SEPANG, Malaysia — Repsol Honda Team’s Dani Pedrosa completed the final day of MotoGP testing at the Sepang Int’l Circuit with the top lap times of the three-day test.
Pedrosa’s teammate Marc Márquez, who is replacing retired Casey Stoner, walked away from a wild crash during Thursday’s morning session.
A record lap set by Pedrosa of 2:00’100 was not beaten all day, as Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo, the defending series champion, ended just over three tenths off, focusing on a race simulation later in the day.
His teammate, Valentino Rossi, also showed that he could get below the 2:01 mark, leaving it until just before lunch to post his fastest time that saw him end the day in third behind his teammate.
Márquez ended up a close fourth on the time charts, challenged by the impressive Cal Crutchlow, the last rider below the 2:01 mark, on his 2012 Monster Yamaha Tech 3 machine.
LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl just missed out on that feat with a time of 2.01’003, although the German looked on good form as he went quicker once more on his RC213V. Go & Fun Honda Gresini’s Álvaro Bautista improved over yesterday’s time, getting more dialed in to the bike’s geometry and Showa suspension, with Tech 3 rookie Bradley Smith continuing his steep, but progressive, learning curve in eighth. Smith also undertook a race simulation early in the day before setting his best time.
The Ducati Team will be buoyed by progress, with Nicky Hayden gaining over a second over the three days, as he ended the day in ninth, with teammate Andrea Dovizioso less than a hundredth behind.
Yamaha test rider Katsuyuki Nakasuga was the first outside of the top ten, in front of Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaró, who put in a tremendous effort to place his CRT 12th, and just over 2.5s off the top. He ousted Pramac Team’s Italian rookie Andrea Iannone into 13th, who was without teammate Ben Spies today, as the Texan decided to sit it out and let his shoulder recuperate before the second Sepang test. He finished 15th.