At the completion of the first day of the official MotoGP test in Sepang, it was Movistar Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo on top of the timesheets. Lorenzo set a fastest time of 2:00.684, over a second faster than the rest of the field and only 0.078 second slower than his fastest lap of the race in 2015. Teammate Valentino Rossi clocked the second fastest time of 2:01.717. While many teams were adapting to the new ECU and Michelin tyres, the Yamaha factory team consistently set fast times all day before rain ended the testing with 20 minutes to go. In what must be concerning to other teams, Lorenzo said his times were “relatively easy to achieve”. Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda) set the third fastest time of the day but teammate Marc Marquez ended the first day of the Sepang test in seventh. Marquez spent much of the day focussed on adapting the new electronics to his riding style. “We still have a lot of work to do, as we have new electronics, a new engine and a few different engine specs to what we used in Valencia and Jerez back in November”, he said. Ducati riders Danilo Petrucci (Octo Pramac Racing) and Andrea Iannone set the fourth and fifth fastest times. Petrucci, along with Scott Redding, will race the Ducati GP15 in 2016. Andrea Iannone debuted his new Ducati GP16 late in the day, having tested on the GP15 for most of Monday while he dialled himself back in. Andrea Dovizioso also spent much of the day on the GP15 and recorded the 13th fastest time. He only managed to get a handful of laps on the GP16 but said he was impressed with the new bike’s good handling and better precision in changes of direction and corner turn-in. Casey Stoner will join fellow Ducati riders on track on Tuesday on the GP15. Despite concerns there might be a high number of front end losses as we saw in the Valencia test, the day was relatively crash free. Bradley Smith had a small crash at turn 15 on his 2015 Yamaha YZR-M1 but was unhurt. Eugene Laverty (Aspar MotoGP Team Ducati) fell at turn 4 and early reports were that he had broken his right wrist, but X-rays and tests later revealed only tissue and ligament damage. There are two further days of testing to be completed.
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