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Monday, February 26, 2024

Martin units the tempo for Ducati on opening day

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Final 12 months’s championship runner-up Martin set a time of 1m57.951s on the GP24 Ducati to go Tech3 rookie Pedro Acosta by 0.269s following eight hours of operating on a scorching and sunny day in Malaysia.

Raul Fernandez grabbed the highest spot early on for the brand new Trackhouse staff because the take a look at started at 10am native time, lapping the venue in 2m00.044s on his satellite tv for pc Aprilia.

Drama would observe simply 20 minutes into the session, as each Fernandez and Ducati’s Francesco Bagnaia went down at Flip 11 in separate incidents.

It’s understood that Fernandez was the primary to fall off his bike on the lengthy right-hander, with Bagnaia then getting caught up by the oil left on monitor by the Aprilia.

Fernandez’s bike caught fireplace within the gravel lure whereas the Spanish rider himself needed to be taken to the medical centre later for check-ups after reporting ache. He was in a position to rejoin the session in a while.

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As soon as the crimson flag deployed to help with the restoration of their bikes was eliminated, Maverick Vinales began lighting up the timesheets on the manufacturing unit Aprilia, breaking the two-minute barrier with a time of 1m59.639s simply earlier than the top of the primary hour.

Throughout the second hour, it was Martin who rose to the fore, setting a time of 1m58.904s earlier than reducing the benchmark additional to 1m58.201s.

Shortly after the clock ticked previous 1pm, the Pramac rider managed to go even faster with the primary 1m57s lap of the session, placing himself inside half a second of the fastest-ever MotoGP time set at Sepang.

Jorge Martin, Pramac Racing

Picture by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

The 1m57.951s flier would stay unbeaten till the top of the day’s operating, with nearly all of the riders shifting away from time assaults within the afternoon session.

The closest anybody got here to Martin’s lap in the course of the day was MotoGP rookie Acosta, who set a greatest time of 1m58.220s on his KTM to complete second.

Fabio Quartararo, whose Yamaha staff struggled with one-lap tempo all 12 months in 2023, jumped to 3rd with simply two hours remaining within the session with a time that was simply 0.008s slower than Acosta.

Quartararo’s late effort pushed VR46’s Fabio di Giannantonio all the way down to fourth, 0.032s forward of the manufacturing unit Ducati of Enea Bastianini

Vinales led Aprilia’s cost after enhancing to a 1m58.470s within the closing hour of the operating, abandoning the Ducatis of Alex Marquez (Gresini) and Marco Bezzecchi (VR46).

Six-time MotoGP champion Marc Marquez had an eventful begin to his second MotoGP take a look at as a Ducati rider however was in a position to propel himself to ninth with a last-gasp effort of 1m58.621s, which put him 0.670s down on pacesetter Martin.

Marquez’s first run lasted solely 4 corners as his bike got here to a halt on his outlap with a technical drawback. Extra points adopted on his second run, with a small crash at Flip 15 dealing one other blow to him in the course of the morning session.

That left him sixteenth on the midway level of the day, however a smoother run within the afternoon helped him e book a spot inside the highest 10 because the session drew to a detailed.

Marquez was adopted by LCR rider Johann Zarco, the quickest Honda on the timesheets with a greatest lap of 1m58.620s.

Marc Marquez, Gresini Racing

Marc Marquez, Gresini Racing

Picture by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Simply exterior the highest 10, eleventh place went to Alex Rins on the manufacturing unit Yamaha, adopted intently by Brad Binder on one of the best of the 2 works KTM bikes.

Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia), Joan Mir (Honda) and Miguel Oliveira (Trackhouse) rounded out the highest 15.

Reigning champion Bagnaia ended up eight tenths off the tempo in sixteenth place in what was a low key session for the Ducati rider, aside from the incident at Flip 11 firstly of the day.

Franco Morbidelli was the one race rider not in motion on the opening day of the Sepang take a look at, as the brand new Pramac recruit continues to recover from the heavy fall he suffered during a private Ducati test at Portimao last month

A small blood clot had been found in his head following a CT scan in Faro Hospital, impacting his preparations for the brand new season. Nonetheless, it’s nonetheless doable that Morbidelli may arrive in Malaysia earlier than the top of the take a look at on Thursday.

His place at Pramac was taken by Ducati take a look at rider Michele Pirro on Tuesday. 

Other than Pirro, Cal Crutchlow was the one different non-2024 rider to participate within the take a look at as he gathered extra information for Yamaha, the one producer and not using a satellite tv for pc staff in MotoGP.

Sepang MotoGP take a look at – Day 1 outcomes:

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