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Lorenzo goes fastest on second Sepang morning

Lorenzo goes fastest on second Sepang morning

MotoGP™ World Champion Jorge Lorenzo set the pace on Wednesday morning as pre-season testing continued in Malaysia. Breaking Dani Pedrosa’s recent stranglehold of the top spot, the Yamaha Factory Racing rider led his Repsol Honda Team compatriot as Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow completed the top three at the mid-day point.

Lorenzo’s eventual best time came on his 32nd of 39 laps, posting 2’00.282 to edge out Pedrosa by just over three and a half tenths of a second. Behind Crutchlow, the second respective factory Honda and Yamaha bikes of Marc Márquez and Valentino Rossi completed the top five. Once again, no concrete long runs came from the front-runners and so this remains a target over the remainder of the test.

Not only are the two men at the top again closely matched, with Crutchlow also demonstrating promising pace on his satellite bike, but less than a tenth of a second separates him and Márquez - with Rossi a similar margin in arrears of the Spaniard.

Track conditions were generally better than they had been 24 hours ago, when previous heavy rains had left a greasy surface. Thankfully there were few fallers, but Ben Spies – already recovering from a shoulder injury – was one as the Ignite Pramac Racing Team machine tumbled at the first corner. The American was able to walk away from the incident.

Álvaro Bautista again notched up a solid performance for GO&FUN Honda Gresini, ending the morning sixth ahead of LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl and the Ducati Team pairing, with Andrea Dovizioso again finishing ahead of Nicky Hayden. In 12th position, test rider Michele Pirro rode with a new chassis as, just ahead of the Italian, Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Bradley Smith and Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Team’s Andrea Iannone concluded the opening four hours in tenth and 11th spots.

Yamaha testers Katsuyuki Nakasuga and Wataru Yoshikawa were 13th and 15th, surrounding top CRT runner Aleix Espargaró’s Power Electronics Aspar on the timesheets. His teammate Randy de Puniet was 16th, with Avintia Blusens duo Héctor Barberá and Hiroshi Aoyama 18th and 19th. Colin Edwards continued to dial in his FTR Kawasaki for NGM Mobile Forward Racing, as he and teammate Claudio Corti ended proceedings 20th and 22nd with Danilo Petrucci’s Came IodaRacing Project bike between them.

On a different programme to his teammates, HRC Test Team rider Takumi Takahashi had only five CRT bikes slower than him, the first of which was Yonny Hernández with Paul Bird Motorsport’s ART chassis. There was more frustration for teammate Michael Laverty, who again spent much of the day in the garage as his in-house bike continued to be assembled. The Northern Irishman eventually managed his first three laps of what is very much a shakedown run for the PBM-labelled machine. Ahead on the classification, positions 25 to 27 were occupied by the CRTs of Karel Abraham, Bryan Staring and Lukáš Pešek for Cardion AB Motoracing, GO&FUN Honda Gresini and Came IodaRacing Project, correspondingly.

The second half of the day is now underway, with the chequered flag set to fly at 6pm local time (11am CET).

Check out full MotoGP™ timing sheets here.

MotoGP, 2013, Jorge Lorenzo, Yamaha Factory Racing

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