2013 MotoGP Testing Underway

Marc Marquez posts strong initial results in Sepang

Photo: Courtesy of Repsol Honda Team

Rossi’s humble return to the Yamaha M1 and the arrival of rookie Marc Marquez has many MotoGP fans anticipating the start of the 2013 season, and now it’s finally arrived. The first official test was held in Sepang, Malaysia, where the sky was overcast, but overall good conditions allowed the riders who emerged from a three month hibernation to put in a good amount of laps. Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi of Yamaha Factory Racing were reunited once again minus the infamous wall; the pair fared well during the full day of testing with Jorge just 0.008 seconds from first and Rossi in fourth. However, Repsol Honda stole the show with positive results for Dani Pedrosa who finished 1st and posted the fastest lap of the day; his teammate Marquez was not far behind at just 0.044 seconds off pace.

For a number of riders, the impressive result of Marquez at only his first official MotoGP test came as no surprise. Even before the test, other riders were already singing his praises. In a recent interview with Cal Crutchlow of Monster Yamaha Tech 3 at the 2012 IMS, he said to us candidly: “Marquez, at the moment, is the best rider in the world.” The young Spaniard, who arrived as Casey Stoner’s replacement, has already caused a stir with his controversial riding style in Moto2, a style which secured him the championship for 2012. Crutchlow continued, “The best thing about Marquez is he knocks people off, he crashes, he gets back up, he busts his eye socket, everybody else cares, he doesn’t. He’s not interested in what people say or think.” Now that he has transitioned to the premiere class, Crutchlow’s prediction that Marquez on a factory bike is a force to be reckoned with has held up.

Marquez seemed to be the only one who downplayed his result, stating, "I don't think the result today should be used as a reference point, because we are all trying out new things. I focused on simply finding a good setup and getting comfortable on the bike. I tried to put in a good time so that the day's testing had a purpose."

Meanwhile Rossi came back as a strong contender aboard the M1; he was initially the fastest rider during the majority of the morning session but fell back to fourth as the day wore on. “I’m very happy about the first day of testing with the M1.” said Rossi. “After two seasons away I was able to come back on the bike and remember the good feeling I always had with it. I am also happy because I was quite fast from the morning. We worked on the settings to make some improvements and we made some good steps. In the afternoon we started to work on the new parts for the season. It’s just the first test but the potential is high and I am in a good position, I am in fourth place but not far from the other three guys. I am very positive that we can improve over the next few days but I’m happy with the start.”

Testing is set to run through Thursday February 7th, with chances of rain still looming.

MotoGP Sepang Test Day 1 Results 2013:
1. Dani Pedrosa (Honda) 2'01.157
2. Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) 2'01.165
3. Marc Marquez (Honda) 2'01.201
4. Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) 2'01.584
5. Stefan Bradl (Honda) 2'01.789
6. Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha) 2'01.881
7. Alvaro Bautista (Honda) 2'01.981
8. Katsayuki Nakasuga (Yamaha) 2'02.968
9. Kosuke Akiyoshi (Honda) 2'02.972
10. Nicky Hayden (Ducati) 2'03.336
11. Wataru Yoshikawa (Yamaha) 2'03.456
12. Bradley Smith (Yamaha) 2'03.460
13. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati) 2'03.535
14. Aleix Espargaro (ART) 2'03.782
15. Randy de Puniet (ART) 2'04.283
16. Andrea Iannone (Ducati) 2'04.500
17. Ben Spies (Ducati) 2'05.086
18. Takumi Takahashi (Honda) 2'05.154
19. Hector Barbera (FTR-Kawasaki) 2'05.469
20. Yonny Hernandez (ART) 2'05.656
21. Karel Abraham (ART) 2'05.694
22. Danilo Petrucci (Suter-BMW) 2'05.753
23. Hiroshi Aoyama (FTR-Kawasaki) 2'05.919
24. Claudio Corti (FTR-Kawasaki) 2'06.426
25. Michael Laverty (ART) 2'06.507
26. Lukas Pesek (Suter-BMW) 2'07.015
27. Bryan Staring (FTR-Honda) 2'07.044
28. Colin Edwards (FTR-Kawasaki) 2'08.206

MotoGP Sepang Test Day 2 Results 2013:
1. Dani Pedrosa (Honda) 2'00.549
2. Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) 2'00.568
3. Marc Marquez (Honda) 2'00.803
4. Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) 2'01.038
5. Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha) 2'01.311
6. Stefan Bradl (Honda) 2'01.369
7. Alvaro Bautista (Honda) 2'01.729
8. Bradley Smith (Yamaha) 2'01.931
9. Nicky Hayden (Ducati) 2'02.110
10. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati) 2'02.379
11. Kosuke Akiyoshi (Honda) 2'02.526
12. Katsayuki Nakasuga (Yamaha) 2'02.701
13. Ben Spies (Ducati) 2'03.002
14. Wataru Yoshikawa (Yamaha) 2'03.156
15. Andrea Iannone (Ducati) 2'03.169
16. Aleix Espargaro (ART) 2'03.251
17. Randy de Puniet (ART) 2'03.791
18. Danilo Petrucci (Suter-BMW) 2'04.284
19. Takumi Takahashi (Honda) 2'04.559
20. Hiroshi Aoyama (FTR-Kawasaki) 2'04.786
21. Hector Barbera (FTR-Kawasaki) 2'04.989
22. Karel Abraham (ART) 2'05.028
23. Michael Laverty (ART) 2'05.417
24. Claudio Corti (FTR-Kawasaki) 2'05.721
25. Yonny Hernandez (ART) 2'05.837
26. Colin Edwards (FTR-Kawasaki) 2'06.205
27. Bryan Staring (FTR-Honda) 2'06.898
28. Lukas Pesek (Suter-BMW) 2'21.512