The 2015 MotoGP season unofficially started with a three-day test session this week at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia. The winter break saw some hugely exciting news for fans, including the return of Suzuki to the paddock after a four year absence and of Aprilla as an official factory team, as well as several changes in the paddock. The test sessions featured the full 2015 line-up, apart from the injured Yonny Hernandez, which made for a great indicator as to who the fastest riders were going to be this season.

The first day of action saw reigning MotoGP champion Marc Marquez go fastest in his Repsol Honda. However, it was the 6-time champion Valentino Rossi who set the pace for the majority of the day by setting a time sixth tenths of a second clear of the field. He looked to have set the quickest time on the day but Marquez edged him by just over a tenth of a second, with the Spaniard’s countryman Jorge Lorenzo setting the third quickest time. Stefan Bradl was the quickest non-factory rider in eighth place whilst Bradley Smith was the quickest of the British riders, just ahead of Cal Crutchlow and Scott Redding.

Pos. Rider Name Team Name Time/Diff
1 Marc Marquez ESP Repsol Honda 2:00.262
2 Valentino Rossi ITA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP +0.118
3 Jorge Lorenzo ESP Movistar Yamaha MotoGP +0.259
4 Andrea Dovizioso ITA Ducati Team +0.355
5 Dani Pedrosa ESP Repsol Honda +0.483
6 Pol Espargaro ESP Monster Yamaha Tech 3 +0.668
7 Andrea Iannone ITA Ducati Team +1.162
8 Stefan Bradl GER Forward Racing +1.294
9 Bradley Smith GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 +1.445
10 Cal Crutchlow GBR CWM LCR Honda +1.451

RossiSepangTest

Thursday’s day of testing saw Marquez’s personal best on the first day quickly beaten by Andrea Dovizioso’s Ducati before Lorenzo became the first man to dip under two minutes, which meant that he finished the day at the top of the timesheets. Dovizioso hung on to second ahead of the Repsol Hondas of Marquez and Dani Pedrosa. Crutchlow managed to fend off Smith on this occasion, putting them eighth and ninth respectively whilst Bradl was once again the highest non-factory rider in eleventh. Meanwhile, Rossi and Pol Espargaro were the only drivers in the top ten who did not beat their respective times from Wednesday’s session and Aleix Espargaro put the Suzuki team in the top 10 for the first time since their return.

Pos. Rider Name Team Name Time/Diff
1 Jorge Lorenzo ESP Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 1:59.963
2 Andrea Dovizioso ITA Ducati Team +0.052
3 Marc Marquez ESP Repsol Honda +0.183
4 Dani Pedrosa ESP Repsol Honda +0.297
5 Andrea Iannone ITA Ducati Team +0.428
6 Valentino Rossi ITA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP +0.713
7 Pol Espargaro ESP Monster Yamaha Tech 3 +0.996
8 Cal Crutchlow GBR CWM LCR Honda +1.095
9 Bradley Smith GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 +1.135
10 Aleix Espargaro ESP Team Suzuki MotoGP +1.381

PedrosaSepangTest

The final day of testing saw Marquez top the timesheet for the second time in three days but in doing so also thrashed his own lap record at the Sepang International Circuit. He recorded a time in the 1m58s range, which was a stunning show of speed and control. He finished the day a tenth clear of team-mate Pedrosa, who in turn was nearly four tenths of a second quicker than Andrea Iannone. The Movistar Yamahas of Rossi and Lorenzo finished the day fourth and fifth with Bradl making it a hat-trick of fastest non-factory times with eighth place, one place ahead of Smith’s Monster Yamaha.

Pos. Rider Name Team Name Time/Diff
1 Marc Marquez ESP Repsol Honda 1:58.867
2 Dani Pedrosa ESP Repsol Honda +0.139
3 Andrea Iannone ITA Ducati Team +0.521
4 Valentino Rossi ITA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP +0.534
5 Jorge Lorenzo ESP Movistar Yamaha MotoGP +0.757
6 Pol Espargaro ESP Monster Yamaha Tech 3 +0.984
7 Andrea Dovizioso ITA Ducati Team +1.007
8 Stefan Bradl GER Forward Racing +1.427
9 Bradley Smith GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 +1.517
10 Aleix Espargaro ESP Team Suzuki MotoGP  +1.619

Though this three day test showed the thrilling pace from Marc Marquez, there was a close enough gap between the top bikes to suggest that the 2015 MotoGP season will be full of action, adrenaline and entertainment, and will feature a hugely competitive championship.

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