Pedrosa takes top spot in first official MotoGP test at Sepang
Dani Pedrosa set a time of 2’00.100 early on the final day of testing at Sepang International Circuit to finish on top of the timesheets at the first official group test of the 2013 MotoGP World Championship.
Pedrosa was quickest on all three days of the group test and set his benchmark time today on the combination of the hard compound front and medium compound rear slick. Second fastest overall was Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo with a best time of 2’00.429, while his teammate Valentino Rossi was third quickest in Sepang, clocking a time of 2’00.542.
After claiming the honour of being the top CRT rider last season, Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaro was the quickest CRT rider at the first Sepang test, his personal best time of 2’02.628 placing him in thirteenth position overall on the timesheets. Twenty-eight riders took part in the first group test of the year and the gap from the fastest to slowest rider was 5.870 seconds, an improvement of almost five seconds compared to the same test last year.
In a welcome change to the CRT ECU test which took place on the two days before the group test, the weather at Sepang over the three days of testing was mainly fine, with only the last hour of the second and third day of testing affected by rainfall. Track temperatures over the three days varied from 27°C to 55°C and thanks to the mainly fine weather, all the slick tyres Bridgestone brought to Malaysia, including a CRT-specific soft rear slick and two hard compound rear slicks for the Ducati, Honda and Yamaha machines were tested extensively. Large amounts of rider feedback and empirical data have been collected and will now be analysed at Bridgestone’s technical centre in Kodaira, Japan.
Bridgestone will be back on the ground at Sepang for the next MotoGP group test which will take place from February 25-28.
Shinji Aoki - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department
“This was a very good test for us and has helped refine the direction of our tyre development for this year. The CRT-specific rear slick we brought to Sepang gave the CRT riders an improvement in rear grip with enough durability to make it a viable race option, so this is promising. Testing of the two new hard compounds we supplied to the works teams also provided useful data, and we will now look to test these options at different tracks in future as part of our ongoing tyre development programme.
“Overall, I’m pleased with what we achieved here in Malaysia and I’d like to thank all the teams and riders for their cooperation over the last five days of testing. I’m also happy that so few riders crashed during the test and I hope this trend continues throughout the pre-season tests.”