Sepang Day 2: Honda still on top After leading the way as Sepang testing resumed on Tuesday, the Repsol Honda team has maintained the leading two spots in Malaysia on Wednesday. However, behind Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa, Andrea Dovizioso confirmed a complete top three lockout for the Japanese marque.
Not only did the chiefly orange-colored bikes top the timesheets at sweltering Sepang today, but both Stoner and Pedrosa dipped inside Valentino Rossi’s previous lap record as the Italian himself was unable to take part due to illness.
With track surface temperatures reaching incredible figures of 60°C (140°F), Stoner lowered his best morning time of 2:00.229 to an even quicker 2:00.171 in the afternoon, confirming that the 2-minute barrier should be broken on Thursday.
Behind the next two Hondas, Ben Spies’ best of 2:00.824 placed the leading Yamaha fourth ahead of team-mate and World Champion Jorge Lorenzo, who trailed by just over a tenth of a second. However, the American’s day ended with a shunt at Turn 7.
Rossi was conspicuous by his absence, with the Ducati man having been present in the morning before returning to his hotel ill but hoping to recover fully for Thursday.
The Gresini satellite team enjoyed a strong day, with Marco Simoncelli and Hiroshi Aoyama confirming that five of the top seven bikes were Hondas as Colin Edwards, Héctor Barberá and Álvaro Bautista rounded out the leading ten for Tech 3 Yamaha, Aspar and Suzuki respectively.
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