Repsol Honda riders Dani Pedrosa and Marc Márquez finished the second day of testing in the same first and third positions where they'd ended day one, confirming the positive work the team had done over the winter and also confirming the status of Márquez as one of the elite riders in the MotoGP World Championship. Also having strong second days were Honda riders Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda MotoGP RC213V) and Alvaro Bautista (GO & FUN Honda Gresini RC213V). Bradl started his day after noon and was quickly up to pace. His fifth lap was his fastest en route to the sixth fastest time. Bautista was fastest on lap 18 of 30, after which the expected afternoon rain and thunder arrived, putting an early end to the second of three days of testing.
Winner of the 2012 Malaysian Grand Prix, Pedrosa, 27, improved throughout the session to finish with a best lap of 2m 0.549s on the 29th of 31 laps. The MotoGP World Championship runner-up spent his time continuing to work on the weight balance before the skies opened up. Still, he was able to lower his lap time from Tuesday by over half a second.
That set him up for Thursday's final day, when he plans to try the harder compound Bridgestone tyres while fine tuning his set-up.
MotoGP rookie and Moto2 World Champion Marc Márquez had another productive day on the Repsol Honda RC213V. Márquez, the youngest rider in MotoGP-he turns 20 on Feb. 17- lowered his time by .4s with his fast lap on the 20th of 27.
The team has slowly been acclimating Márquez to the electronics, which have proven him to be a quick study. Today he was able to dial in a little more traction control, which allowed him to further understand the behaviour of the Repsol Honda RC213V. What the team has discovered is that Márquez, like the rider he replaced, Casey Stoner, tends to use less electronics than most riders, instead relying on his innate feel for the motorcycle.
Bradl also cut his time by about .4s, while working on race settings. The 23-year-old German arrived late to the track after a restless night, but quickly got down to business. His fifth lap was his fastest and he'd complete another 24 while working through rear suspension settings for most of the day. Bradl then completed a 15-lap endurance run before the rain interrupted his test program.
Bautista, 28 from Spain, was behind Bradl in seventh place with his best lap coming on the 18th of 30. Bautista put in a full day's work, mostly working on the geometry of the 2013 chassis, which is different than the 2012 Honda RC213V. The morning was spent on chassis setting and in the afternoon it was time to test the brakes. The testing program included suspension work, but the afternoon rains washed out the latter part of the day, and, with it, forced the GO & FUN Honda Gresini team to alter their test schedule. The team saw the rain as an opportunity and Bautista was able to gather some data about wet weather performance, but the track wasn't universally wet, which compromised the data gathering.
The end result is that Bautista and his team have an ambitious final day of testing planned before they head back to Italy to prepare for the late-February second test here in Malaysia.
Australian Bryan Staring continued his learning curve aboard the GO & FUN Honda Gresini CRT machine, while slightly hobbled from his Tuesday crash The 25-year-old MotoGP rookie had a smoother day than he'd had a day earlier and put in 28 productive laps. Having a day's more familiarity with the FTR chassis, powered by a Honda CBR1000RR motor, Staring, like his fellow Honda riders, was able to lower his lap time while maintaining his position. His improvement was achieved from working on the geometry of the frame and comparing data from last year's Malaysian Grand Prix.
HRC test team riders Kosuke Akiyoshi and Takumi Takahashi also had productive days. Akiyoshi was 11th fastest among the 27 riders and the fastest of the test riders. Takahashi put in 38 laps and finished with the 20th fastest time while testing parts that may one day find their way onto the factory machines.
The first test of the 2013 concludes on Thursday afternoon.