Jorge Lorenzo’s domination and Casey Stoner’s surprisingly fast lap times were the main talking points at the conclusion of MotoGP testing in Sepang today.
On a day that was often disrupted by rain, Lorenzo showed why he is the current MotoGP World Champion by consistently smashing his previous best lap times.
His first benchmark time of 2:00.882 was set on only his fourth lap.
With about an hour to go in the test, he broke through the 2 minute barrier and then recorded an even faster time to end the day with a best time of 1:59.580.
He was the only rider to record a sub 2 minute lap.
Movistar Yamaha teammate Valentino Rossi was again his closest rival, but Rossi could do no better than a 2:00.556, almost a second off Lorenzo’s pace.
Lorenzo’s time was even more impressive given the teams were still limited to using a hard compound rear tyre.
The soft rear tyre was withdrawn from testing after Loris Baz’s 290km/h crash yesterday.
Casey Stoner continued testing on the Ducati GP15 and turned in some impressively fast lap times.
At one stage Stoner had held the second fastest time of the day.
His final time of 2:01.070 placed him as the leading Ducati rider and fifth for the day, just 1.490 seconds behind Jorge Lorenzo.
Stoner’s performance has many people asking why he isn’t returning as a regular competitor.
He is placed ninth in the combined times after the three days of testing and proven he can be competitive with the current crop of regular riders.
The tyre situation and varying track conditions made it challenging for some riders to show their full potential today.
Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa had a better day improving his time by over 0.3 second from the previous day and finishing 6th.
Fellow Honda riders Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) and Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) could not match their best times from the second day of testing but still placed 3rd and 4th.
Marquez focussed heavily on chassis setup and although feeling positive says they are still far from where they’d like to be with the bike.
Danilo Petrucci was only able to compete 18 laps because of two separate issues with his Octo Pramac Ducati.
Petrucci was disappointed not to be able to spend more time on track after recording a stunning 2:00.095 on Tuesday on soft tyres.
The teams now head to Phillip Island for the second of three pre-season tests beginning on the 17th February.