Lorenzo ruins Pedrosa’s streak
READY TO TAKE ON MOTOGP 2013: Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo is determined to start the Moto GP season after good test sessions in Malaysia. Image: AFP
Author: SHANNON TEOH
SEPANG, Malaysia - World champion Jorge Lorenzo proved his ready to defend his title during testing at Malaysia's Sepang circuit, putting an end to rival Dani Pedrosa’s good form.
Three-time MotoGP runner-up Pedrosa had raced to the top of the timesheet across the first three-day session early during February 2013, and also led the pack February 28 on his lightning-fast Honda.
Lorenzo clocked 2min 00.282 seconds on a scorching hot second day of testing, and consistently dipped under the 2min1s mark despite "playing with the settings" across his 58 laps.
Although Pedrosa worked hard throughout a cooler afternoon session, he could not better his earlier time which was 0.369 seconds off the pace.
Lorenzo (25) said he was close to his best of 2min00.19 at Sepang and may beat it after his Yamaha improved on acceleration, where the team continues to lag behind the Hondas.
The two-time MotoGP champion said: "I'm very satisfied with the pace, because it was mostly 00 - very positive."
Nine-time world champion Valentino Rossi also praised his Yamaha teammate's consistency, calling it a "strong motivation" for him after trailing in fifth spot, 0.783 seconds behind.
Rossi, who put in 63 laps, said he struggled to improve on his lap times after "paying a high price" for more traction.
Rossi said: "I'm not 100 percent happy because we tried to improve the traction but we lose balance. We spin a bit too much in the exit from the corners."
Honda rider Pedrosa, chasing his first MotoGP title, said he tried to learn more about his setup, and his timing was hampered as one bike was under repair.
Pedrosa said: "Not everything was positive but we got some inputs so it's okay."
His rookie teammate Marc Marquez continued to impress, finishing fourth fastest 0.710 seconds behind Lorenzo after "trying many things" to better understand "the reaction of the bike with me".
British rider Cal Crutchlow broke up the dominance of the big teams by taking third, 0.625 seconds off the pace.
The Ducatis of Andrea Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden continued to lag behind at eighth and ninth respectively, both about 1.5 seconds off the pace.
The team's Dutch test rider Michele Pirro worked on a new chassis, according to MotoGP.com, which could be the game-changer Ducati needs before the season-opening race in five weeks.
The second test session at Sepang ends on February 28.
A third session will be held in Jerez from March 23 to 25 before the opening round of the MotoGP world championship in Qatar under floodlights on April 7.
Malaysia will host round 15 on October 13 2013.