Lorenzo back on top during testing

Jorge Lorenzo and Yamaha Factory Racing returned to the top on the second of this week’s three days of testing at the Sepang International Circuit.

MotoGP™ World Champion Jorge Lorenzo and Yamaha Factory Racing returned to the top on the second of this week’s three days of testing at the Sepang International Circuit. Cal Crutchlow achieved a top three finish for Monster Yamaha Tech 3, splitting the Repsol Honda Team pairing of Dani Pedrosa and rookie Marc Márquez.

Lorenzo’s fastest ever lap time at Sepang came in the first half of the day, managing 2’00.282 which was over three tenths quicker than Tuesday pace-setter Pedrosa. On this occasion the leading Honda rider analysed suspension settings, declaring himself content. Crutchlow led the way for both Great Britain and the satellite runners in third, as Márquez finished barely three tenths off more experienced teammate Pedrosa. After suffering an electrical problem at the start of the session, Valentino Rossi rounded out the top five and his target remains to match Lorenzo’s race pace.

Thankfully for all concerned, the weather was kinder to the field as the rain of 24 hours earlier stayed away; only a few drops fell at 5:30pm local time. This allowed for significantly more on-track activity, not least for Rossi and Honda test rider Takumi Takahashi who were the first to notch up more than 60 laps. Ben Spies was a faller in the morning, although the American was able to walk away unhurt from his Ignite Pramac Racing Team bike. He later wrapped up his programme early, suffering pain from his ongoing shoulder injury.

GO&FUN Honda Gresini’s Álvaro Bautista, LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl and Monster Yamaha Tech 3 newcomer Bradley Smith were all inside the top ten, with the Englishman on lookout for a better braking technique following a fall on Tuesday. At Ducati Team, Nicky Hayden jumped back ahead of Andrea Dovizioso as test rider Michele Pirro sampled a new chassis.

Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Team’s Andrea Iannone was 11th as the Vasto-born rider makes the climb to MotoGP™ from the Moto2™ class, in which he achieved eight race wins over the last three seasons. Improving by three tenths in the afternoon to finish ahead of Pirro and Yamaha testers Katsuyuki Nakasuga and Wataru Yoshikawa, Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaró continued to provide an example for the CRT class despite admitting severe jetlag.

Héctor Barberá led the Avintia Blusens charge from the aforementioned Spies, second Aspar contender of Randy de Puniet and his own teammate Hiroshi Aoyama. Danilo Petrucci moved into the top 20 for Came IodaRacing Project, just 71 thousandths of a second in front of Karel Abraham’s Cardion AB Motoracing machine as the Czech switches from a prototype to CRT chassis for 2013. Colin Edwards celebrated his 39th birthday, but soon placed all focus on NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s programme as work continues with the FTR Kawasaki.

Michael Laverty was again forced to spend most of his day in the garage as Paul Bird Motorsport continued to prepare their own, PBM machine; it toured for three laps in the morning, as a shakedown, plus a further 16 in the afternoon. On more familiar ART equipment, teammate Yonny Hernández jumped ahead of Forward Racing’s Claudio Corti as respective Australian and Czech rookies Bryan Staring and Lukáš Pešek filled the remaining positions ahead of Laverty.

Thursday will mark the third and final day of this week’s test, with the green light again illuminating at 10am local time (3am CET).


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