MotoGP 2019 Sepang Pre-Season Test: Ducati Demolition on Final Day

  • Ducati-mounted riders claimed the top four fastest laps on the final day of the MotoGP 2019 Sepang Pre-Season Test.

  • The four Ducati riders were among six who broke the previous test record.

  • Ducati, Yamaha and Suzuki tested new fairings during the test.

Ducati mounted riders staged a demolition of the pre-season test record on the final day of the MotoGP 2019 Sepang Pre-season Test.

New Mission Winnows Ducati rider, Danilo Petrucci used the combination of new soft tyres from Michelin to destroy the “unofficial” lap record. He becomes the fastest bike ever to lap the Sepang International Circuit with an amazing time of 1m 58.239s. His time is nearly 0.6s faster than the 1m 58.830s record set by Jorge Lorenzo last year.

The factory Ducati team debuted a new fairing with 3 spoilers on each side today. Petrucci had crashed while testing it but recovered his composure.

Petrucci’s feat was among Ducati’s domination with four riders leading the timesheets. New Pramac Ducati rider Francesco Bagnaia recorded the second fastest time of 1m 58.302s while his teammate Jack Miller recorded 1m 58.366s to finish third fastest.

Jack Miller at SIC test – Photo credit

In fourth was veteran factory Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso with a time of 1m 58.538s.

The next fastest brand was a factory Yamaha, which Maverick Vinalez took to fifth with a time of 1m 58.644s. Vinalez was the fastest man yesterday with 1m 58.897s yesterday but saw himself being relegated down the order today despite improving on his time. Yamaha were also testing a new fairing today.

Cal Crutchlow also improved from his previous best time of 1m 59.566s to record 1m 58.780s but found himself just sixth quickest!

A total of six riders dipped under the old 1m 58.830s mark. No one believed motorcycles could circulate the SIC track under 2m 0s just two years ago.

Cal Crutchlow at SIC Winter Test 2019 – Photo credit

Aleix Espargaro of the Factory Aprilia Gresini team did well to put the RS-GP in seventh. Franco Morbidelli also did well to finish eight quickest on the Petronas Yamaha SRT bike. Takaaki Nakagami concluded the test ninth fastest, while Valentino Rossi found himself way back in tenth with a time of 1m 59.148s.

The opening day’s fastest man, Marc Marquez languished in eleventh as he suddenly realized that his shoulder was causing him problems.

Marc Marquez at Sepang Winter Test 2019 – Photo credit

But perhaps the biggest surprise was finding Alex Rins of Suzuki Ecstar in eleventh after great showings on the first and second days of testing. Suzuki was elated yesterday as Rins recorded the second fastest time on worn tyres yesterday. Being fast on used tyres means the bike could finish in a strong position in a real race.

The KTM riders are still struggling on Day 3 and ended up in the last four among regular MotoGP riders. Fastest rider Johann Zarco finished seventeenth quickest ahead of Pol Espargaro, Miguel Oliveira and Hafizh Syahrin.

Franco Morbidelli at Sepang Winter Test 2019 – Photo credit

The next and last pre-season test will take place at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar from 23rdFebruary, before the 2019 season kicks off on 10thMarch.

Wahid's lust for motorcycles was spurred on by his late-Dad's love for his Lambretta on which he courted, married his mother, and took baby Wahid riding on it. He has since worked in the motorcycle and automotive industry for many years, before taking up riding courses and testing many, many motorcycles since becoming a motojournalist. Wahid likes to see things differently. What can you say about a guy who sees a road safety message in AC/DC's "Highway to Hell."

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