Dani Pedrosa continued his domination of the 2013 winter testing schedule after the Spaniard led the timesheets on a rain-hit opening day of the second Sepang test in Malaysia today.
Pedrosa led the way on all three days in Sepang earlier this month and carried on his impressive form today when he set a best time of 2.01.580 to finish 0.235s clear of reigning world champion Jorge Lorenzo.
A slippery surface and searing heat that saw track temperatures hit over 60 degrees meant lap times were well off the pace of the first test just over two weeks ago.
But Pedrosa remained in charge on an opening day that saw three hours of dry track time lost to heavy rain showers that fell intermittently from the mid-afternoon point onwards.
Pedrosa’s Repsol Honda teammate Marc Marquez was third fastest. The Spaniard had a small crash at Turn 9 but set a best time of 2.01.959 to finish 0.362s off the fastest pace.
German Stefan Bradl was fourth with factory Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi finishing in fifth position. Rossi endured a largely frustrating day on his way to clocking a best time of 2.02.028. An electrical fault meant he barely got to complete any laps on the new 2013 Yamaha YZR-M1 machine and when the new bike was fixed and ready to go, the rain started to hammer down at 245pm local time.
The top six was completed by British rider Cal Crutchlow, who was just over 0.6s behind Pedrosa with a best time of 2.02.272.
Andrea Dovizioso was the best Ducati rider in a lowly eighth. The Italian was 1.221s off the best pace and one place ahead of factory Desmosedici teammate Nicky Hayden.
British rider Bradley Smith was 10th quickest after he suffered his first crash on a MotoGP bike at Turn 7. The 22-year-old never made it back out on track once the rain started to fall heavily.
It was a frustrating day for Irishman Michael Laverty, who is still waiting to make his debut on the new British-built PBM chassis.
The squad only took delivery of the new bike last week and Laverty spent most of his time watching the action from the media centre as the PBM machine, which is powered by an Aprilia engine, wasn’t ready to turn a lap today.