Reigning champ Marc Marquez ended the first day in Sepang fastest, just over half a second quicker than Valentino Rossi. The Repsol Honda wiz-kid was already dipping under Jorge Lorenzo’s pole position record while working on engine mappings, clutch and also the new-spec Bridgestone rear tyre.
“I’m happy with how this first day went and to have achieved my goal of regaining my feeling on the bike. Of course, at the start I was a little stiff, but gradually I was able to pick up the pace. Today I tested the new rear tyre from Bridgestone and it felt similar to last year. Tomorrow we will continue with our plan: testing out the setup and beginning to draw conclusions from our findings. We put in a lot of laps today and I’m sure that tomorrow I will feel it; even though we train in the gym over the winter, here you work your muscles in a different way”
There were no real surprises from today, although Forward Racing’s Aleix Espargaro onboard last year’s Yamaha M1 looked a bit tasty, ending the day in 7th and faster than the Tech3 youngsters of Bradley Smith and brother Pol. Jorge Lorenzo got relegated to 4th, just behind Dani Pedrosa.
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And it looks like the Ducatis are still struggling, despite Andrea Iannone’s quick time he blagged whilst getting a tow. Dovi and Cal Crutchlow ended the day in 12th and 14th, over two seconds off the pace after testing both 2013 and 2014 Desmos.
The production Honda RCV1000Rs also have a bit of grafting to do and are a long way off the predicted lap times. Aspar’s Nicky Hayden and Hiroshi Aoyama finished 17th and 18th, while Gloucestershire’s finest rookie, Gresini’s Scott Redding, was just a second off the more experienced pairing.
Michael Laverty only managed 14 laps all day, after a poorly motor on his PBM bike. Randy De Puniet was also out in Malaysia testing the Suzuki.
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