Ducati domination on Day 3: Petrucci, Bagnaia set the pace 1After Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) missed out on setting the fastest ever lap of Sepang by just 0.067 on Thursday, Friday saw action in Malaysia end on a high as not one but six riders went quicker than Jorge Lorenzo’s quickest effort in 2018. The quickest of them all, however, was Danilo Petrucci (Mission Winnow Ducati) as the Italian stormed the timesheets with an awe-inspiring 1:58.239 after 32 laps – with rookie Francesco Bagnaia (Alma Pramac Racing) hot on his heels and only a fitting 0.063 in arrears after 21 laps. Next came his teammate Jack Miller only another small margin further back, the Aussie doing 47 laps and quick despite a crash, with Andrea Dovizioso (Mission Winnow Ducati) completing the top four, three tenths off the top. All in all, a stunner of a day for Ducati machinery.

Dovizioso was positive after the day, although he said there’s still room to improve mid-corner, and Team Manager Davide Tardozzi continued the positivity. The Italian said the riders seem happy with many of the updates brought to the test, including chassis updates and a new fairing, and the long run pace of Day 2 bodes well. Alma Pramac rider Miller put in a long run on Day 3 too, with a good number of laps in the 2:00 and 2:01 bracket. Tito Rabat (Reale Avintia Racing) was a little further back on Day 3, but completed a positive test in P14.

After the Ducati lock out at the top, it was Viñales who remained close. The Spaniard put his newly-numbered number 12 into fifth on the timesheets, setting a 1:58.644 as his best of a whopping 79 laps. Viñales’ long run pace was also electric – with the Yamaha rider putting in 20 laps in the 1:59 and 2:00 brackets. Teammate Valentino Rossi was tenth on the timesheets after more than 60 laps, and it was a positive test for the Iwata marque overall.

Team Director Massimo Meregalli said focus was on taking the different parts and feedback and trying to create a “whole plan”, but that both riders chose more or less the same things and gave similar feedback. Engine decisions have also been made, the two riders remain in discussion about the aero-fairing, and now they’re hoping to reconfirm the results at Qatar.

Biker T-Shirts UK

Petronas Yamaha SRT, on their 2019 spec machines, also had another good showing on the timesheets. Franco Morbidelli was the second quickest Yamaha in P8 after 66 laps, with rookie teammate Fabio Quartararo in P16 after a mammoth 77 laps – just 0.011 behind rookie rival Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar).

Behind Viñales, the final man to beat the 2018 fastest lap was Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) as the Brit took P6 overall and was fastest Honda once again despite returning from injury. The three-time Grand Prix winner crashed on Day 3 once again but managed an increased 61 laps – a positive showing after so much time away – and did a best of a 1:58.780. His teammate Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu), meanwhile, impressed once again as he completed Day 3 in P9 and in the top ten – making that three days in a row. The Japanese rider was happy after the test and put in 61 laps on Friday.

Reigning Champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) seemed relieved on the third day of testing to see the condition of his shoulder improved after a tough Day 2. The number 93 again finished work a little early to aid his recovery, but he did 39 laps with a best of a 1:59.170 and ended the day in P11 – just 0.015 off Rossi. Honda Test Team rider Stefan Bradl also added more than 50 laps to the count for the Japanese manufacturer, ending the day in P13, and tested a new aero fairing, as did Marquez.

Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) was another who put in a stunning performance on Day 3, ending the session in seventh and only just outside Lorenzo’s quickest 2018 lap. He did 52 laps. Technical Director Romano Albesiano was positive about the laptime and the performance of the electronics and chassis, saying it’s been a positive winter and six days of testing so far are encouraging. Espargaro’s teammate Andrea Iannone, meanwhile, sat out the action due to illness.

Team Suzuki Ecstar had a more low-key day on Friday, on the timesheets at least, with Alex Rins the highest-placed Hamamatsu machine in P12, 0.010 off Marquez but putting in 75 laps. Rookie Joan Mir made a big move up the rankings on Day 3 though, ending the session in P15 and only three tenths off his teammate. Rins had positive things to say about Friday and especially about the test overall, with Suzuki aiming to keep their stunning 2018 form despite now having lost concessions for this season.

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing saw Johann Zarco once again the fastest Austrian machine as the Frenchman took P17 with a 1:59.640 after 44 laps – but he only pipped teammate Pol Espargaro by just over a tenth. The Spaniard was P18, with Miguel Oliveira putting his Red Bull KTM Tech 3 machine just behind the two factory bikes. Chassis, suspension and aero were all being worked on, and long run pace was a positive for the Austrian factory. There were several versions of the aero package from KTM, and further testing will take place at Qatar before a decision is made.

