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Rossi sets early pace in Malaysia

Rossi sets early pace in Malaysia

After the first few hours at a boiling-hot Sepang International Circuit it was Movistar Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi who topped the time sheets.

His time of 2’00.414 putting him 0.129 seconds ahead of his closest nearest rival, Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa. The 9 times World Champion set the time on lap 25 of 32, seemingly benefitting from the upgraded seamless shift gearbox that his team have brought to the test. Yamaha wouldn’t confirm whether they have brought a “full” seamless shift gearbox to Malaysia, instead saying that this is an “evolution” of the one they were previously using.

Pedrosa, having settled on his choice of bike last month at Sepang 1, spent the morning fine tuning his setup before putting in his fastest time of the morning, 6 tenths of a second faster than his Repsol Honda teammate Marquez down in 6th.

The Monster Tech 3 Yamaha bike of Pol Espargaro was 3rd fastest, 0.462s behind Rossi, with the Spaniard focusing on fine tuning his electronics package in the morning and he obviously found the right setting as he was consistently lapping under the 2’02 mark.

The big surprise of the morning was the pace of his older brother Aleix on the Suzuki factory bike, as he managed to finish 4th, making the most out a new fairing that they have been developing in Japan, and some engine updates to address their previous lack of power.

Lorenzo finished 7 tenths off his teammate Rossi by the end of the morning, after putting in more laps than anyone else (44) as he adjusted to the gearbox and how it affects breaking stability, ending up 5th fastest.

Surprisingly the double World Champion Marc Marquez could only manage a 2’01.190, which was almost 2.3 seconds slower than his record breaking time from the first test, which left him 5th fastest in the through the morning and only 3 hundredths of a second ahead of 7th placed Cal Crutchlow.

The Brit on his CWM-LCR RC213V, seems to be getting to grips with the more aggressive riding style needed to get the most out of the Honda as he showed the kind of pace that could make him a serious podium contender for the season, and will be very happy with his efforts in the first morning of the test.

Bradley Smith was less than 2 hundredths of a second behind Crutchlow, as he continues his recovery from an ankle injury, with the second factory Suzuki of Maverick Viñales in 9th, 0.9s off the top.

Ducati unveiled their highly anticipated GP15 bike at the test, with riders Andrea Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone riding it back to back with the GP14.3 bike they used at Sepang 1. Dovizioso looked to adapt to the newer, smaller bike slightly better than his teammate finishing the morning in 10th 0.8 seconds ahead of Iannone who was back in 15th.

Scott Redding used this morning to test out some new brake updates and trying to find the optimal chassis set up for his Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS RC213V. He seemed to gain in confidence as the time went on, and will be pleased with his lap that put him into 11th place, just 1.1 seconds slower than Rossi.

The Aprilia Racing Team Gresini continued their development of the RS-GP bike by bringing an evolution of the machine used in the last test and it was good enough for Alvaro Bautista to grab 12th just behind the Avintia Racing Ducati of Hector Barbera.

For live timing head to motogp.com.

 

Tags:
MotoGP, 2015, SEPANG MOTOGP™ OFFICIAL TEST, Valentino Rossi, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP

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