Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Hard, Extra-hard. Rear: Soft, Medium,
Weather: Dry. Ambient 27-30Â°C; Track 31-37Â°C (Bridgestone measurement)
Repsol Hondaâ€™s Dani Pedrosa posted the quickest time on the opening day of the first
group test of the 2013 MotoGP season at Malaysiaâ€™s Sepang International Circuit.
Pedrosa set his benchmark time of 2â€™01.157 on his penultimate lap today to finish
just eight-thousandths of a second ahead of Yamaha Factory Racingâ€™s Jorge Lorenzo,
while on the other Repsol Honda RC213V, Marc MÃ¡rquez was third on the timesheets with
a best lap time of 2â€™01.201.
All twenty-four riders contesting this yearâ€™s MotoGPâ„¢ championship, along with four
test riders â€“ two each from Honda and Yamaha – took to the track today for a total of
twenty-eight participants. Torrential rain over the previous two days and a lack of
recent activity at the Sepang circuit meant that track conditions for the opening day
were challenging, with some riders remarking that the grip level of the circuit were
below average. Although the rain didnâ€™t affect todayâ€™s proceedings, the overcast
condition did limit track temperatures, with a peak of 37Â°C recorded in the
afternoon, which is unusually cool for this circuit, especially in dry conditions.
The mild track temperatures resulted in tyre selection trending towards the softer
slick options, with twelve of the twenty-eight riders trying the harder front option
and all riders choosing the softer rear options available to them. The cool
temperatures also limited evaluation of the experimental slick tyres Bridgestone
brought to Sepang to just the CRT teams. All the CRT riders assessed the soft
compound rear slick – though only for short stints at this stage â€“ and feedback was
generally positive, with a good improvement in rear grip.
After a productive opening day at Sepang, evaluation of the new hard option rear
slick for the â€˜worksâ€™ bikes is planned to take place tomorrow, while CRT times will
continue to assess the soft rear slick in what are forecast to be similar weather
conditions to today.
Shinji Aoki – Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department
â€œFollowing two days of rain which severely affected the CRT ECU test, thankfully
today we had fine weather which allowed all the riders to do many laps in dry track
conditions. All of the CRT riders tested the softer rear slick which weâ€™ve brought to
Sepang for the first time, and their feedback on this specification of tyre was that
it offered a good improvement in rear grip. Further testing of this CRT-specific
option is scheduled for tomorrow and now that the works teams have had a day to find
a base setup, we hope that the weather conditions are warm enough so that we can test
the experimental rear slicks featuring our revised hard rubber compounds as well.â€
Special thanks to: