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Lorenzo tops MotoGP pre-season tests in Sepang

By Sajith
Jorge Lorenzo

Sepang, January 31: Jorge Lorenzo of Ducati Team broke the lap record and topped the time sheets after three days of MotoGP pre-season testing at the Sepang circuit in Malaysia.

The three-time world champion from Spain stayed clear of the opposition en route to setting the fastest lap ever around the Malaysian venue with a 1:58.830.

His closest challenger was Repsol Honda Team's Dani Pedrosa - the fastest man on Day 1 of the test - who was just over a tenth and a half behind his compatriot.

Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) finished third.

It was a day without the rain that had affected the first two days action action, and Lorenzo put in 48 laps overall, topping the timesheets on Lap 21.

The Spaniard had also crashed earlier, but then went out and set his best effort.

The 1:58.830 lap will not count as the official record due it having been set outside a race weekend, but it is the quickest recorded lap on two wheels.

The previous best belonged to defending world champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) and was set during testing in 2015. Lorenzo said there were marked improvements in the GP18 when compared to last year's machine.

"I leave Sepang very satisfied with the work that we've done over the last three days, not only because of the time that I set, but also because I'm convinced that many aspects of the bike have improved since last year," said Lorenzo, who won the FIM MotoGP World Championhip in 2010, 2012 and 2015.

Pedrosa did 58 laps and similarly set his quickest lap early, on Lap 9. Only 0.009 away from breaking into the 1:58 bracket, the 'Little Samurai' was the quickest Honda of the test.

British rider Crutchlow finished only half a tenth behind the RC213V of Pedrosa.

The top Yamaha was nine-time world champion Valentino Rossi, with the 'Doctor' slotting into eighth and one of the late improvers.

Foour-time champion Marquez ended the third day in seventh and got through a long workload of 75 laps; his best a 1:59.382 after opting to forego a timeattack lap.

The next three-day MotoGP pre-season test will be held at the Buriram circuit in Thailand from February 18.

The MotoGP season opens under lights at the Losail circuit in Qatar on March 18.

(With MotoGP inputs).

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    Story first published: Wednesday, January 31, 2018, 12:44 [IST]
    Other articles published on Jan 31, 2018
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