Jorge Lorenzo dominates timesheet in final day of 2016 MotoGP Sepang Test.
As the third and final day of the 2016 MotoGP Sepang Test concludes, reigning world champion Jorge Lorenzo has asserted his authority over the field.
The day began quite late as riders only started logging in laps as late as 11am today. A mid-afternoon shower brought things to a halt, but the field resumed testing as soon as the conditions dried up after. Again, electronics and, more crucially, tyres were the hottest topic amongst teams and riders, but the improved timing posted by all riders stand as positive signs.
No doubt, the final day belonged to Jorge Lorenzo as the Spaniard managed to pilot his 2016-spec Yamaha YZR-M1 around the 5.5km-long Sepang International Circuit (SIC) with his fastest laptime of 1:59.580 in the day’s closing stages. Lorenzo stood as the only rider to break the 2:00.000 mark throughout the tests so far.
Not far off his pace was teammate and rival Valentino Rossi. The Italian superstar was just 0.976 shy off of Lorenzo’s pace when he logged in his best time of 2:00.556 before the mid-afternoon rain hit the circuit.
And, despite initial struggles since Valencia, both factory Honda bikes have somewhat caught up with the two factory Yamahas. Marquez ended Day 3 as the third fastest rider after piloting his Repsol Honda RC213V with a fastest time of 2:00.883 whilst teammate Dani Pedrosa ranked sixth fastest with his best time of 2:01.161.
For Ducati, the day bore mixed results to say the least. Despite being on the older Ducati GP15 machine, retired double world champion Casey Stoner was able to rank himself as the fifth fastest rider after clocking in his best time of 2:01.070. Since yesterday, Stoner showed he still has the pace to keep up with the field, and there are no doubts that his inputs will greatly benefit Ducati’s MotoGP campaign this year.
As for the Italian team’s two factory riders, Andrea Iannone ends the day as the eighth fastest rider whilst teammate Andrea Dovizioso trailed further back by ranking thirteenth fastest. Both riders, astride the new and black-painted Ducati GP16 bike are struggling a little as both were not only outperformed by Stoner on the GP15 bike, satellite rider Danillo Petrucci also out-lapped the duo astride the Octo Pramac Yakhnich Ducati GP15 satellite machine.
Clearly, the Ducati’s GP15 still holds some excellent qualities over its GP16 replacement, but we can expect this to change at the next pre-season test in Doha, Qatar slated for later this month.
Besides Petrucci and his satellite Ducati, Cal Crutchlow’s day also went well as the Briton, astride the satellite LCR Honda, ranked fourth fastest. Cal also stands the only satellite rider, and only one in four, to have clocked in a best time within the 2:01.000 mark. He was also just 0.109 seconds off the pace of Marquez astride the lead factory Honda machine.
With the 2016 MotoGP Sepang Test wrapped up, most riders and teams appear to have gotten to grips with the new spec-ECU. More importantly, confidence in the new Michelin tyres continues to grow despite yesterday’s dramatic tyre blowout that caused rider Loris Baz to crash down the straight.
The final round of pre-season tests will perhaps shed more light into how the upcoming 2016 MotoGP season will pan out.
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2016 MotoGP Sepang Test – Day 3