2016 Sepang MotoGP FP2 Result: Miller Tops Weather-Affected Session

Jack Miller topped the timesheets of the afternoon session of MotoGP practice at Sepang, though the constantly changing track conditions rendered the times meaningless. That does not mean that it was a wasted session, however. Starting on a wet track which dried as the session went on, riders got a feel for the changing conditions which look set to be a factor in the race.

There were several interesting experiments done in the session. Riders went out with all sorts of tire combinations, from full wets at the start of practice, to intermediates and even slicks at the end. With no spray and hot conditions, riders also tried using carbon brakes with wet tires, the carbon disks getting up to temperature and not being cooled by water on the track.

Slick tires proved to be the right combination at the end. Jack Miller and Cal Crutchlow used them on their final runs, Miller ending up as fastest, four tenths quicker than Crutchlow. Hector Barbera put the Avintia Ducati into third, just ahead of Bradley Smith on the Tech 3 Yamaha and Loris Baz on the second Avintia Ducati.

Andrea Iannone and Marc Marquez both chose to sit out the session. Iannone's choice was obvious, the risk of crashing in tricky conditions was not worth taking. Marquez missed the session as he is still suffering with gastroenteritis, picked up during a visit to Indonesia.


Pos No. Rider Bike Time Diff Diff Previous
1 43 Jack Miller Honda 2'08.872    
2 35 Cal Crutchlow Honda 2'09.271 0.399 0.399
3 8 Hector Barbera Ducati 2'09.414 0.542 0.143
4 38 Bradley Smith Yamaha 2'09.440 0.568 0.026
5 76 Loris Baz Ducati 2'09.698 0.826 0.258
6 45 Scott Redding Ducati 2'10.175 1.303 0.477
7 4 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati 2'10.208 1.336 0.033
8 6 Stefan Bradl Aprilia 2'10.283 1.411 0.075
9 53 Tito Rabat Honda 2'11.297 2.425 1.014
10 7 Hiroshi Aoyama Honda 2'11.426 2.554 0.129
11 19 Alvaro Bautista Aprilia 2'12.179 3.307 0.753
12 50 Eugene Laverty Ducati 2'12.803 3.931 0.624
13 46 Valentino Rossi Yamaha 2'13.416 4.544 0.613
14 68 Yonny Hernandez Ducati 2'13.586 4.714 0.170
15 44 Pol Espargaro Yamaha 2'14.438 5.566 0.852
16 99 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 2'14.863 5.991 0.425
17 25 Maverick Viñales Suzuki 2'15.505 6.633 0.642
18 9 Danilo Petrucci Ducati 2'16.269 7.397 0.764
19 41 Aleix Espargaro Suzuki 2'16.679 7.807 0.410
  29 Andrea Iannone Ducati      
  93 Marc Marquez Honda      


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What a weird session!
Iannone sat it out. Marquez shat it out. Baz went from last to 5th. Smith similar. Tito is top 10. Every tire available was run.

Just strange. Sepang is a good track, good interesting layout. The heat and humidity however are not so good. Mixed conditions AGAIN, abnormal weather is the 2016 normal?

As per usual, hoping for hard battles and interesting surprises.

..but did make me laugh :)

This does seem the year for mixed conditions, although not completely unusual for Malaysia as they do have some quite spectacular rainfall quite often

I'm slightly frustrated: I cannot believe that they put all those efforts to resurface the track and forgot to make sure that the asphalt has little porosity.... in a country famous for mighty daily showers! How dumb is that? I understand that this is racing and racers must be able to face every condition the sky throws at them but this is such a peculiar situation.... the track has wet patches all over that won't dry up and are invisible given the dark color of the asphalt. So I would say it does not bring out the best of those racing but just their luck!
@Motoshrink: I bet you enjoyed the sat/shat pun.....slightly gross but real funny and à propos ....

Asphalt isn't porous, as such. Water either sits on it or runs off it, depending on the way the track is set - whether in Malaysia or in any other part of the world.

You also need to factor the humidity level in - in extremely humid conditions water doesn't evaporate the way it does in low humidity / high temperature conditions. In Australia's north during the wet season (which has just kicked in in SE Asia, we get it next month) the water just seems to hit the ground, and stay there.

I hope Cal gets on the podium.  On current form he's strong, especially in changeable conditions  & the Hondas should do well enough (at least)  with the revised track. Hoepfully his gut will make it three correct tyre choices in a row!

Given the wet conditions, Dorna should check in with Vale and get his recommendations on a more appropriate time of year to be racing in Malaysia.