MotoGP: Dani Pedrosa conquers Thai Test!


Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda) set the fastest lap ever around Buriram during the three-day MotoGP Thai test.

Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech3) was not too far off on board his developed Yamaha M1.

Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) settled for third after having completed over 300 laps around the Buriram International Circuit.

After the concluding their first ever maiden MotoGP pre-season testing in Thailand, the entire MotoGP field are now well aware of the what the Buriram International Circuit has to offer. The rider that gained the most advantage was none other than Dani Pedrosa of Repsol Honda.

The combined standings from all three sessions saw Dani Pedrosa sitting on the very top with an impressive 1:29.781 which was the fastest ever time set by a two-wheeler around Buriram. It seems that whatever they’ve tested have paid off including a carbon fibre swingarm.

Monster Yamaha Tech3 rider Johann Zarco was not too far off in P2 with an equally impressive 1:29.867. The young Frenchman was fast and quite happy with his package throughout the testing stage.

We can see that Zarco is beginning to develop the Yamaha M1 according to his own riding style which was clearly faster than the Movistar Yamaha duo, Maverick Vinales and Valentino Rossi.

Marc Marquez sits in P3 with a 1:29.969 which was set in Day 2 of the Thai test. The 2017 MotoGP world champion was delighted to inform that their 2018 package is almost ready after having completed around 300 laps around three days around Buriram.

Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) sits in P4 ahead of an impressive Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar). Rins together with the Suzuki GSX-RR have gone through quite a development stage and he seems to be happy with their 2018 package.

Jack Miller (Alma Pramac Racing) was surprisingly the fastest Ducati rider in Thailand sitting at P6 with a 1:30.185. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) had to settle for P7 which was only 0.007 seconds behind the young Aussie. Dovizioso together with Lorenzo and Petrucci were given the task of testing multiple aerofairings for the past couple of days.

The only other Yamaha rider in the top 10 was Maverick Vinales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) where he sits just 0.082 seconds behind the Ducati Desmosedici GP18 rider. The Spaniard and even Rossi seemed to be struggling with their latest package ever since the last day of testing in Sepang a few weeks back. The main issue is said to be correlated to how the rear tyre performs.

Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) rounded the top ten fastest riders in Buriram with an impressive 1:30.456 which is only 0.675 seconds behind top veteran rider, Dani Pedrosa. Not a bad performance at all for a rookie who has only been on a MotoGP bike for a few sessions.

Hafizh Syahrin (Monster Yamaha Tech3) concluded the three-day testing with a 1:31.537. Although he sits in P22, the young Malaysian improved his lap times by over 1.6 seconds after only three days of riding his first ever MotoGP bike.

The result? He was faster than Karel Abraham (Angel Nieto Team) and Xavi Simeon (Reale Avintia Racing) which goes to show how much potential the young rider has. With a bit of time, practice and patience, we’re confident that Hafizh can easily sit comfortably in the top 10.

The MotoGP circus will head towards their final pre-season testing in Qatar on 1 March 2018 before the opening round on 18 March 2018. In two weeks time, we will finally see all the developed bikes under the floodlights of the Losail International Circuit.

Image source: MotoGP