Jorge Lorenzo started 2018 on top at the first MotoGP pre-season test of the season, held at the Sepang International circuit in Malaysia.
Lorenzo set a new lap record around the 3.4-mile circuit, clocking a 1m 58:830s on his new Desmosedici GP18, beating previous record holder Marc Marquez’s 2015 lap by just 0.037s.
Top Honda was Dani Pedrosa in second place, just under two tenths away from Lorenzo. LCR’s Cal Crutchlow concluded the top three as 2017 world champion Marc Marquez ended the test seventh on his RC213V.
The second factory Ducati of Andrea Dovizioso followed in fourth, while Jack Miller rounded off an impressive test as he continues to learn his Pramac Ducati GP17, making it a hat-trick of fifth places across all three days.
The Aussie eventually finished just over half a second behind Lorenzo’s record-breaking pace on the final day, ahead of team-mate Danilo Petrucci, the Italian equipped with the GP18 this year.
Alex Rins ended the test as top Suzuki, taking sixth on day three just behind Miller as Andrea Iannone ended a positive test for the GSX-RR in 12th position, both riders praising Suzuki’s new 2018 engine as a good step forward.
Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi and Maverick Vinales would finish eighth and eighteenth respectively; Rossi admitting to being worried about the speed of his new M1 heading forwards, despite praising his Yamaha on day one.
Tito Rabat had an encouraging test as he heads into his first season with Avintia Ducati, ending the test on the cusp of the top ten in 11th, just seven tenths away from the top spot. New team-mate Xavier Simeon ended the day in 20th, over a second behind Rabat.
The top rookie was new LCR-Honda signing Takaaki Nakagami, ending in 14th place just 1.2 seconds away from the top spot, while Marc VDS newbies Franco Morbidelli and Tom Luthi took 17th and 24th respectively.
KTM’s Pol Espargaro was lucky to escape his high-speed crash on Monday without major injury, although was still forced to sit out the final day, leaving test-rider Mika Kallio to fly the Austrian marque’s flag in 16th place.
MotoGP pre-season testing will resume on February 16-18th at the Buriram Circuit in Thailand.