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MotoGP: Sepang test one roundup

Day one at Sepang proved insightful for a number of reasons
Day one at Sepang proved insightful for a number of reasons
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Wednesday, 04, Feb 2015 12:30

by Dan Cartwright

MotorbikeTimes takes a look at the first day of the Sepang test and weighs in on the bikes, the Brit pack and more

It's finally here. After months of bad weather and clock watching MotoGP is back and the 2015 pre-season warm-up starts, as always, with the three-day Sepang test one.

Before we look at any times in more detail it's time for the Sepang disclaimer:

This is not a race and, as such, it's impossible to know the strategies of each team and if they're chasing lap time, race pace or set up and new part tests. That said, we wouldn't be doing our job properly if we didn't squeeze as much excitement as possible out of the results. So, without further ado, Here are a few interesting thoughts at the end of day one.

Factory Yamaha

Factory Yamaha is the pre-season top topic of conversation. Can Yamaha continue to improve their bike to make it competitive when compared to the likes of the Honda Racing Corporation's (HRC) machines. Furthermore, who will climb to the top of Yamaha's tree in 2015. Lorenzo is apparently fully fit and the lightest he has been since starting MotoGP; Vale is, well, Vale, and when he starts talking about winning more races and thinking about a tenth world title you know he's pretty serious. So at the end of day Rossi is marginally ahead of Lorenzo whilst remaining frimly behind Marquez. This doesn't tell the full story, however.

Rossi proved to be very fast and pretty dominant over Lorenzo. Marquez went fastest in the last hour, but before that he was languishing. Rossi famously isn't fast at pre-season testing so this domination looks like he's stamping his intentions on the time sheet. Still a great improvement on last year and we think this is without the new seamless downshift at the race.

The Brit pack

It quite literally is Brit pack, with the leading brits - Bradley Smith, Cal Cruchlow and Scott Reading - coming in ninth, tenth and 11th place respectively, but there's possibly a little bit more to it than meets the eye.

Bradley Smith - Smith is the leading brit at the end of day 1 in 9th position. It being his third year on the bike and with the team you would expect a strong start and 9th place is good especially considering the caliber of riders ahead of time. He will however not be happy about his team mate beating him buy 3 places and 0.7 of a second.

Cal Crutchlow - tenth is a solid position for Crutchlow, given the new team and new bike. He won't be too pleased to see Bradl beating him on the Forward Yamaha and knowing Cal, he'll be less pleased to be a second slower than Pedrosa and 1.5 seconds slower than Marquez. That said he is the top satellite Honda, which should make him smile.

Scott Redding - Redding is our 'man of match' for day one at Sepang. Not only does he only have just a year's experience in MotoGP, but he's also on a completely new team with a completely new bike.

Testing at the end of last year proved difficult, with Redding and team chasing everything and really struggling for pace. The start of day one looked very similar with Redding languishing well into the bottom half of the timing sheet. However, for him and the team to find a setting to get him to within 0.25 of a second of Crutchlow on the same bike is simply incredible.

Other times of note

Another racer worthy of a mention is Stephan Bradl, coming eighth on the open class Forward Yamaha. He might be using the super soft tyres but this is still a very good final position.

Meanwhile, Aleix Espagaro coming home 14th on the Suzuki is an impressive result. Hopefully he and Suzuki can build on this and it's certainly great to see them back. Also impressive was bautista riding in at 15th on the Grisini Aprilia which, coming within 0.1 of a second of Espagar is pretty impressive in its own rite.

Bring on day two.

Check out a full table of fastest lap results below:

1. Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team (RC213V), 2m 0.262s (lap 62/63)

2. Valentino Rossi, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP (YZR-M1), 2m 0.380s +0.118s (lap 27/57)

3. Jorge Lorenzo, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP (YZR-M1), 2m 0.521s +0.259s (lap 30/55)

4. Andrea Dovizioso, Ducati Team (Desmosedici GP14.3), 2m 0.617s +0.355s (lap 36/41)

5. Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda Team (RC213V), 2m 0.745s +0.483s (lap 25/45)

6. Pol Espargaro, Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1), 2m 0.930s +0.668s (lap 29/55)

7. Andrea Iannone, Ducati Team (Desmosedici GP14.3), 2m 1.424s +1.162s (lap 58/59)

8. Stefan Bradl, Forward Racing (Forward Yamaha), 2m 1.556s +1.294s (lap 50/58)

9. Bradley Smith, Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1), 2m 1.707s +1.445s (lap 27/52)

10. Cal Crutchlow, CWM LCR Honda (RC213V), 2m 1.713s +1.451s (lap 34/61)

11. Scott Redding, Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS (RC213V), 2m 1.917s +1.655s (lap 59/63)

12. Michele Pirro, Pramac Racing (Desmosedici), 2m 1.951s +1.689s (lap 51/54)

13. Danilo Petrucci, Pramac Racing (Desmosedici GP14.1), 2m 2.136s +1.874s (lap 50/50)

14. Aleix Espargaro, Team Suzuki MotoGP (GSX-RR), 2m 2.225s +1.963s (lap 42/46)

15. Alvaro Bautista, Factory Aprilia Gresini (Aprilia), 2m 2.285s +2.023s (lap 27/50)

16. Hiroshi Aoyama, Honda Test Rider (RC213V/RC213V-RS), 2m 2.560s +2.298s (lap 45/69)

17. Nicky Hayden, Drive M7 Aspar (RC213V-RS), 2m 2.699s +2.437s (lap 22/46)

18. Hector Barbera, Avintia Racing (Desmosedici), 2m 2.700s +2.438s (lap 28/55)

19. Jack Miller, CWM LCR Honda (RC213V-RS), 2m 2.807s +2.545s (lap 53/59)

20. Katsuyuki Nakasuga, Yamaha Test Rider (YZR-M1), 2m 3.092s +2.830s (lap 38/47)

21. Maverick Viñales, Team Suzuki MotoGP (GSX-RR), 2m 3.164s +2.902s (lap 58/69)

22. Eugene Laverty, Drive M7 Aspar Honda (RC213V-RS), 2m 3.295s +3.033s (lap 41/47)

23. Mike Di Meglio, Avintia Racing (Desmosedici), 2m 3.878s +3.616s (lap 34/58)

24. Karel Abraham, Cardion AB Motoracing (RC213V-RS), 2m 3.879s +3.617s (lap 38/46)

25. Loris Baz Forward Racing (Forward Yamaha) 2m 4.163s +3.901s (lap 57/66)

26. Marco Melandri Factory Aprilia Gresini (Aprilia) 2m 4.502s +4.240s (lap 41/42)

27. Alex De Angelis Octo IodaRacing (ART) 2m 4.673s +4.411s (lap 40/46)

28. Takumi Takahashi Honda Test Rider (RC213V/RC213V-RS) 2m 4.719s +4.457s (lap 77/77)

29. Takuya Tsuda Suzuki Test Rider (GSX-RR) 2m 5.478s +5.216s (lap 13/18)

30. Michael Laverty Aprilia Test Rider (Aprilia) 2m 6.190s +5.928s (lap 23/28)

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