Here it is people the final conclusion of the first out two Sepang tests before the season opener in Qatar in late March.
So what happened while we, on this side of the earth, were sleeping? For one let’s talk about how Marquez set a sub 2 min marker RIGHT OUT OF THE GATE. If you were to one up Lorenzo’s time yesterday it was to be done on the 3rd day. But no let us not stop here but guess what? He cleared himself into the 1’58” mark, yes, you read right, ONE MINUTE FIFTY EIGHT SECOND MARKER.
Astounding isn’t is? Surely the fastest time ever around Sepang on two wheels. I am thoroughly both SHOCKED and AMAZED. Can this kid be anything less of a PHENOM in every sense of the word? He will be a fighting force this season as if he wasn’t already the last two. Everyone who isn’t named Marquez has their work tremendously cut out for them.
Another feat achieved by the top guys were how many of them were able to dip into the 1’59” mark. 7 according to the time sheets. That’s no slouch either of a feet. Dovi, who was disappointed in yesterday’s inability to hit sub 2′ came back with a vengeance today to hit his mark, as well as Iannone, which shows CLEAR progress of Gigi over at the Ducati camp.
The top four from last year is still relatively the top four of the test. Everyone from last year’s battle are within 0.6 of Marquez’s time. Blistering pace all around. What can be attributed to the lack of getting top dog honors today was mainly the process of running a race simulation. Fast laps are great, for qualifying, but you need to get a full understanding of what the bike and rider are doing under race simulation. Why do this? Consistent lap times over long distances is what wins a race. Yamaha’s Lorenzo and Rossi were running simulations as well as Pedrosa from Honda. Data upon mountains of data collected will be analyzed to garner the best setup base for race distance from all that hard work.
Let’s not forget to mention riders who improved the best over the 3-day test. Loriz Baz, new comer from the world of SBK racing, improved tremendously over the Open Yamaha of Forward Racing. Even Nicky Hayden, coming back from wrist rehab, was putting in better times this test than one year ago. The least improved rider must be Melandri. He raced in MotoGP before but having a reluctance to come back to the series clearly shows. He is having a hard time getting to grip with the pace of his bike, being out shined by his, sometimes volatile but at time podium finisher, teammate Bautista. Let’s not downplay Bautista’s hard work in forwarding the Aprilia’s MotoGP program.
Here are some photos from MotoGP.com:
Of course official times from today’s test courtesy of David Emmett at MotoMatters.com:
Improvements from the start of the test:
Now the engineers are all going back to the factories to levy up solutions to problems they found during the 3 day test to be even more ready in two weeks time for the next test at Sepang. This means that in the interim we will go dark with no bikes to listen to. Sad days. At least this time two weeks is a short stint compared to the winter months!