The circuit of Sepang was always a propitious track to see flying at Ducati. Its two long straights and slow curves favor the performance of the Desmosedici made in Borgo Panigale. They also help sign the fast lap. Even with these favorable conditions, it is impossible to underestimate the staging of the new GP19, which took the first four positions of the time table. At the head, a Danilo Petrucci record. Second pilot of the official team, sheltered in the shadow of Andrea Dovizioso, reduced its figure after the complex goodbye of Jorge Lorenzo of the Italian house, the one of Terni removed chest thanks to a return in 1m, 58'239s. The fastest lap ever given to the Malaysian layout. Practically six tenths faster than that impressive record that left another Ducati, Lorenzo's, now a year ago.
But Petrucci was not the only one who rolled below that record – an unofficial record, since this must be established during a grand prize -, there were up to five pilots more capable of overcoming that chrono of Lorenzo, the great absentee (due to injury) in These days of tests in Sepang that are held a month after the start of the championship in Qatar. 63 thousandths of Petrucci was Pecco Bagnaia, a debutant, not a newcomer, Moto2 champion last year, able to be among the first positions of the table while getting used to riding a MotoGP – "I have learned to lift the bike before the exit of the corners and I can brake later, that has been the key to achieve that time, "he confessed. Third: Jack Miller, the other driver of the Pramac team, also with a Ducati, almost two tenths faster than Dovizioso, the runner-up, one of the culprits of the progress of this Desmosedici that scares, capable as it has been the mark of placing among the fastest to experienced pilots and also to rookies, signal that part with a very good basis to face the start of the season.
Dovizioso, who in his statements after this last training repeated on numerous occasions how happy he was-happy for his times, happy for the sensations, happy to see four Ducati sending in Sepang-, he said he had a good feeling with the chassis and the new fairing. He tried everything he could and corroborated the step taken by the Italian factory: "It is difficult to improve the bike so much when the base is already good, but that is also a luck. In the middle of the curve we still lack something, "he conceded.
Maverick Viñales (Yamaha), who was the first to surpass last year's record, and Cal Crutchlow (Honda), who returned to the tracks after destroying his leg last year and missing the end of the season, also ranked below of that 1m, 58'8s. Beyond the times, Yamaha seems to have overcome the terrible crisis that left for history a run of 24 races without victories for its poor performance in 2017 and 2018. The riders, including Valentino Rossi (finished 10th to a second of Petrucci), they corroborate the improvement in the exit of the curves, the critical point of these last years, consequence of an engine that did not work well in acceleration.
On the other hand, and despite the always positive speech of the world champion, Marc Márquez, Honda will have to wait for the next tests, in Qatar, just a few days before the start of the season, to measure themselves against their rivals. The Spanish driver (11th on Friday, a second behind Petrucci), who he is still recovering from the operation on his left shoulder, could not shoot as much or as fast as he wanted, limited as it is by the lack of strength and mobility. He had to reduce his presence on the track, especially on the second day, where he suffered the most after being inflamed in the area after a demanding first day of training, and focus on trying all the parts whose performance will have to be analyzed now to finish building the Honda of 2019. The absence of Lorenzo in Sepang, also recovering from an operation – his in the scaphoid, and much more recent – has put the Japanese house in a complicated situation. Although, it seems that the development of your bike for this course will be compromised.