MotoGP: Fabio Quartararo ends the Sepang test on top
Fabio Quartararo continued his domination of the Sepang test by ending the final day at the top of the timing sheets.
Despite the Frenchman leading all three days, the test has been tight. In fact, only 0.345 covered the six manufacturers in the class. The top 18 riders were covered by 0.820 in Malaysia, an indicator that we're in for another competitive season in MotoGP.
Quartararo topped the timing sheets with a 1:58.349 on the 2020 Yamaha M1. The 20-year-old completed another 57 laps, bringing his total to 181 across the three days. The Petronas Yamaha rider also took some time to perform some practice starts.
Cal Crutchlow finished the final day in second spot, only +0.082 behind Quartararo. The Brit has been working on chassis variations, completing 69 laps today.
The story so far
- Quartararo tops day two on the 2020 Yamaha M1
- Quartararo leads the way on the opening day of the Sepang test
Alex Rins completed the top three for Suzuki and decided to end his day a little earlier. Rins has been testing a new chassis on the GSX-RR, and the overall feeling within the team is that it's been a positive three days.
The top Ducati rider on the final day was Francesco Bagnaia, with Valentino Rossi in fifth spot. Rossi and the factory Yamaha team are believed to have been working on their own holeshot device, based on the one introduced to the paddock by Ducati a few years ago.
Danilo Petrucci found some improvements on the final day to finish sixth. The Ducati rider has been working on a new front fairing, whilst also trying to get to grips with the new Michelin rear tyre.
Pol Espargaro continued to impress for KTM in seventh spot with a quickest lap-time of 1:58.610. Jack Miller was eighth and also suffered a fall earlier in the day.
Aleix Espargaro finished inside the top 10 once again, ending the day in ninth spot. The Aprilia rider produced some impressive long-run pace, indicating that the team have made a huge step forward with the new RS-GP. Joan Mir completed the top 10 on the second Suzuki.
Further down the order, Marc Marquez equalled his 47 laps from yesterday as he continues his return from shoulder surgery. The reigning champion had another crash today, following his fall at turn three on day two. Alex Marquez was the top rookie once again in 16th spot and was just +0.693 off the pace set by Quartararo.
Maverick Vinales turned his attention to race pace and completed several long runs on his Yamaha. Down in 18th spot, Vinales completed more laps than anybody else on the final day (83).
Upon his return to official test duties with Yamaha Jorge Lorenzo produced a quickest lap-time of 1:59.697. Lorenzo was only +1.348 off the pace in 20th spot.
First published: 10:44 8 February 2020 by Josh Close
Fabio Quartararo's fine form continued at Sepang after he topped the timing sheets on his first appearance on the 2020 Yamaha M1.
The Frenchman topped the opening day on the 2019 machine and appears to have performed a seamless switch to the 2020 Yamaha. Last season's Rookie of the Year jumped on the bike as soon as the green lights appeared, completing 72 laps in total.
Quartararo's posted his quickest lap-time, a 1:58.572, with just over 30 minutes remaining. The 20-year-old will have the full factory-spec M1 this season and it looks like he's already adapted to the bike.
Jack Miller was the quickest Ducati rider once again, ending the day in second. The Australian was only +0.069 behind Quartararo and his lap-time of 1:58.641 was his best-ever at the circuit. Miller was using a new aero package and has been very positive about the GP20 so far.
Dani Pedrosa completed the top three for KTM after another impressive day for the new bike. Like Miller, Pedrosa's time of 1:58.662 was his fastest-ever lap at Sepang.
Joan Mir was the top Suzuki in fourth spot and was as high as second at lunchtime. Mir has been working on new aero updates and also tested a new chassis.
Franco Morbidelli was fifth on his 'A-spec' Petronas Yamaha. The Italian's bike has slightly less power than Quartararo and the factory Yamaha riders. Morbidelli is reportedly the only Yamaha rider to be using the carbon fibre swingarm.
Maverick Vinales ended the day in seventh spot, just ahead of Alex Rins on the second Suzuki. Like Quartararo, Vinales completed a large number of laps at Sepang - 69 in total.
Pol Espargaro finished eighth for the second consecutive day on the KTM. The Spaniard was just over half-a-second quicker than day one.
Marc Marquez was ninth and achieved his goal of at least 45 laps. The 2019 world champion suffered a crash at turn three in the closing stages. Valentino Rossi ensured that all four Yamaha riders were inside the top 10.
Elsewhere, Aleix Espargaro ended the day in 11th as he continues to get to grips with the highly anticipated 2020 Aprilia RS-GP. All six manufacturers are in the top 11. Cal Crutchlow continued his extensive testing programme for LCR Honda in 12th, with another 64 laps under his belt.
Andrea Dovizioso continued to be a little under the radar. The factory Ducati rider ended the day down in 15th and a crazy at turn six brought a premature end to his day.
Alex Marquez was the top rookie in 17th, just ahead of Brad Binder. Fellow rookie, Iker Lecuona was 23rd
First published: 10:29am 7 January 2020 by Josh Close
Fabio Quartararo has started his 2020 campaign in the best possible way by topping the opening day of the Sepang test.
The Frenchman led a Petronas Yamaha one-two in Malaysia, with Franco Morbidelli ending the day in second. Quartararo's quickest lap-time was a 1:58.945, with Morbidelli only +0.051 off the pace. The pair completed a high number of laps throughout the day, with Morbidelli completing more than anybody else (62).
Alex Rins completed the top three for Suzuki, +0.250 behind Quartararo's top time. Cal Crutchlow was the top Honda in fourth, with Jack Miller rounding out the top five on the Pramac Ducati. This means that there were four different manufacturers inside the top five.
Maverick Vinales was next in sixth on his Monster Energy Yamaha, with a top time of 1:59.367. All eyes have been on the brand-new Aprilia RS-GP since the shakedown test last weekend, and Aleix Espargaro looked impressive in seventh spot. The Aprilia rider was just under half-a-second slower than Quartararo.
Pol Espargaro was just behind his brother in eighth, with Joan Mir and Valentino Rossi completing the top 10. The Italian, who will be replaced by Quartararo in the factory team next year, was +0.624 off the pace.
It was a quiet day for Andrea Dovizioso on the Ducati, completing only 35 laps on his way to 11th overall.
Both Marquez brothers also failed to hit the 40-lap mark and did not to return to the circuit after the heavy rain fell at lunchtime. Marc Marquez is not 100% fit after undergoing shoulder surgery for the second consecutive year. The reigning champion ended the day 12th overall, just ahead of his brother Alex Marquez.
Elsewhere, Johann Zarco finished 19th on his debut for the Avintia Racing Ducati team. Iker Lecouna and Brad Binder finished in 20th and 21th places respectively.