Sepang test: Jorge Lorenzo leads first session

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Jorge Lorenzo might not have ridden a MotoGP bike since October 16, but he returned to action in impressive fashion today to top the opening day timesheets at the Sepang circuit in Malaysia.

The Spaniard was back on board a MotoGP bike for the first time since his 2011 campaign was ended prematurely when he lost 8mm off the tip of his wedding ring finger following a high speed fall in the warm-up session for the Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island.

The 2010 MotoGP world champion didn’t look at all ring rusty as he logged a best time of 2.01.657 on only his third outing on Yamaha’s new factory YZR-M1 1000cc machine.

That beat fellow Spaniard and Repsol Honda rival Dani Pedrosa by 0.346s as the opening day of 2012 winter testing belonged to Yamaha, with British rider Cal Crutchlow finishing in an impressive third place on only his second outing on the new 1000cc YZR-M1.

The Coventry rider clocked a best time of 2.02.221 in his 32-lap run today to finish 0.564s behind Lorenzo.

Ben Spies was fourth quickest having finished just a fraction behind Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider Crutchlow.

Valentino Rossi’s much anticipated debut on the radical new Ducati GP12 was an encouraging one, the Italian setting a best time of 2.02.392 to finish fifth fastest.

Rossi completed 43 laps on the new Desmosedici, which features major engine and chassis changes for 2012 to try and help the nine-times world champion bounce back from a nightmare 2011.

His best lap left him 0.735s behind Lorenzo’s pace but he was less than 0.4s away from Pedrosa in second.

The big surprise of the day was the woefully slow pace of the three CRT machines taking part in the Malaysia test.

Colin Edwards completed 21-laps on the Suter/BMW but his best time of 2.08.240 was a massive 6.583s back of Lorenzo.

The BQR-FTR Kawasaki was much slower with Jordi Torries lapping at a best pace of 2.10.671 to finish 9.014s off the pace, while Ivan Silva clocked a 2.11.267.

Today’s action didn’t commence until over 75 minutes after the track opened at 10am, with the track littered with damp patches after heavy overnight rain.

1  Jorge Lorenzo  Yamaha Factory Racing  2:01.657  –  –  30 laps
2  Dani Pedrosa  Repsol Honda Team  2:02.003  +0.346  +0.346  44 laps
3  Cal Crutchlow  Yamaha Tech 3  2:02.221  +0.218  +0.564  27 laps
4  Ben Spies  Yamaha Factory Racing  2:02.234  +0.013  +0.577  28 laps
5  Valentino Rossi  Ducati Team  2:02.727  +0.493  +1.070  31 laps
6  Andrea Dovizioso  Yamaha Tech 3  2:02.751  +0.024  +1.094  20 laps
7  Hector Barbera  Pramac Racing Team  2:02.773  +0.022  +1.116  35 laps
8  Katsuyuki Nakasuga  Yamaha Factory  2:02.829  +0.056  +1.172  29 laps
9  Alvaro Bautista  Honda Gresini  2:02.939  +0.110  +1.282  36 laps
10  Stefan Bradl  LCR Honda  2:03.668  +0.729  +2.011  38 laps
11  Karel Abraham  Cardion AB Motoracing  2:03.781  +0.113  +2.124  36 laps
12  Nicky Hayden  Ducati Team  2:03.969  +0.188  +2.312  23 laps
13  Franco Bataini  Ducati Team  2:04.986  +1.017  +3.329  26 laps
14  Casey Stoner  Repsol Honda Team  2:07.163  +2.177  +5.506  4 laps
15  Colin Edwards  NGM Mobile Forward Racing  2:08.240  +1.077  +6.583  18 laps
16  Ivan Silva  Avintia Racing  2:11.267  +3.027  +9.610  12 laps
17  Jordi Torres  Avintia Racing  2:12.652  +1.385  +10.995  33 laps

Liam Marsden

By Liam Marsden

Former MCN Web Producer