That’s it from Sepang and now that Qatar Test looms large as the next chance for the grid to head out on track. That’s from the 23rd to 25th February at Losail International Circuit. Stay up to date on motogp.com!



MotoGP Gallery

Alex Rins fights off Rossi for first win as Marquez suffers shock crash at COTA 1Marquez on pole, Rossi in hot pursuit: can the 'Doctor' stop the King of COTA? 1Maverick Vinales deposes Marquez on Day 1 1Number 69 retired from MotoGP™ 1“It’s a very tricky track”: riders saddle up for Austin 1Marquez dominates ahead of a Rossi vs Dovi last lap duel 1Marquez dominates ahead of a Rossi vs Dovi last lap duel 1Full tilt at Termas: Marc Marquez fights off Viñales and Dovi for pole 1Dovi tops the Termas shuffle as 21 riders finish Friday within a second 1Teeing off at Termas 1All bets are off: "Argentina is impossible to predict" 1Andrea Dovizioso wins the duel by just 0.023 but five riders battle for glory 1Official reception for MotoGP™ takes place in Indonesia 1Andrea Dovizioso wins the duel by just 0.023 but five riders battle for glory 1Battle ready: Viñales lights up Losail for pole 1Fierce competition and fastest laps: the stage is set in the desert 1MotoGP™ TV coverage: new horizons in 2019 1This is MotoGP™: the closest show on two wheels is about to begin 1Unibat choose Italian excellence with Aprilia Racing Team Gresini partnership 1Vinales, Quartararo and Marquez close out the Qatar Test on top 1Sam Lowes retains his roll in Moto2™, Fenati takes the spoils in Moto3™ 1Gresini Racing to rely on Manuel Poggiali as Riders' Coach 1Vinales, Quartararo and Marquez close out the Qatar Test on top 1Alex Rins turns the tables on Qatar Test Day 2 1Maverick Viñales and Alex Rins face off on Day 1 1Marc Marquez returns from injury to top Day 1 at Sepang 1Silverstone MotoGP Round Hosts KTM Fan Stand 1Repsol Honda Team show off 2019 colours 1Red Bull KTM Tech3 initiates new era 1Consorzio Prosecco DOC joins forces with MotoGP™ 1



