The third and final day of the Sepang Test is alive and kicking and what a start to the day we have had. Danilo Petrucci (Mission Winnow Ducati) – despite a crash at Turn 5 - currently sits top of the pile after setting a new lap record of 1:58.239 – almost six tenths quicker than what Jorge Lorenzo (Repsol Honda Team) set last year on his Ducati.
The MotoGP™ field made a blistering start before track conditions started to soar and slotting into P2 at midday is reigning Moto2™ World Champion Francesco Bagnaia (Alma Pramac Racing). An incredible lap from the rookie to leave the number 63 just 0.063 off his compatriot’s time. Teammate Jack Miller makes it a Ducati hattrick, he’s 0.127 off Petrucci, with Andrea Dovizioso (Mission Winnow Ducati) creating a Bologna factory quartet at the top of the times – the four riders split by 0.299. What’s more, all four riders have debuted a new Ducati aero package on Day 3.
Also testing a new aero design is fifth fastest Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP). The Spaniard, who topped the timesheets on Day 2, was the first to smash Lorenzo’s lap record during the morning but finds himself 0.405 down on ‘Petrux’ – a 1:58.644 his quickest so far after 45 laps.
Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) continues to impress on his return from a lengthy injury layout, the British rider sixth on the timesheets after setting a fastest time of 1:58.780 – 0.541 off P1. Crutchlow has completed another 35 laps so far on Day 3, however, the number 35 rider has crashed – Turn 2, rider ok.
Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) is next up on the timing screen, showing he the RS-GP could be in for a promising year if things continue to look positive. The Spaniard’s fastest time at midday is a 1:59.022, which heads eighth place Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) by 0.119.
Ninth quickest at this stage is Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) on board his 2018 RC213V, he sits 0.007 off Morbidelli and 0.909 off the leading Ducati. Rounding out the top 10 is Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP), who in turn sits 0.007 behind Nakagami. ‘The Doctor’ has completed a further 36 laps on Day 3 and leads Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) by 0.015, with the reigning Champion getting a further 39 laps done with his recovering shoulder – 0.931 separating him from the top as his day ends prematurely once more.
An early finish for @marcmarquez93 again after a productive morning of testing ✅— Repsol Honda Team (@HRC_MotoGP) February 8, 2019
39 laps in the heat of the #SepangTest and down to a 1'59.170 today ⏱️. Debrief, then begin to prepare for the #QatarTest ???????? pic.twitter.com/npIrnpfitg
Andrea Iannone (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) isn’t riding today due to illness.
Keep up to date with the latest times by keeping a close eye on Live Timing. And don’t forget we have a special edition of After the Flag today when Jorge Lorenzo joins Matt Birt, Neil Morrison and Simon Crafar – who is live from Sepang – for live analysis from all three days. That begins at 09:30 GMT, with Lorenzo joining the conversation at 10:30 GMT.
Current top 10 (times as of 14:00 local time):
1. Danilo Petrucci - (Mission Winnow Ducati Team) – 1:58.239
2. Francesco Bagnaia - (Alma Pramac Racing) - +0.063
3. Jack Miller - (Alma Pramac Racing) - +0.127
4. Andrea Dovizioso - (Mission Winnow Ducati Team) - +0.299
5. Maverick Viñales - (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) - +0.405
6. Cal Crutchlow - (LCR Honda Castrol) - +0.541
7. Aleix Espargaró - (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) - +0.783
8. Franco Morbidelli - (Petronas Yamaha SRT) - +0.902
9. Takaaki Nakagami - (LCR Honda Idemitsu) - +0.909
10. Valentino Rossi - (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) - +0.916