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Feb 28, 2014 - 06:25 PM
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MotoGP Test, Sepang 2, Day 3
Posted by: newsla on Feb 28, 2014 - 06:21 PM
MotoGP Test, Sepang 2, Day 3

Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC213V) and former World Champion Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) left Sepang at the end of a three-day test at the top of the table with identical lap times.


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Pedrosa and Rossi both recorded 1m 59.999s laps, making them the only riders to dip inside the two minute mark during a test spoiled by a track surface that offered less grip than was available at the first Sepang test earlier this month. Conditions were especially hot today – 37 degrees ambient and a track temperature exceeding 60 degrees at one point!

Former 250 and 125 World Champion Pedrosa rode a useful race simulation this morning when conditions were cooler, also working on engine mapping. Later in the day, when the track temperature started to cool, he rode his fastest lap of the week. His best time was several tenths faster than he had managed here a few weeks ago, despite having less grip this time.

Team-mate and reigning MotoGP World Champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda RC213V) is currently at home in Spain, recuperating from the broken right fibula bone he suffered during a training accident last week. The next time the youngster will ride his RC213V will be in FP1 at the Qatar GP on March 20.

Meanwhile Pedrosa travels directly to Australia for a special three-day tyre test session at Phillip Island, following the tyre longevity issues suffered at the high-speed track in last year’s MotoGP and Moto2 events. Only full-factory riders will attend this test. Non-factory riders will test at Qatar on March 7, 8 and 9.

Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda RC213V) had a strong final day at Sepang, moving up to fifth overall, while Alvaro Bautista (GO&FUN Honda Gresini RC213V) was sixth, having run his fastest lap yesterday.

Bradl spent much of the day focusing on improving race-long consistency, having set his best lap of the tests on a softer tyre during the cooler morning. Although he struggled to reach his own limits with the harder front tyre, he finished the tests a happy man.

After being the fastest man on day one, Bautista ended up sixth overall, about three tenths behind the similarly mounted Bradl, after setting his best time of the day on a very hot track. The Spaniard is delighted with progress here, because a new Showa rear shock absorber has crucially improved traction and feeling on corner exits.

Nicky Hayden (Drive M7 Aspar Honda RCV1000R) was happy with the data he’s gathered, which he will use to improve his pace still further next time out. His major focus now is improving stopping into turns.

Hiroshi Aoyama (Drive M7 Aspar Honda RCV1000R) was slowed by a technical glitch today and yet the former 250 World Champion was able to continue vital R&D work on his RCV1000R. Not only was he faster today, but he also felt more comfortable, giving him great confidence for his next test outing in Qatar at the end of next week

MotoGP rookie Scott Redding (GO&FUN Honda Gresini RCV1000R) learned plenty this week, adapting his riding technique to suit the demands of a hugely powerful MotoGP bike. He smoothed out his riding and that also allowed him to think more about bike set-up.

Karel Abraham (Cardion AB Honda RCV1000R) once again struggled with his season-old shoulder injury. He will now continue intensive physiotherapy at home in order to be as strong as possible for the opening race in Qatar.

Honda rider quotes

Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda): 1st, 1m 59.999s
Today we worked on engine mapping to improve cornering, but the most important thing that we were able to do is a race simulation. We also tried to improve our fast lap time attacks as well. We progressed a lot – although there is still room for improvement. Now we are off to Phillip Island to test out the new tyres.”

Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda): 5th, 2m 00.164s
“I am quite happy about the job we made in the last three days. It’s tough to work in these conditions and the guys worked hard to adjust the bike. Early in the session we went out on soft rubber and afterwards we kept working on long run performance. Today the pace was not as good as yesterday because I was not enough comfortable on a hard front tyre but, overall, this test has been quite positive for us: we are not far off the pace.”

Alvaro Bautista (GO&FUN Honda Gresini): 6th, 2m 00.500s
“These six days of testing in Malaysia have been very hard because we faced very difficult conditions, but we are really happy because we have improved so much throughout the two testing sessions, reaching a good feeling with the bike. After the great work done in the first two days, today we could focus on some details with regard to the Showa front fork, as well as the Nissin brakes. In addition, we have refined the electronic controls. At the end of the day I managed to repeat the lap times obtained in the morning, when the track was cooler: it means that we are working in the right direction, and that there is still room for improvement. Moreover, even though the new rear shock already goes very well, enabling us to maintain a good pace for several consecutive laps, even when the tyre starts to wear out, we have not yet explored all the possible settings. Therefore in the next test in Qatar we will continue to work on this aspect, also trying to improve our qualifying performance.”

Nicky Hayden (Drive M7 Aspar Honda): 15th, 2m 01.924s
“We have worked really hard over the last three days here and we have gathered a lot of information that has given us a better understanding of the bike, although we still haven’t made the major step we are looking for. We still don’t know why we’re struggling so much to get the bike stopped into the corners so we need to work more with the electronics. It has been a strange day and we lost some time making alterations to the set-up to adapt to the heat. We know our potential is much higher than we have been able to show here so we can be optimistic and go to Qatar next week ready to put some more hard work in. It will be interesting to see how the bike performs at a different track but we have a lot to do there to make sure we are ready for the first race.”

Hiroshi Aoyama (Drive M7 Aspar Honda): 17th, 2m 02.070s
“We had a little setback today and had to put everything on hold at around midday but in the end we fixed it and got back out on track. Our objective today was to continue working on the set-up and we managed to improve the feeling by the end of the day. As well as improving the feeling we also improved the lap times but we still have plenty to test next week in Qatar. We need to have a meeting and work out how we can improve the suspension but in general the feeling is that the bike is good and has plenty of room for improvement – it just needs more laps.”

Scott Redding (GO&FUN Honda Gresini): 19th, 2m 02.228s
“I am very happy with how these three days of testing went! The situation has improved a lot since the first test earlier this month; we found a good direction to work on the bike and now I also feel much more confident when riding. Initially I was very aggressive, but now I’m trying to adopt a softer and smoother riding style, and this is helping me a lot also to work on the bike set-up. Today we have also seen progress under braking, where, however, we need to work on consistency, and also in terms of electronics. We are confident ahead of the next test in Qatar: we will start from the data collected here in Malaysia and we’ll see how it goes, considering that we will face a completely different track and conditions.”

Karel Abraham (Cardion AB Honda RCV1000R): 22nd, 2m 04.304s
“It’s been a difficult few days, and annoying because I cannot perform at my full potential. This is our major focus now, so now I go home to continue rehab and hope I will be a bit stronger before the first race.”

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