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Ideal weather conditions greeted the MotoGP™ riders for the second of three days of pre-season tests at the Sepang International Circuit.
Both Ducati Team riders, present in Malaysia with the latest version of the Desmosedici, the GP14.3, took advantage of the excellent conditions to notch up the mileage and continue the fine-tuning work on their bikes.
Andrea Dovizioso took just twenty minutes of the morning session to place himself at the top the standings, setting an excellent time of 2’00.015 on a soft tyre, two-tenths of a second quicker than the one set by Marc Marquez (Honda) at the end of day 1. The only rider to get under the two-minute mark today before the lunch break, was Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha), but the track temperature increased in the afternoon, thus ruling out any major improvements and the leading positions remained unchanged. Dovizioso had to settle for an excellent second place, just 52 thousandths of a second behind his Spanish rival.
Good progress was also recorded by Andrea Iannone. The Italian in fact lowered his yesterday’s time by a full second, setting his best lap in 2’00.391 on a hard compound tyre late in the afternoon. This allowed Iannone to conclude the second day in fifth place and sixth in the combined times of the first two days.
Dovizioso explained, “I am very happy with the pace I did today because we were interested in doing a long-run: we did 15 laps in these extremely hot conditions, and it was important to do some constant laps, which is normally a bit our limit. We lapped pretty well, and this shows that the guys back in the factory have been working well in recent months. I’m happy with this morning’s time but not 100% because I wanted to see a time of 1’59 on the dash! I was counting on it, it was an aim of mine here but I just missed out. Hopefully it won’t rain tonight so we can find the track still fast tomorrow.”
Iannone stated, “I am quite happy with the way the test went today and in the end we managed to improve a lot our performance from yesterday. In addition, I managed to find more feeling with the bike in turn-in, and now under braking I feel a lot safer and I can push harder. Some of the components of the GP14.3 have for sure helped us in this and it’s a very important aspect in view of the race. Tomorrow is the third and final day of testing and we can do some more modifications, because I want to improve even more.”
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