Lorenzo dominates, Stoner embarrasses and Michelin have nightmare
The final day of the first test of 2016 for the MotoGP paddock was delayed by a damp track early on Wednesday morning, but once the bikes took to the track it was Movistar Yamaha MotoGP rider and current MotoGP champion Jorge Lorenzo who stamped his dominance, finishing a convincing half a second ahead of team-mate, Valentino Rossi.
Stoner was at the test to develop the GP15 machine for Ducati and finished the day fastest on the red machines, showing he’s lost none of his pace during his hiatus from the premier class. Stoner actually sat behind Lorenzo on the timing sheets for most of the day before Rossi split the two, posting a time of 2’00.556 compared to Lorenzo’s lap of 2’00.016.
What made the time even more impressive was the fact that Michelin had withdrawn their soft tyre from the test after the failure of Loris Baz’s rear tyre at close to 300kph the previous day. With the issue still under investigation, it appears Baz’s rear tyre exploded while he was close to maximum speed on the start/finish straight of the Sepang circuit. Luckily for the French rider, he managed to escape the incident with only a scuffed elbow.
Honda didn’t have such a great first test, with the new software that the entire paddock is required to run under the new rules apparently making it hard for the engineers to tame the aggressive power delivery from the RC213V. Marques finished third fastest but was a massive 0.3 seconds behind Rossi, with Pedrosa finishing in sixth overall, 1.6s off Lorenzo’s pace.
Okay, this is only the first test and there’s sure to be plenty more changes, but the first warning shots have been fired by Yamaha, with the rest of the paddock certainly looking at the timesheets and wondering what they need to do.