Pedrosa leads Shakedown Day 1 - Yamaha, Honda race riders due on Day 2

Dani Pedrosa leads rookie Pedro Acosta on day one of the Sepang Shakedown, Aprilia turns heads with ‘Batmobile’ aero.

Dani Pedrosa, Sepang MotoGP test, 1 February
Dani Pedrosa, Sepang MotoGP test, 1 February

Dani Pedrosa held off rookie Pedro Acosta to lead day one of the 2024 Sepang MotoGP Shakedown test.

The 31-time MotoGP race winner set a best of 1m 59.233s to hold off GASGAS Tech3 rider Acosta by just 0.152s.

New KTM test rider Pol Espargaro completed an all-RC16 top three covered by 0.182s.

Fastest of the non-Austrian machines was Honda test rider Stefan Bradl (+1.6s) on the much-revised RC213V.

Ducati test rider Michele Pirro was a fraction slower, with Cal Crutchlow the only Yamaha on track in sixth (+1.780s).

So why didn’t the Honda and Yamaha race riders take to the track, as allowed under the revised concession rules?

Yamaha told their planned program is for the mechanics to work on the bikes today, with only Crutchlow riding, but ‘from tomorrow Alex [Rins] and Fabio [Quartararo] will be on track’.

Honda likewise said their testing plan was for only Bradl today and then race riders from day two. New signing Luca Marini was seen at the track in casual clothing.

One theory is that Honda and Yamaha might be saving their private testing tyres, given they can now hold ‘unlimited’ private testing with race riders. 

But the new D concession ranking allows a generous 260 tyres for such purposes, compared to just 170 for Ducati and 220 for KTM/Aprilia.

Lorenzo Savadori, Sepang MotoGP test, 1 February
Lorenzo Savadori, Sepang MotoGP test, 1 February

Meanwhile, Aprilia’s Lorenzo Savadori may have been seventh (+2.576s) and last on the timesheets, but the Italian debuted the most eye-catching new aero.

A wide, aerodynamically sculpted rear seat section plus new bodywork over part of the rear wheel, all in carbon black, prompted comparisons with a Batmobile.

Savadori rode no less than five different bikes today and, from some angles, it looked like Aprilia might have two different versions of the rear seat aero…

Testing at the shakedown restarts at 10am on Friday.

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