SEPANG, Malaysia — Repsol Honda Team’s Marc Marquez upped the pace as MotoGP testing continued Wednesday at Sepang Int’l Circuit.
NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Aleix Espargaro placed an Open specification bike inside the top five for the first time.
With conditions just as good as they had been on Tuesday, Marquez’s teammate Dani Pedrosa led the way for much of the first half of the day. Marquez then smashed through the two-minute barrier shortly before his lunch break, after which there were substantially fewer changes in lap times.
With Repsol Honda first and second, Stefan Bradl was third for LCR Honda MotoGP (three thousandths down on Pedrosa) with Valentino Rossi fourth for Yamaha Factory Racing.
Espargaro again displayed the promise of the new Open FTR-Yamaha combination, as his Forward machine was barely two tenths down on the nearest Factory Honda, with Rossi’s teammate Jorge Lorenzo sixth.
Bradley Smith spearheaded the Monster Yamaha Tech3 charge, with Pramac Racing’s Andrea Iannone in eighth position; on the leading Ducati, the Italian was some seven tenths of a second quicker than he had been on Tuesday.
Alvaro Bautista was ninth for GO&FUN Honda Gresini, but his day was not without its problems; at 11:30, the Spaniard suffered a technical problem and thus took a shortcut back to the pit lane. The top 10 was completed by Smith’s teammate Pol Espargaro, while brother Aleix’s teammate Colin Edwards was the only rider to not improve his lap time today, but his best effort from day one left the American 15th on the combined timesheet.
The third and final day of testing is set for Thursday.