MotoGP: Lorenzo smashes Sepang record to take top spot
Five-time world champion Jorge Lorenzo has smashed the lap record at Malaysia’s Sepang International Circuit to finish MotoGP’s first official pre-season test on top of the time sheets, finishing nearly two tenths of a second ahead of Dani Pedrosa and Cal Crutchlow as he finds his mojo on the factory Ducati.
Blitzing the best ever two-wheeled lap record set by Marc Marquez during testing back in 2015, Lorenzo was one of a handful of riders to set their fastest laps of the three days early on in the final morning, to end the test on a high after twelve months of learning the Desmosedici machine.
“The lap is a consequence of having a good bike, feeling well and being in shape. The most important thing is that the bike is working, it is giving me a good feeling and it’s improved a lot of areas compared to last year. As I said on the first day, the bike has improved and it’s more suited to my riding style and I can take profit of my strong points. We are at the beginning of how to understand how to get the maximum, there is still some margin to improve, but as a start we cannot be happier than this – always on top, always good pace, and I’m very quick.”
Yesterday’s leader Pedrosa was second on the Repsol Honda, heading a strong day for the Japanese manufacturer and their new 2018-specification engine, with Crutchlow coming home in second (and top satellite) and reigning world champion Marc Marquez in eighth despite not taking the time to make a time attack of his own during the final day.
Andrea Dovizioso was fourth on the second factory Ducati ahead of a rapidly improving Jack Miller and a strong result from MotoGP sophomore Alex Rins on the Suzuki. Marquez was in a Yamaha sandwich in eighth, between Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi, with Johann Zarco rounding out the top ten.