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2020 Sepang MotoGP Preseason Test Results—Day Three
Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) made it a full house at the Sepang Test as he topped the timesheets once again on Sunday, with the Frenchman putting in a 1:58.349 to end the session close to the fastest ever lap of the Malaysian venue. He had some close company, however, with LCR Honda Castrol’s Cal Crutchlow taking second place, 0.082 off, and Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) taking third within 0.101 of the top. All manufacturers ended the test within 0.345.
The weather was on side again on Sunday, with only the last half hour or so affected by rain – but a few finished a little early whether by design or mishap. For Quartararo it was a shorter day than Saturday, as the Petronas Yamaha SRT rider put in 57 laps, setting his fastest on his 17th. Teammate Franco Morbidelli, on his “A-spec” machine, did 58 laps and ends the test in P13.
Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) was actually the second fastest Yamaha rider on Sunday. His best was a 1:58.541 and that puts him in fifth after just over a half-century of laps. Rossi’s teammate Maverick Viñales, meanwhile, was way down the timesheets yet positive about the test; his best a 1:59.169 in P18 – but after a whopping 83 laps and some impressive long-run pace. On Saturday evening, the Spaniard was especially impressed by the top speed improvement from the new engine.
Test rider Jorge Lorenzo was out on track on Sunday too, with the Spaniard adding another 46 laps to the Iwata marque’s program and proving a key point of interest. But Yamaha had another slightly different talking point too – something that looks very much like a holeshot device spotted on Viñales’, Rossi’s and test rider Katsuyuki Nakasuga’s machinery.
Honda’s test program workhorse Cal Crutchlow kept them in the hunt for the top on Day 3. The Brit’s best was a 1:58.431 and, predictably, he was one of the most prolific on track, completing 69 laps. Reigning Champion Marc Marquez did 47 laps and was P12, his day ending in a mishap at Turn 15 – rider ok. The Spaniard also reported in his debrief that he’s more focused on getting the technical side of the new season sorted, rather than worried about his shoulder recovery.
His rookie teammate Alex Marquez was 16th and did 49 laps, ending the test less than half a tenth off getting into the 1:58s. Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) did a best of a 1:59.860 a bit further back, completing 48 laps.
Alex Rins was back in charge of the Suzuki team’s battle for supremacy on Sunday. The number 42 almost made it three bikes in a tenth but for a single thousandth, and he did an apt 42 laps, downing tools a little early. Teammate Joan Mir was P10 after 32 laps, his best a 1:58.736 despite a crash at Turn 9. The positivity from the Hamamatsu factory seems positively brimming after the test, and some impressive long-run pace in the mid 59s made for good reading too.
Ducati, meanwhile, saw their top position on the timesheets taken over by Francesco Bagnaia (Pramac Racing) as the Italian put in a 1:58.502 to secure P4 – only 0.052 off Rins. Ducati Team’s Danilo Petrucci was sixth with a 1:58.606, and Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) eighth… but just 0.010 behind the Italian. Bagnaia and Miller both crashed at Turn 15, riders ok.
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) was a little further down in P14 with a best of 1:58.859, with every GP20 rider putting in around 50 laps each on Sunday. But Dovizioso sounded pretty satisfied, working on setup and feeling on the new tire in the morning – and pointing out that both he and Miller set their best on the medium…
Johann Zarco (Reale Avintia Racing), meanwhile, continued his improvement on the GP19 and ends the test 15th on Day 3, getting down to a 1:58.951 after 42 laps. Teammate Tito Rabat did a best of 1:59.549.
Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) finishes the Sepang test in a similar position to where he started it, in seventh, but the number 44 was nearly a second quicker on Day 2. He only put in 34 laps on Sunday but was also at the shakedown with KTM. His teammate Brad Binder had a pretty solid Sunday too as he remained close to fellow rookie Alex Marquez on the timesheets; the South African shaving nearly a second and a half off his Day 1 best.
Red Bull KTM Tech 3’s Miguel Oliveira, meanwhile, impressed on Day 3, putting in a 1:58.764 as he returns from injury – and slotting into P11 just ahead of reigning World Champion Marc Marquez despite doing only 22 laps. Oliveira’s teammate Iker Lecuona put in just 23 laps as well, but the Austrian factory also fielded test rider Mika Kallio as the Finn took over from Day 2 hero Dani Pedrosa. Kallio suffered a crash at Turn 15, the rider was ok.
Aprilia also leaves Sepang securely belonging in the top ten, having hit the ground very much running with the new RS-GP. Aleix Espargaro led the way for the Noale factory once again as he took ninth with a 1:58.694, putting in 45 laps – and saying there was also more to come from a single lap, which was proving a challenge to maximize. And that’s borne out in the awesome long run pace the number 41 laid down, with a host of mid 59s. Test rider Bradley Smith was also on duty once again, adding 61 laps for the Italian marque.
