27 riders were in action at the Sepang International Circuit today for the first of a scheduled three day testing session, the first ahead of the upcoming 2017 MotoGP season.
Ducati had three bikes in action, Casey Stoner, who led the way for the majority of the day and finished the day on the top of the timesheets, Andrea Dovizioso, who stayed close to the Aussie rider, and new signing, Jorge Lorenzo, who languished down in 15th place, a second and a half off the pace.
New Yamaha rider Maverick Vinales finished in a strong third place, less than half a second behind Stoner, while teammate Valentino Rossi was down in eighth place overall, over a second off the leading pace.
It‘s been a positive first few hours of testing in Sepang for us and, so far, we are quite satisfied. The progress is going well and we are on schedule. In the beginning of the test we suffered a bit from a lack of grip when Maverick started his first run, so he couldn‘t ride as he wanted, but we tried some different things and now it‘s much better," said Yamaha's Massimo Meregalli.
"Valentino wasn‘t feeling 100% fit this morning, but he still headed out on track because we were expecting rain in the afternoon. His and Maverick‘s pace started to pick up throughout the first stints when the track was cooler, though we honestly haven‘t been focussing on setting fast lap times."
"Today our target was to confirm our findings from November and we did do so without any issues. We also worked on the engine, the electronics and the rear tyre life. The changes that we made improved the feelings for the riders on how the bike is performing. It doesn‘t look like the temperatures affected the riders too much, but today was only the first day, there are two more to come."
Meanwhile, reigning world champion Marc Marquez finished ninth overall, behind Rossi with Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa in 13th.
Rain interrupted the day’s planned activities and no times could be bettered in the final few hours due to the wet conditions.
The test continues here tomorrow.
Times from day one:
- STONER, Casey - Ducati Test Team - 1:59.681
2. DOVIZIOSO, Andrea - Ducati Team - 1:59.796 +0.115
3. VIÑALES, Maverick - Movistar Yamaha MotoGP - 2:00.128 +0.447
4. BAUTISTA, Alvaro - Pull&Bear Aspar Team - 2:00.134 +0.453
5. IANNONE, Andrea - Team SUZUKI ECSTAR - 2:00.490 +0.809
6. CRUTCHLOW, Cal - LCR Honda - 2:00.570 +0.889
7. FOLGER, Jonas - Monster Yamaha Tech 3 - 2:00.643 +0.962
8. ROSSI, Valentino - Movistar Yamaha MotoGP - 2:00.695 +1.014
9. MARQUEZ, Marc - Repsol Honda Team - 2:00.737 +1.056
10. BARBERA, Hector - Avintia Racing - 2:00.744 +1.063
11. PETRUCCI, Danilo - OCTO Pramac Yakhnich - 2:00.850 +1.169
12. REDDING, Scott - OCTO Pramac Yakhnich - 2:00.852 +1.171
13. PEDROSA, Dani - Repsol Honda Team - 2:00.970 +1.289
14. ZARCO, Johann - Monster Yamaha Tech 3 - 2:01.224 +1.543
15. ESPARGARO, Aleix - Aprilia Racing Team Gresini - 2:01.271 +1.590
16. ESPARGARO, Pol - Red Bull KTM Factory Racing - 2:01.338 +1.657
17. LORENZO, Jorge - Ducati Team - 2:01.350 +1.669
18. BAZ, Loris - Avintia Racing - 2:01.351 +1.670
19. TSUDA, Takuya - Suzuki Test Team - 2:01.812 +2.131
20. RINS, Alex - Team SUZUKI ECSTAR - 2:01.889 +2.208
21. ABRAHAM, Karel - Pull&Bear Aspar Team - 2:01.926 +2.245
22. MILLER, Jack - Team EG 0,0 Marc VDS - 2:01.942 +2.261
23. NOZANE, Kohta - Yamaha Factory Racing - 2:02.187 +2.506
24. NAKASUGA, Katsuyuki - Yamaha Factory Racing - 2:02.290 +2.609
25. RABAT, Tito - Team EG 0,0 Marc VDS - 2:02.315 +2.634
26. LOWES, Sam - Aprilia Racing Team Gresini - 2:02.942 +3.261
27. SMITH, Bradley - Red Bull KTM Factory Racing - 2:03.034 +3.353