Marquez ends Sepang test on top

Published: 06 February 2014

Marc Marquez has left the first test of 2014 on top of the time sheets, but is chased by a trio of Yamahas after a blisteringly fast third day of riding in tropical temperatures at the Malaysian track.

Jorge Lorenzo started the day off by dipping under the 2 minute mark on only his second lap of the day, but by close of play Maarquez was once again back at the top of the sheets with a 1:59.533 lap - the fastest ever two wheeled lap at the circuit.

It was Valentino Rossi, however, who took second at the end of the day, closing the gap to Marquez to only 0.194 seconds, the closest anyone has finished to the world champion all week.

Lorenzo was third, a further 0.139 back from Rossi, but fourth was the surprise package of the test, with Aleix Espargaro taking the NGM Mobile FTR Yamaha to fourth ahead of the factory Hondas of Bradl and Pedrosa.

The surprising pace of the Yamaha package has started a war of words between the manufacturers over the eligibility of the machine for the Open class. With an M1 engine, chassis and swing arm, the machine is similar to the satellite Tech 3 bikes of brother Pol and Bradley Smith, yet is allowed an extra four litres of fuel in return for using Dorna’s stock ECU.

Andrea Dovizioso was seventh, dipping the factory Ducati to only 0.370 away from the 2 min mark as the Italian set the bike’s fastest ever Sepang lap. Team-mate Cal Crutchlow was back in twelfth, just one spot behind 2013 team-mate Bradley Smith.

The woes of Honda’s new production RCV1000 racer continued to the third day, with Nicky Hayden back in 13th place. The American had hoped previously the Open class machine would have allowed him to run closer to the front, but the bike is struggling with a lack of power.

Scott Redding, also on a RCV1000, was in 21st, improving his day two lap time by half a second to end up 3.3 seconds from the leaders. Redding was closely followed by Michael Laverty on the PBM Aprilia, with the Northern Irishman recovering form day one’s engine problems to set his fastest ever lap of Sepang.

For the full round up from Sepang, see next Wednesday February 12’s Motorcycle News.

1  MARQUEZ, Marc Repsol Honda Team 1:59.533   10 / 40 
2  ROSSI, Valentino Yamaha Factory Racing 1:59.727 0.194 11 / 55 
3  LORENZO, Jorge Yamaha Factory Racing 1:59.866 0.333 2 / 65 
4  ESPARGARO, Aleix NGM Mobile Forward Racing 1:59.998 0.465 7 / 43 
5  BRADL, Stefan LCR Honda MotoGP 2:00.112 0.579 11 / 38 
6  PEDROSA, Dani Repsol Honda Team 2:00.223 0.690 29 / 55 
7  DOVIZIOSO, Andrea Ducati Team 2:00.370 0.837 10 / 40 
8  ESPARGARO, Pol Monster Yamaha Tech 3 2:00.655 1.122 8 / 65 
9  IANNONE, Andrea Pramac Racing 2:00.725 1.192 13 / 57 
10  BAUTISTA, Alvaro GO&FUN Honda Gresini 2:00.788 1.255 3 / 63 
11  SMITH, Bradley Monster Yamaha Tech 3 2:00.896 1.363 0.108 10 / 65 
12  CRUTCHLOW, Cal Ducati Team 2:01.057 1.524 58 / 58 
13  HAYDEN, Nicky Drive M7 Aspar 2:01.514 1.981 21 / 59 
14  EDWARDS, Colin NGM Mobile Forward Racing 2:01.731 2.198 41 / 47 
15  PIRRO, Michele Ducati Test Team 2:01.782 2.249 12 / 67 
16  AOYAMA, Hiroshi Drive M7 Aspar 2:02.383 2.850 61 / 66 
17  DE PUNIET, Randy Suzuki Test Team 2:02.486 2.953 17 / 67 
18  HERNANDEZ, Yonny Energy T.I. Pramac Racing 2:02.556 3.023 31 / 65 
19  AKIYOSHI, Kosuke HRC Test Team 2:02.619 3.086 3 / 58 
20  NAKASUGA, Katsuyuki Yamaha Factory Test Team 2:02.788 3.255 13 / 38 
21  REDDING, Scott GO&FUN Honda Gresini 2:02.833 3.300 42 / 60 
22  LAVERTY, Michael Paul Bird Motorsport 2:03.187 3.654 12 / 41 
23  BARBERA, Hector Avintia Racing 2:03.204 3.671 49 / 54 
24  PARKES, Broc Paul Bird Motorport 2:03.402 3.869 40 / 43 
25  DI MEGLIO, Mike Avintia Racing 2:04.516 4.983 28 / 58 
26  AOKI, Nobuatsu Suzuki Test Team 2:05.686 6.153 10 / 12 
27  ABRAHAM, Karel Cardion AB Motoracing 2:05.974 6.441 6 / 12