The second of this season's MotoGP class official tests took place over three days from February 26 to 28 at Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia. After a three week interval following the initial tests which took place at the same location at the beginning of February, Repsol Honda Team's Dani Pedrosa and Marc Márquez, LCR Honda MotoGP's Stefan Bradl, and GO & FUN Honda Gresini's Alvaro Bautista continued to focus on the setup of the 2013 model RC213V, based on the data gained from the first test.
Recording the top time for three consecutive days in the initial test, Pedrosa made an excellent start towards his long-coveted goal of winning the title, and he continued that good form in this test as well. Because of slippery surface conditions on the first day, overall times did not improve, and Pedrosa was not able to gain as quick a time as he imagined, but he recorded the best time of the day (2m 1.58s) and thus kept the top spot for four consecutive test days starting from the initial test in February.
On that first day there was heavy rain in the afternoon, so Pedrosa was not able to get through the planned test schedule, which was carried over to the second day. On the second day we were blessed with good conditions, and Pedrosa was able to focus on testing the suspension and the electronic control system; he finished with a second-best time of 2m 0.651s. On the third and final day, he again recorded the top time at 2m 0.562s. So, including the first test, Pedrosa recorded the top time on five out of six days of tests, finishing the Sepang tests in excellent form.
Márquez, a rookie in the MotoGP class, also gained varied experience. On all three days for this test the temperature was above 30 degrees Celsius and the surface temperature was severe-over 50 degrees Celsius. In these conditions Márquez was in third place on the first day at 2m 1.942s, fourth place on the second day at 2m 0.992s, and second place on the third day at 2m 0.643s. His time on the final day was the best result for a debutant in the MotoGP class, crowning things off superbly. As with the previous test, he was starting from a position of learning the differences in the setup of the machine, and on the final day he had managed to configure the most comfortable settings of the 3 days, and got his best time-he was able to feel himself grow as a rider as a result.
GO & FUN Honda Gresini's Bautista, who in the first test of the season had done a lot of work (such as on the Showa suspension and Nissin brakes tests) focused also on the chassis settings this time around. He made good, steady progress on the second and third days. He did not just find the best settings during this test, but also produced a lot of data, allowing us to greatly reduce setup times. Because of the severity of the slippery conditions on the first day he only managed seventh, at 2m 2.362s, but on the second day he cut his time by over a second, to 2m 1.208s and sixth place. On the last day, he continued to steadily increase his position, coming in fifth at 2m 1.078s. The weather was very poor for the second official tests, and conditions were slippery, so he was not able to increase his times as he expected, but Bautista was able to make a solid showing, improving on his best time from the previous test.
Bradl of LCR Honda MotoGP dedicated a lot of time to race settings, hoping to improve his average. He was even proactive in wet conditions, making it a very telling test. Last season he was not able to bring his positive performances in the preliminaries to the finals, so he missed out on the podium, but he made a step towards addressing that weak point with this test. His expectations for this season have therefore grown. He was engrossed in an intense championship rivalry for the Moto2 class in the 2011 season with Repsol Honda team's Márquez. Since his rival has now entered the Repsol Honda Team, this is a big season for Bradl in terms of his motivation.
Bryan Staring, who will be entering the competition on a CRT machine from GO & FUN Honda Gresini, spent a lot of time riding over the track of the three days, and did not just set a best time, but also made big progress on improving his average.