Grid Girls Gallery by Grid Girls UK
Ducati MotoGP - Silverstone 2014Ducati MotoGP - Silverstone 2014Ducati MotoGP - Silverstone 2014Ducati MotoGP - Silverstone 2014Pramac Ducati MotoGP Silverstone 2014Gresini Honda - Silverstone 2014Gresini Honda - Silverstone 2014Gresini Honda - Silverstone 2014Gresini Honda - Silverstone 2014Baldassarri_Silverstone4Pramac Ducati MotoGP Silverstone 2013Apsar MotoGP Silverstone 2012Pramac Ducati - Silverstone 2010Alstare Ducati - World Superbike - Silverstone 2013Ten Kate Honda - Silverstone May 2015MXGP Great Britain 2018MXGP Great Britain 2018MXGP Great Britain 2018MXGP Great Britain 2018MXGP Great Britain 2018MXGP Great Britain 2018MXGP Great Britain 2018MXGP Great Britain 2018MXGP Great Britain 2018MXGP Great Britain 2018Grid Girls UK – British Superbikes – Oulton Park – May 2011Grid Girls UK – British Superbikes – Oulton Park – May 2011Grid Girls UK – British Superbikes – Oulton Park – May 2011Grid Girls UK models Maria and Becca working at Brands Hatch British Superbike 2011  From Grid Girls UK job and photo shoot archiveGrid Girls UK – British Superbikes – August 2011Grid Girls UK – British Superbikes – August 2011Grid Girls UK – British Superbikes – August 2011Grid Girls UK – British Superbikes – August 2011Grid Girls UK – British Superbikes – August 2011Grid Girls UK – British Superbikes – August 2011Grid Girls UK – British Superbikes – August 2011Grid Girls UK – British Superbikes – August 2011Grid Girls UK – British Superbikes – August 2011Grid Girls UK – British Superbikes – August 2011Grid Girls UK – British Superbikes – August 2011Grid Girls UK – British Superbikes – Brands Hatch – April 2011 v4Grid Girls UK – British Superbikes – Brands Hatch – April 2011 v3Grid Girls UK – British Superbikes – Brands Hatch – April 2011Grid Girls UK – British Superbikes – Brands Hatch – April 2011 v2MWR – British Superbikes – Brands Hatch – April 2011MWR – British Superbikes – Brands Hatch – April 2011 v5MWR – British Superbikes – Brands Hatch – April 2011 v4MWR – British Superbikes – Brands Hatch – April 2011 v3Ten Kate Honda - World Superbikes - Silverstone - 2012Ten Kate Honda - World Superbikes - Silverstone - 2012Ten Kate Honda - World Superbikes - Silverstone - 2012 17Ten Kate Honda - World Superbikes - Silverstone - 2012 17Ten Kate Honda - World Superbikes - Silverstone - 2012 18BMW - World Superbikes - Silverstone - 2012 17Ten Kate Honda - World Superbikes - Silverstone - 2012 16Ten Kate Honda - World Superbikes - Silverstone - 2012 15BMW - World Superbikes - Silverstone - 2012 14Ten Kate Honda - World Superbikes - Silverstone - 2012 13Ten Kate Honda - World Superbikes - Silverstone - 2012 12Ten Kate Honda - World Superbikes - Silverstone - 2012 11Ten Kate Honda - World Superbikes - Silverstone - 2012 10Ten Kate Honda - World Superbikes - Silverstone - 2012 9Ten Kate Honda - World Superbikes - Silverstone - 2012 8Kawasaki - World Superbikes - Silverstone - 2012 7Ten Kate Honda - World Superbikes - Silverstone - 2012 6Ten Kate Honda - World Superbikes - Silverstone - 2012 5Grid Girls UK - World Superbikes - Silverstone - 2012 4BMW - World Superbikes - Silverstone - 2012 3Ten Kate Honda - World Superbikes - Silverstone - 2012 2Ten Kate Honda - World Superbikes - Silverstone - 2012Motorpoint Yamaha - British Superbikes - Thruxton - September 2010Motorpoint Yamaha - British Superbikes - Snetterton - July 2010 v2Grid Girls UK - British Superbikes - Snetterton - July 2010Motorpoint Yamaha - British Superbikes - Snetterton - July 2010Grid Girls UK - British Superbikes - Snetterton - July 2010Grid Girls UK - British Superbikes - Snetterton - July 2010 v2Tyco - British Superbikes - Brands Hatch - September 2010Grid Girls UK - British Superbikes - Silverstone - October 2010Motorpoint Yamaha - British Superbikes - Silverstone - September 2010Tom Tunstall Racing - British Superbikes - s - Cadwell Park - May 2010Oulton Park British Superbikes October 2010Oulton Park British Superbikes May 2010Motorpoint Yamaha - British Superbikes - Cadwell Park - May 2010Motorpoint Yamaha - British Superbikes - Cadwell Park - May 2010Motorpoint Yamaha - British Superbikes - Cadwell Park - May 2010Motorpoint Yamaha - British Superbikes - Cadwell Park - May 2010Motorpoint Yamaha - British Superbikes - Cadwell Park - May 2010Motorpoint Yamaha - British Superbikes - Cadwell Park - May 2010Brands Hatch British Superbikes August 2010Brands Hatch British Superbikes August 2010Brands Hatch British Superbikes August 2010Brands Hatch British Superbikes August 2010Brands Hatch British Superbikes August 2010Motorpoint – British Superbikes 2010Motorpoint – British Superbikes 2010Pramac Ducati MotoGP Silverstone 2014DucatiMotoGP3Pramac Ducati MotoGP Silverstone 2014196098_10151043262382813_1645653679_nMindworks and SuzukiMindworks and SuzukiSpeedfit KawsakiNat working with Red Bull Honda in World SBKHannah working with Halsall Racing in BSBDani working with Honda Racing in World SBKDani working with Halsall Racing in BSBHoliie601542_286850204748655_236925374_n621388_447940558575471_1576202978_oHollie working with Halsall Racing in BSBJen working in British SuperbikesIndia working with Halsall Racing in BSBHolliePhoto ShootAli D in a photo shoot with Grid Girls UKMagic Bullet at Birmingham NECMarta and FerrariMaria and Marta working with Honda Racing in World SBKMaria in a photo shoot with Grid Girls UKDani and India working with Honda Racing in World SBKWSBK Silverstone 7Dani working with Honda Racing in World SBKAli D in a photo shoot with Grid Girls UKWSBK Silverstone 3Grid Girls UK photo shoot with Honda at WSBK Silverstone 1Ali D in a photo shoot with Grid Girls UKGrid Girls UK photo shoot with Honda at WSBK Silverstone 1Grid Girls UK photo shoot with Honda at WSBK Silverstone 1Ali D in a photo shoot with Grid Girls UKAli D in a photo shoot with Grid Girls UKSpecial Offer for Superbike News readers 1

15.3k Followers
Follow