Pramac’s Danilo Petrucci leads the pack on Day 2 of the MotoGP test from the Sepang circuit in Malaysia.
The Italian’s lap time of 2’00.095 was set early on in the session, blitzing the time set by current World Champion Jorge Lorenzo yesterday by 0.600.
The session will be remembered more however for the freak tyre failure that caused Loris Baz to fall at over 280kmh on the main straight. Baz was unhurt, but the session was red flagged for over an hour as Dorna and Michelin tried to discover the fault that caused the incident, leading to the soft tyre being withdrawn as a precaution. This means that Danilo’s time won’t be beaten tomorrow.
Baz wasn’t the only rider to fall, with Pol Espargaro, Jorge Lorenzo and Tito Rabat all ending up in the gravel trap. Lorenzo was lucky to escape injury after his Movistar Yamaha machine ended up in quite a state after his fall. He did, however, finish a respectable 2nd place, only 0.060 behind Petrucci.
Hector Barbera was a surprise 3rd place, with the Spaniard taking advantage of the soft tyres before Baz’s incident. Marc Marquez finished 4th with fellow Honda rider Cal Crutchlow rounding off the top 5.
Valentino Rossi finished 6th, with the Italian completing his goal of being only a second off the time of fellow Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo. Britain’s Scott Redding was 7th, on what has to be a successful day’s work for the Octo Pramac Yaknnich Ducati Team.
The main attraction for the test was the return of Casey Stoner to an official MotoGP timed session. The double World Champ returned on the Ducati, after a couple of years as Honda’s test rider. The Australian finished a respectable 9th place behind Andrea Iannone but ahead of former Honda teammate Andrea Dovizioso, who ended up 14th.
As you can see in the above image, the Ducati was also sporting some more wings today. Are we on track for more of the infamous additions to the Desmosedici?
Tech 3’s Bradley Smith finished 10th after a late charge to the front, with Maverick Vinales leading the Suzukis, with Aleix Espargaro almost half a second off the pace of the 2015 rookie of the year.
The final test kicks off tomorrow, with testing on the hard compound Michelin tyre expected thanks to the pulling of the soft tyre.