Sepang MotoGP test: Lorenzo blasts to new outright lap record
Ducati’s Jorge Lorenzo has set a new Sepang MotoGP outright lap record on the third day of testing, beating the three-year-old previous best from title rival Marc Marquez by 0.037s
Lorenzo put in a 1’58.830 on his 21st lap of the day when temperatures were relatively cool to beat Marquez’ 1’58.867 set in February of 2015 on a day that saw the top 13 riders into the 1’59s bracket.
The Spaniard was chased hard by Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa, who set his 1’59.009 without the new aero package, and then went on to complete a 15-lap race simulation with the 2018 fairings.
Britain’s Cal Crutchlow ended in third and 0.043s behind Pedrosa while Andrea Dovizoso picked himself up from a crash to set a 1’59.169 on his 15th lap.
Jack Miller continued his run of form on the Pramac Ducati, finishing in fifth on a 1’59.346 despite a crash and it was enough to hold off fellow former Moto3 star Alex Rins who took his GSX-RR to sixth on a 1’59.348.
Reigning champion Marc Marquez didn’t use the new aero package all day and also didn’t put in a time attack lap, so he ended up in seventh but put in a 16-lap race simulation and didn’t stray from the mid-2’00 which is frighteningly consistent with a new bike.
After their time-attack laps yesterday which saw them finish one-two, both Valentino Rossi and Maverick Vinales worked on race distance setup. Rossi’s best single lap of 1’59.449 was enough for eighth place set right at session end while while Vinales ended in 18th place on a 2’00.555.
Johann Zarco was also a faller but he also got straight back in the saddle of his Monster Yamaha to set 1’59.511 to end 0.681 behind the fastest time. Fellow Moto2 champion Tito Rabat bagged a scorcher on the Avintia Ducati, putting in a 1’59.547 to finish in 11th place, just behind Danilo Petrucci.
Andrea Iannone was next along with a 1’59.615 while Aleix Espargaro completed the 13 riders who were under the 2’00 marker, laying down a 1’59.962 with his final effort. Series tookie Taka Nakagami ended in 14th place, one ahead of Alvaro Bautista.
Bradley Smith put in a Herculean 77 laps on the day, working through a huge amount of parts and settings. He finished 2.1s off the pace and one place behind Scott Redding.