2020 Sepang MotoGP Preseason Test Results—Day Three
2020 Sepang MotoGP Preseason Test Results—Day Two
Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) was once again the man at the top of the timesheets on Day 2 of the #SepangTest, but this time the Frenchman made his mark on the 2020 factory machine as he got a taste of the new YZR-M1 on Saturday. The man he deposed was Jack Miller (Pramac Racing), who was once again the fastest Ducati, after the Australian had held on to P1 for some time. Third was another stellar performance that stole some headlines as Dani Pedrosa – erstwhile master of Sepang – put KTM into the top three and only 0.090 off the top; his 1:58.662 most definitely an eyebrow-raiser.
Day 2 saw the weather play nice, with track time uninterrupted and that proving valuable for many – and many putting in a good number more laps on Saturday. Quartararo’s 72 laps were testament to that and followed up a performance on Day 1 that was impressive but, in some ways, could have been expected – with the number 20 already having shown scintillating speed on the 2019 Yamaha. Getting on the new machine and proving able to put in a 1:58.572 not long after ensured Day 2 was more than a simple rinse and repeat. Teammate Franco Morbidelli was also quick in fifth after 60 laps, 0.259 off the top on an “A-spec” 2020 machine – without the new air intake and reportedly without the new engine. He crashed at Turn 2, rider ok.
Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP), meanwhile, slotted in right behind the Italian – only 0.062 in further arrears, although he did crash, just as he did on Day 1. The number 12 did 69 laps as both he and teammate Valentino Rossi continued to work with three machines each, and Rossi was tenth overall after 60 laps. ‘The Doctor’’s best was a 1:59.116. Yamaha test rider Katsuyuki Nakasuga suffered a crash, rider ok.
At Ducati, it was Jack Miller who was once again the fastest man on Borgo Panigale machinery. He did 50 laps and only lost out on the top by 0.069, with the positive reports on Ducati’s 2020 machinery continuing. In terms of position it was a “tougher” day on the timesheets for his fellow GP20 riders, however, with Danilo Petrucci (Ducati Team) in P13 followed by Francesco Bagnaia (Pramac Racing) and Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) in 14th and 15th respectively; all three within a tenth and all three putting in nearly 60 laps. Dovizioso crashed at Turn 6, rider ok, causing a brief Red Flag solely to make sure he was away from the track and racing line.
Johann Zarco (Reale Avintia Racing), meanwhile, beat the laptime he set on Day 1 by over half a second, although he maintained the same position, and Ducati Corse Sporting Director Paolo Ciabatti Ducati Corse was spotted in the box with the Frenchman. Zarco’s teammate Tito Rabat was just behind him in position but three and a half tenths in arrears.
At KTM, Dani Pedrosa was the star attraction on the timesheets, and the ‘Little Samurai’ did his fastest lap at Sepang International Circuit – no mean feat given his number of premier class poles and wins at the venue. Pol Espargaro sung his praises too. Espargaro ended the day in P8 after nearly fifty laps and was happy with his day despite a tip off at Turn 1 – working on the new chassis and testing it with different setups, citing some key improvements in grip and stability. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) also improved, shaving eight tenths off his day one best and getting closer to fellow rookie Alex Marquez (Repsol Honda Team).
Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Tech 3) was P16 at the end of the day after 42 laps, continuing his comeback from injury and after also having taken part in the shakedown. Likewise his rookie teammate Iker Lecuona, who put in 41 laps as he adapts to the premier class, ending Saturday on a 2:00.396, although he did suffer a crash.
Just missing out on the top three after Pedrosa’s late lunge were Suzuki. The tables turned on the timesheets on Day 2 as Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) was the leading Hamamatsu factory machine in P4, a 1:58.731 putting him only a tenth and a half off the top after 54 laps. Teammate Alex Rins put in 63 laps, and set his best of a 1:58.978 on the new chassis… citing it as a key step in the right direction. Mir saw it more as a balance of positives and negatives. Test rider Sylvain Guintoli was also on track and he did 58 laps.
For Honda, it was a more muted day on the timesheets, but it was reigning Champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) who took back the honour of quickest for the factory after Cal Crutchlow’s (LCR Honda Castrol) P4 on Day 1. Marquez was ninth with a best of a 1:59.097 after 47 laps, although he crashed at Turn 3. Rider ok, bike less so. Crutchlow did 64 laps, with his huge workload continuing as he remains on point for test duty, and a best of 1:59.247 put him in P12.
Alex Marquez was top rookie once again although, as stated, had Binder for close company, and Takaaki Nakagami’s (LCR Honda Idemitsu) comeback continued to prove a challenge. He was P21 after 47 laps.
