Marquez sets quickest ever lap at Sepang to top first MotoGP test
Current World Champion Marc Marquez emphatically underlined his title credentials for the upcoming season by setting a scorching time of 1'58.867 at the first MotoGP group test of 2015 at Malaysia’s Sepang International Circuit.
In cool conditions on the morning of the final day, Repsol Honda’s Marquez was the first ever rider to lap the Sepang circuit in the 1’58 bracket to ultimately set a time 0.139 seconds quicker than his teammate Dani Pedrosa, who was second quickest in Malaysia. Third quickest overall was Ducati Team’s Andrea Iannone, with the Italian rider relishing his graduation to the factory Ducati team with lap time of 1’59.388, over 1.3 seconds quicker than his best time in last year’s opening group test.
Thirty riders – including a total of five test riders from Aprilia, Honda, Suzuki and Yamaha – took part in the first group test of 2015, completing a total of 4429 laps (24,550 kilometers) on Bridgestone tires. The gap in lap time from the quickest to slowest rider at the first Sepang test was 7.323 seconds.
Fine and dry conditions presented themselves during the three days of the test, with a peak track temperature of 53°C recorded on the afternoon of the second day. Track conditions were usual for Sepang, with only moderate grip levels and certain sections of the circuit being quite bumpy, but the combination of fine weather, the latest MotoGP machinery and Bridgestone’s 2015 specification tires resulted in the test being run at record pace. The slightly cooler conditions on the morning of the final day allowed the riders to extract maximum performance from their tires, with the top seven riders on the timesheets able to set times in the 1’59 bracket.
All front and rear slick compound choices were utilized by riders over the three days and Bridgestone will now analyse the data acquired to incorporate into their tire development program for the 2015 season. Bridgestone will be back in Sepang for the second MotoGP official test which will take place from February 23-25.
Shinji Aoki - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tire Development Department
“This was a successful first group test and I am happy with the feedback we received from the riders on our 2015 specification tires. Our technical objectives for this test were to give the riders some newly developed tires based on our learnings from last year, while also ensuring that we provided a softer rear tire allocation to cope with the increased performance of the current Open-class machines. I am happy to say that we achieved all our objectives, and despite track conditions not being ideal, the pace set over the three days was very impressive. We now look forward to continuing our good work at Sepang in a few weeks’ time.”