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Honda MotoGP test starts at Sepang

26 November 2012

A private Honda MotoGP test began at Sepang in Malaysia on Monday.

2012 MotoGP title runner-up Dani Pedrosa is not in attendance, but rookie Repsol Honda team-mate Marc Marquez is on track, alongside Gresini Honda's Alvaro Bautista and factory test riders Kousuke Akiyoshi and Takumi Takahashi.

By 2pm on Monday, just before the arrival of rain, Bautista was fastest with a 2m 2.19s lap, followed by Marquez with a 2m 3.65s from his 26 dry laps.

Those times compare with an official race lap record of 2m 2.108s, by Casey Stoner on a Ducati back in 2007, although Jorge Lorenzo put his Yamaha on pole with a 2m 0.334s in October's grand prix.

The fastest unofficial Sepang lap is a 1m 59.607s, set by retired champion Stoner on a Repsol Honda during testing in February.

Moto2 champion Marquez, taking Stoner's place at the factory RCV team, impressed by being just 1.018s from the top after his first 27 laps on a MotoGP bike at the recent Valencia test (pictured).

Testing is due to continue for three days at Sepang.

Ducati will hold its final private test of the year at Jerez from November 28-30, just before the start of the winter test ban.

However factory Yamaha racers Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi are not scheduled to ride their M1s again until the first official 2013 test at Sepang in February.


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