Before the Covid-19 pandemic shook our lives, our big Republican principles, and our small daily habits, the Sepang circuit was used every winter, sometimes several times, to allow MotoGP teams to roll the ropes. their new bikes and riders would “disconnect”. Hmm.
For two years, unfortunately, the Intercontinental Circus has been deprived of one of its most beautiful circuits: a long, wide track planted in the middle of the jungle of Malaysia, which also badly tests the mechanics of motorcycles! – that the pilots’ organizations. MNC can attest to that!
- December 6, 2005 MNC :
- MNC special file :
About 35 ° in the air – loaded with 80% humidity! – and frankly double on the tarmac: the reunion between Sepang and MotoGP was warm! And as often happens at this time of year, heavy rains cut off the race on the second day …
Present during the general rehearsals at the beginning of the week – the famous “Shakedown” in which development pilots and newcomers to the queen class take part – Aleix Espargaró and Maverick Viñales were still in charge of the timing on Saturday evening.
The last manufacturer of the grid to benefit from small advantages, Aprilia finally places its two official drivers in the Top 5: the No. 41 finishes second only 26 thousandths of a second from the leader (!) And the No. 12 is tied at fourth, 13 cents from the reference time. But what timeline?
Walking the 5543 meters of Sepang in 1 ‘58.131, the young Enea Bastianini shows that she already wears her new motorcycle perfectly with gloves: the number 23 of the Ducati Gresini team exchanges this winter its good but old GP19, with which The debutant climbed the Misano podium twice in 2020, against a recent GP21!
Benefiting from the latest Ducati GP22, Jorge Martin climbs the “podium” of these tests. The fight is very close to the front, as the Spanish No. 89 Ducati Pramac only gives a big tenth of a second to his Italian teammate and has the same advantage over the eighth rider, a certain … Marc Márquez!
Fourth in these tests, Alex Rins is one of the few who has improved his time at the end of the race (lap 31 of the 37). Rather amazing insofar as riders prefer to “blow” their weather in the early hours of the day, when the track is cooler, well, less hot! – allows a better use of soft rubbers …
Two more riders share this feature with the No. 42: his teammate Joan Mir, first, author of the 12th lap (lap 26 of 35), seems to show that the GSX-RR fits better than the its rivals in the delicate track conditions. Or that the pilots needed some time to get used to the specifics of their new engine?
“Rookie” Remy Gardner also took his best time: it was on his penultimate lap that the still-recovered Australian – who injured his wrist this winter in motocross – hoisted his RC16 lined up by the team. French Tech3, in the middle of the M1 …
Accredited with the worst top speeds, too bad, on a circuit that has two long straights! -, the Yamaha n ° 35 of the promoter Cal Crutchlow, n ° 04 of the dean Valentino Rossi Andrea Dovizioso, No. 21 of the diminished Franco Morbidelli in No. 40 of the beginner Darryn Binder did not roll in the same second as the leader Ducati No. 23!
The only “blue” with the right rhythm, Fabio Quartararo is, ironically, the first driver who has not fallen below the official record … which he himself had established during the qualification for the Malaysian Grand Prix 2019, the current current edition. The 20-year-old was then playing his first season in the queen category …
Our compatriot “Diablo-lique” also competed more and more often in the first place of the race with the champion Marc Márquez, then at the top of his form and his glory! Sacred last year, our tasty French “20” was mistreated at the end of the 2020 season by Francesco Bagnaia.
The 63rd Ducati factory team puts its GP22 right in front of you during these tests! But much more than the 48 thousandths of a second that his great rival hooks him in a lap of almost two minutes, it is the 5 km / h at the end of the straight that worries Fabio …
Our MotoGP champion – the first in history – expected more from Yamaha and its 4 in line (engine architecture that Yamaha and Suzuki still use against the thinnest and most powerful V4s …) in terms of top speed … and acceleration, too!
Ninth in this first meeting of the year, Johann Zarco is fully satisfied with his Vmax (sic): our beloved No. 5: will it be golden this year ?! – was recorded at 335.4 km / h on the controls of your GP22 and shared – curiously? – with Bastianini the highest speed achieved during these tests.
Moto-Net.Com points out in passing that the speeds reported by the Dorna are strangely redundant: three machines were “struck” at 333.3 km / h, six at 331.2 km / h, four at 330.2. Nothing to do, therefore, with the time recorded in the nearest thousandth of a second and which allow each driver to be classified very accurately.
In the end, the Journal moto du Net especially notes that Fabio Quartararo makes a small but important! – ten kilometers per hour for the fastest runners. No evolution of the engine is expected in Iwata, Yamaha engineers will have to skillfully work on the aerodynamics of their M1 to scratch the few km / h missing …
Second – so understand “second and last” – this winter’s 2022 date for our crazy handlebars and high speeds: the official tests scheduled for February 11-13 in Mandalika, Indonesia. on a track unknown to MotoGP riders but not to their WorldSBK teammates. !
MotoGP 2022 winter tests in Sepang: Saturday times
MotoGP 2022 winter tests in Sepang: Sunday timetables