Reigning double MotoGP champion Jorge Lorenzo may have been beaten in terms of best lap time during this week's Sepang test, but he signed off with a fearsome race simulation.
Second fastest to 2012 title rival Dani Pedrosa (Honda) over all three days, Lorenzo - unlike Pedrosa - spent the final afternoon exploring his pace over a long run.
Although rain cut the simulation short, the Factory Yamaha star put together 13 consecutive fast laps - all of which were under the official lap record and got faster
as he went on.
Lorenzo's first eight laps were in the low 2m 1s, already comfortably below the 2m 2.1s race lap record. But Lorenzo then increased his pace to break into the high 2m 0s for the last five laps!
The Spaniard's best time from the run, a 2m 0.808s, was set on the penultimate lap and would have been good enough to qualify fifth in October's grand prix. His slowest was a 2m 1.570s.
“I didn't finish the race simulation because of the rain, but it felt very good,” said Lorenzo.
“I think the bike has improved a little bit compared to last year. The new chassis is a little faster in the corners. I think I will stay with it during the next test.”
Lorenzo's overall best time was set early on the final morning, putting him second to Pedrosa by 0.329s.
“It is difficult to say how much Honda has improved. All I know is that we have improved so that is positive,” said Lorenzo. “I think we are quite similar.”
Lorenzo's returning team-mate Valentino Rossi was 0.113s behind in third overall. Rossi, who did not try a race simulation, admitted:
“Jorge did a great race simulation, at a very high level and he rides so well. If I had tried to do a race simulation today I could not go as fast as him.”
Repsol Honda rookie Marc Marquez was the only other factory rider to do a race simulation. The Moto2 champion did 19 consecutive fast laps, all but one of which was under 2m 2s. Marquez's fastest was his fifth lap, a 2m 1.165s.
Lorenzo's long run: