Sepang test

Iannone, Suzuki atop second day of Sepang test

Photo: MotoGP

Andrea Iannone rode the Suzuki factory bike to the top of the timesheet in the second day of the Sepang MotoGP test.

Iannone’s 1:59.452 time put him almost half a second ahead of second-place Maverick Viñales aboard the factory Yamaha. Alvaro Bautista grabbed third (Aspar Ducati). Valentino Rossi was fourth, and Johann Zarco rode the satellite Tech 3 Yamaha to fifth.

Both factory Yamaha riders were happy with their results, salvaging a day that started off wet, making everyone begin cautiously. Iannone said his times were a result of improved confidence in the Suzuki —expect that to get stronger as the season rolls on. And Bautista said he’s learning to adapt to the bike; he sounded chuffed to be aboard a machine that was competitive in 2016, and seems to think he has the base for a strong machine this season.

Honda factory riders Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa were both quite disappointed in their results, 10th and 14th respectively. Pedrosa said the Repsol-sponsored riders still had some tweaks to try out in the time left, so their times may improve yet. However, you can bet Marquez, as the reigning champion, was hoping to see better times on Day 2.

Tito Rabat, aboard a Honda for the Marc VDS team, crashed in Turn 11, breaking his hand as well as injuring his left knee and right foot, and possibly hurting his wrists as well. He’s obviously done testing, and is getting checked out at hospital in Barcelona.

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