Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez was quickest again as the opening MotoGP preseason test at Sepang concluded Thursday.
The reigning World Champion took advantage of cooler temperatures in the morning to set a stunning lap of 1:59.533. That pace-setting lap eclipsed the previous best Sepang test time of 1:59.607, achieved by Honda’s Casey Stoner in 2012.
Nine-time World Champion Valentino Rossi clocked in second, setting a personal best Sepang test time of 1:59.727. Rossi’s Yamaha teammate Jorge Lorenzo was third, a further 0.139 seconds down the timesheets.
Aleix Espargaro continued to impress on his Open-spec machine by setting the fourth-fastest time on the third and final test day. He joined the top three as the only riders to crack the 2-minute barrier. In addition, Espargaro was nearly two seconds quicker than his Forward Racing teammate, Colin Edwards (14th).
Satellite Honda rider Stefan Bradl rebounded from a crash in Turn 1 — where he suffered a fractured ankle last October — to finish fifth ahead of Dani Pedrosa.
Ducati enjoyed its most successful day of the test Thursday with Andrea Dovizioso seventh fastest, which proved to be a 0.776 second improvement on his Wednesday best. Fellow Ducati rider Cal Crutchlow was 12th.
Tech 3 Yamaha rookie Pol Espargaro and Pramac’s Andrea Iannone rounded out the top 10.
MotoGP riders will be back in action at Sepang later this month (Feb. 26-28) for the second preseason test.