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It was another hot and humid day that greeted the MotoGP™ paddock in Malaysia for the second day of the Sepang 2 test.
With the sun out and with temperatures reaching over 30 degrees this morning, teams were keen to get their riders out on track as soon as possible in case the threat of thunderstorms materialises this afternoon.
Reigning World Champion Marc Marquez, showing no signs of the brake problems that hampered him yesterday on his Repsol Honda RC213V, managed a 1’59.844 to be the first man to break the 2 minute mark at this test. While it was still almost a second slower than the pace he set at Sepang 1, it was still very impressive considering the increased track temperature during this test has meant the riders are finding it hard to replicate those results.
Occupying 2nd place on the time sheets is Jorge Lorenzo who put in a 1’59.902 on his 30th lap to close to within 5 hundredths of Marquez. The Movistar Yamaha rider, who was still looking to improve the all round feel of his bike while also adapting to the new seamless shift gearbox on his YZF-M1, was the only other rider under the 2 minute mark by midday.
Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso, who along with his teammate Iannone is testing out 3-4 different setups today on the all new GP15, set an impressive 2’00.250 which was over a second quicker than his first outing on the new bike yesterday, and more importantly only 0.4s behind the Repsol Honda of Marquez.
Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa didn't have a great morning time-wise as he was looking to tweak his suspension settings in an attempt to get more feedback from the bike. He obviously made progress though, as he went on to set a 2’00.275, good enough for 4th place, just under 0.3s quicker than his day 1 pace.
After leading the time sheets in the early part of the morning, Valentino Rossi, who has been evaluating 2 different types of front forks on his Movistar Yamaha YZF-M1, couldn't quite match the pace of his team mate Lorenzo as the day wore on. He currently sits in fifth place, 4 hundredths off the pace of the top two, but still managing to improve on his time from day 1.
Suzuki’s impressive testing form continued with Aleix Espargaro managing to knock well over half a second of his best time from the first day with a 2’00.409, as the team looked to work on their electronics package. His team mate and rookie in this class, Maverick Viñales, also managed to improve on yesterdays time as he continued to show his potential in 11th place on the time sheets, less than a second behind the leaders.
Andrea Iannone waited until later in the morning to post his fastest time on his new Ducati GP15, managing to take a whopping 1.5s off his day 1 pace and move within 2 tenths of his team mate Dovizioso and just over half a second of the leaders pace.
Cal Crutchlow, who experienced some issues with stability under braking yesterday, managed to improve his time by 0.7s as he continues to adapt to the CWM-LCR Honda RC213V. What would have been more important for the British rider was that he had managed his fastest time on fresh tyres, which has been an issue for him in the recent past, with his 2’00.509 good enough for 8th place on the leaderboard as it stands.
For the Monster Tech 3 team, it was a case of making some final tweaks to their setup, having admitted that they do not have too much to test, and for them the focus will be on putting in long runs this afternoon. It was still a positive morning for them though, as Pol Espargaro and Bradley Smith occupied 9th and 13th place on the time sheets respectively, both improving on their times from day 1.
Danilo Petrucci took 1.5s off his time from the previous day for Pramac Ducati, as he looked to work on his suspension and chassis set up. His team mate Yonny Hernandez is currently in 15th place as he just tries to get as many laps under his belt as possible after having missed Sepang 1 through injury.
The Aprilia Racing Team had a difficult morning with Alvaro Bautista failing to match his time from the first day, and Marco Melandri, despite trying a new chassis more similar to a his old World Superbike machine, once again languishing down in last place, over 5 seconds off the pace.
Nicky Hayden and Eugene Laverty occupy 17th and 21st respectively, with 0.7s separating the team mates as they looked to develop the electronics package on their Drive M7 Aspar machines.
Stefan Bradl managed a 2’01.131 on his Forward Racing bike which was good enough for 16th, while his teammate Loriz Baz escaped an early crash at turn 14 without injury to end up 22nd, after complaining yesterday of not having a great feeling on the bike.
Jack Miller continue to adapt to his new CWM-LCR Honda RC213V-RS, and finished the morning 3 seconds of Marquez in 24th, with Alex De Angelis not quite matching his day 1 pace down in 25th as he continued development of his Octa Ioda ART machine.
To keep up to date with day 2 from Sepang, you can follow the live timing here.
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