Jorge Lorenzo ended Dani Pedrosa’s golden run in pre-season testing at the Sepang circuit in Malaysia today when the reigning world champion topped the timesheets in hot and humid conditions.
Repsol Honda rider Pedrosa had been fastest in all four days so far at Sepang. But on the second day of the second Malaysia test he had to give way to an impressively fast and consistent factory Yamaha rival Lorenzo.
Lorenzo’s best of 2.00.282 put him 0.369s clear of Pedrosa, with grip levels vastly improved compared to yesterday’s slippery conditions that allowed lap times to tumble.
Spaniard Lorenzo was 1.6s faster than his best time yesterday but it was his consistency that was the most eye-catching feature of his performance, with the double MotoGP world champion the only rider to lap consistently in the 2.00 bracket in his 58-laps on track.
Pedrosa took second by 0.256s from impressive British rider Cal Crutchlow, who moved up from sixth to third place today with a best lap of 2.00.907.
That was 1.3s faster than he managed on day one and it put the 27-year-old just 0.085s clear of Repsol Honda rookie Marc Marquez.
Italian Valentino Rossi was fifth for the second day in succession and a best time of 2.01.065 gave him plenty of food for thought after he finished 0.783s adrift of Lorenzo’s blistering speed.
Alvaro Bautista completed the top six with British rookie Bradley Smith going some way to restoring his confidence after a first day crash to finish 10th again.
The Oxfordshire rider logged a best time of 2.02.023 to knock a massive 1.6s off his best time from yesterday.
Smith was less than 0.3s behind factory Ducati duo Nicky Hayden and Andrea Dovizioso.
It was a tough day for Texan Ben Spies, who is still trying to regain full strength in a right shoulder he badly injured in a crash during last October’s Sepang MotoGP race.
The 2009 World Superbike champion was 17th today and a best time of 2.03.460 leaving him 3.178s off the pace.
Michael Laverty did finally to get out on the new PBM chassis today, but he only completed 19 laps as gremlins with the new standard Magneti Marelli electronics system seriously hindered his hopes of properly evaluating the British-built frame.
The Irishman finished with a best time of 2.07.721.
1. Jorge Lorenzo ESP Yamaha Factory (YZR-M1) 2m 0.282s (Lap 32/58)
2. Dani Pedrosa ESP Repsol Honda (RC213V) 2m 0.651s (24/55)
3. Cal Crutchlow GBR Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1) 2m 0.907s (29/59)
4. Marc Marquez ESP Repsol Honda (RC213V) 2m 0.992s (9/64)
5. Valentino Rossi ITA Yamaha Factory (YZR-M1) 2m 1.065s (10/63)
6. Alvaro Bautista ESP Honda Gresini (RC213V) 2m 1.208s (14/58)
7. Stefan Bradl GER LCR Honda (RC213V) 2m 1.485s (15/54)
8. Nicky Hayden USA Ducati Team (GP13) 2m 1.778s (63/69)
9. Andrea Dovizioso ITA Ducati Team (GP13) 2m 1.803s (16/49)
10. Bradley Smith GBR Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1) 2m 2.023s (62/63)
11. Andrea Iannone ITA Pramac Racing (GP13) 2m 2.608s (23/47)
12. Aleix Espargaro ESP Aspar (ART CRT) 2m 2.905s (44/45)
13. Michele Pirro ITA Ducati Test Rider (GP13) 2m 2.920s (26/60)
14. Katsuyuki Nakasuga JPN Yamaha Test Rider (YZR-M1) 2m 2.946s (40/43)
15. Wataru Yoshikawa JPN Yamaha Test Rider (YZR-M1) 2m 3.354s (15/40)
16. Hector Barbera ESP Avintia (FTR-Kawasaki CRT)* 2m 3.428s (54/55)
17. Ben Spies USA Pramac Racing (GP13) 2m 3.460s (34/36)
18. Randy De Puniet FRA Aspar (ART CRT) 2m 3.518s (36/57)
19. Hiroshi Aoyama JPN Avintia (FTR-Kawasaki CRT)* 2m 3.990s (50/57)
20. Danilo Petrucci ITA IodaRacing (Suter-BMW CRT)* 2m 4.279s (50/50)
21. Karel Abraham CZE Cardion AB (ART CRT) 2m 4.350s (55/68)
22. Takumi Takahashi JPN Honda Test Rider (RC213V) 2m 4.512s (55/77)
23. Colin Edwards USA Forward Racing (FTR-Kawasaki CRT)* 2m 4.656s (18/44)
24. Yonny Hernandez COL Paul Bird Motorsport (ART CRT) 2m 4.671s (56/58)
25. Claudio Corti ITA Forward Racing (FTR-Kawasaki CRT)* 2m 4.709s (19/29)
26. Bryan Staring AUS Honda Gresini (FTR-Honda CRT) 2m 5.439s (37/44)
27. Lukas Pesek CZE IodaRacing (Suter-BMW CRT)* 2m 6.206s (17/45)
28. Michael Laverty GBR Paul Bird Motorsport (PBM CRT)* 2m 7.721s (18/19)
* Control ECU.