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Honda takes early control of Sepang Test

Honda takes early control of Sepang Test

Factory trio Casey Stoner, Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso were at the top of the timesheet after the first half of day one in Malaysia, with Marco Simoncelli fourth. Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo completed the early running top six.

As was the case in the previous Test at Sepang it was the Honda machines which set the early pace on day one of the second pre-season meeting at the Malaysian circuit, as Casey Stoner topped the timesheet by the midway point on Tuesday. The Repsol Honda rider's fastest lap so far of 2'01.284 was the result of a track which by all accounts is warmer than three weeks ago and which is providing less grip.

Stoner, just over half a second off Marco Simoncelli's fastest top time from Test 1, led a timesheet which was immediately quicker than the opening day of the first Test. Following the Australian in the early running order were his Repsol Honda team-mates Dani Pedrosa (+0.438s) and Andrea Dovizioso (+0.595s), with San Carlo Honda Gresini's Simoncelli fourth at +0.702s as the RC212V performed well once more.

Notable in fifth place was Valentino Rossi, the Ducati rider hinting at a much improved comfort with his shoulder and an early effort of 2'01.999, which left him +0.705s off Stoner's pace. The Italian was the final rider under the 2'02” mark, as reigning World Champion Jorge's Lorenz's M1 in sixth place and with a time of 2'02.042 was the top Yamaha. Monster Yamaha Tech 3's Colin Edwards and Factory Yamaha team-mate of Lorenzo, Ben Spies, completed the top eight and a cluster of M1's.

Ducati's Nicky Hayden and San Carlo Honda Gresini rider Hiroshi Aoyama completed the top ten at halfway, with Álvaro Bautista (Rizla Suzuki, +1.453s) and rookie Cal Crutchlow (Monster Yamaha Tech 3, +2.020s) 11th and 12th respectively.

Check back in with for a full end of day report, along with video highlights and reaction later this afternoon.

MotoGP, 2011

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