brought to P.I. or is the plan to continue with the current rubber. Well, it's a pretty safe guess that a new medium and/or soft rear will be brought to the party! I did not hear of anyone testing a medium rear at Sepang. P.I. will provide a good surface to see how these tires really perform. Looking forward to this test.

Must say Hector Barbera has impressed me the last couple of years. Yet almost no interest in him from any of the better teams or websites. I think he shines on the 14.2. Gonna be interesting to see if he can consistently stay close to the top 10.

Jorge for the quick adaptation to the new rules, and showing that the championship was no fluke. You can tell from his comments that he is stoked, but his words are soft-spoken and professional.

Casey for being able to live life his own way. From his on-track performance to his interviews, it seems as though he is having the time of his life. Good on ya', mate!

Usually the tests that are conducted before the season begins or for that matter at any time, they do not tell the truth about who is fastest. This is because various riders are usually testing different things or parts and therefore the timesheets do not tell us the true story. Casey Stoner's return even to testing has been exciting and it is doubly so because he is on the Ducati. I really would like to see Stoner race the whole season and I think that would give all the top riders including Marquez, Rossi and Lorenzo some sleepless nights. I think Stoner's presence actively testing the Ducati is a bit of a threat to Dovizioso and Iannone. As the season if either of them performs less than convincingly and if within the first half a dozen races they do not get on to the podium, Stoner could be enticed by Ducati to ride instead of one of the Andreas (which Andrea depends on who is not doing better than the other). I don't know it is is just a strong feeling I have that Stoner is quite close to returning to proper racing. I sure hope he does. I say this despite not being his fan because he is the real McCoy who could reveal a thing or two about the newer champions like Marc Marquez and also the older lot like Lorenzo and Rossi. If Stoner races Lorenzo maybe okay but Rossi will grow an extra set of fangs to deal with Lorenzo, Stoner and Marquez. Right now all this is fanciful thinking but it can turn real or so I hope.

I see things a bit differently. While I'd love to see him back competing in the races, I don't think that he is a threat to the current Ducati riders. I believe that he is having a great time and is thoroughly enjoying his current role. Ducati may be hoping that he will want to race again, and Crazy Joe and Dovi may fear the same, but I'm taking Casey at his word.

I may be a bit naive, and people can and do change their minds, but it seems to me that Casey has no current desire to return to a full-time racing job or career.