Aprilia’s new 90-degree V4 ended the day in P11 in the hands of Aprilia Racing Team Gresini’s Aleix Espargaro, with the number 41 putting in 43 laps and setting a best of 1:59.224. Top speed seems a key area of improvement so far, and test rider Bradley Smith was also out on track working on the project. He did 61 laps.
2020 Sepang MotoGP Preseason Test Results—Day Two
2020 Sepang MotoGP Preseason Test Results—Day One
Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) began the 2020 Sepang MotoGP Preseason Test in an increasingly familiar position: first. The Frenchman was the first man into the 1:58s and his laptime remained largely unthreatened thereafter, although some rain in the afternoon did stop play for a while and limit track time. Teammate Franco Morbidelli was second overall on Day 1 and came the closest to deposing him, only 0.051 off, with Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) next up as the Spaniard completed the top three on Friday.
Quartararo did 41 laps on Day 1, lapping on the 2019 Yamaha, with a best of 1:58.945 on Lap 22. Teammate Franco Morbidelli was the only man able to get close and he was on 2020 machinery, putting in 50 laps overall – ending the day just 0.051 off Quartararo’s best as the Petronas Yamaha duo proved the only two men able to dip under the 1:59 barrier.
At Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP, there was no Jorge Lorenzo out testing on Day 1, with the focus instead on Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi. They both had three bikes each in the garage: two 2020 machines with the new engine and frame and a 2019 version in order to test back to back. Viñales’ best was a 1:59.367 in sixth and Rossi’s a 1:59.569 in tenth.
Rins, meanwhile, put Team Suzuki Ecstar in third after a half-century of laps for the Spaniard on Friday. There was aero on the agenda, and plenty under the covers for the Hamamatsu factory to focus on – including more work on the engine and a new swingarm, chassis, electronics… Rins’ best was a 1:59.195 in P3 and teammate Joan Mir took P9 with a 1:59.968 after a similar amount of laps. Test rider Sylvain Guintoli was also out on track to add another 48 laps to the count.
Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) was the fastest Honda on Day 1. The Brit leapfrogged up into the top three briefly before ultimately ending Friday in fourth after 33 laps, but it was a busy day for the number 35 as he spearheads much of Honda’s testing – with Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) coming back from shoulder surgery, Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) likewise, and Alex Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) making his premier class debut. Crutchlow had three bikes in the garage, one of which was a 2019 machine for back-to-back comparisons. The other two were 2020 machines, although not identical…
Marc Marquez’ best, a 1:59.676 after 37 laps, put him in 12th – with the focus on trying only the essentials as his recovery limits his laps somewhat. Reigning Moto2™ Champion Alex Marquez did a similar number of laps though, and he faced a 0.242 deficit to his teammate by the end of play despite finishing Friday just a position behind him. Nakagami had a steadier start to the test; his best a 2:00.815 as he comes back from injury.
Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) was the fastest Ducati man on Day 1. An improvement on his penultimate lap put the Australian up into fifth with a 1:59.236, behind Crutchlow by just 0.002. He had two 2020 bikes as well as a few “small parts” to try, with positive feedback coming from the Queenslander. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team), meanwhile, put in a 1:59.666 and was just outside the top ten, doing 35 laps, with teammate Danilo Petrucci putting in a fastest lap of 1:59.939 after 42 laps. Francesco Bagnaia (Pramac Racing) was P17, Johann Zarco (Reale Avintia Racing) P19 and Tito Rabat (Reale Avintia Racing) P23.
Aprilia were ahead of the game early on with Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) top of the pile after the first hour and ten or so laps. After positive comments on the new 2020 bike following the shakedown test, that seemed to continue on the timesheets on Friday: Espargaro ended the session on a 1:59.427 in P7 after 40 laps, the laptime the same one with which he topped the timesheets earlier in the day. Lorenzo Savadori was also on duty for the Noale factory after the Italian had also taken part in the shakedown test, and he did 30 laps. Test rider Bradley Smith is expected to join the lineup as the test continues.
Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) led the way for KTM on the first day. The Spaniard ended the test in P8 after a best of 1:59.536, and he put in 50 laps. The Austrian factory worked with their new chassis – on both factory and Tech 3 machines – as well as some aero, and the engine, and Espargaro says there’s more to do on the rear with a new swingarm… as always, it’s a packed program.
Test rider Dani Pedrosa was the next KTM on the timesheets in 15th, with the Spaniard doing nearly 50 laps. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Tech 3) was close though, just over a tenth off Pedrosa and doing a similar number of laps as he comes back from injury that dogged the latter half of his 2019. Iker Lecuona (Red Bull KTM Tech 3) just pipped fellow rookie Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing)… but the two were only 0.008 apart in P20 and P21 respectively.
2020 Sepang MotoGP Preseason Test Results—Day One
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