Dani Pedrosa 2nd, Marc Marquez 3rd on opening day at Sepang
After their victories in Japan and Australia, the Repsol Honda Team riders have reached the final round of the transoceanic tour in Malaysia in top form. Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez finished second and third, respectively, on the first day of practice for the Malaysian Grand Prix. Pedrosa led the way until the final five minutes, when Jorge Lorenzo took the top spot on the combined timesheets.
From the first practice session it was apparent that the pair’s impressive showing at Sepang in preseason had prepared them well, and they quickly moved to the top of the timesheets. Pedrosa set the fastest time in FP1 and Marquez, second for much of the session, was eventually third. The reigning World Champion repeated the position in the second practice, with a time of 2:00.472 just 0.179s off his teammate. Pedrosa, with a best time of 2:00.293, was only 0.047 down on Lorenzo.
Tomorrow sees the second day of practice in the sweltering heat of Sepang, in preparation for the penultimate race of the season.
“It’s true that we’ve all tested here, but now it’s completely different. We are working to adapt the setup of the bike to this circuit, although we went out with the base we used in the test and it was not too bad. It seems that the grip is still not the best, as happened last year, but we are working hard and I think that we will gradually improve. The important thing is that we are close to Jorge and Dani, who are the ones with the best pace. Let’s see if tomorrow we can take that step forward and get the one tenth that I need to be up there with them.”
“Today we had the first practice sessions in Sepang and we focused our work on tyre testing and setting up the bike. We mainly used the day to see what shape the track was in and understand if the testing we did here in the Winter would be a help to us or not, and now we need to continue analysing with the team to see which is the most suitable race tyre for Sunday.”
Source: Repsol Media