Pedro Acosta quickest, despite falls, as Sepang Shakedown ends

MotoGP rookie tops the timesheets on day 3 of the Sepang Shakedown Test.

Pedro Acosta, Sepang MotoGP test, 3 February
Pedro Acosta, Sepang MotoGP test, 3 February

Saturday at the Sepang MotoGP Shakedown test was a day of ‘firsts’ for star rookie Pedro Acosta.

After impressing over the previous two days, the reigning Moto2 champion made his first appearance at the head of the MotoGP timesheets - where he remained by the time a thunderstorm brought an early end to the dry action at 16:30.

Along the way the Spanish teenager also suffered what is thought to have been his first premier-class fall, at Turn 11, at 13:30. Officially declared “OK”, Acosta returned on his GASGAS Tech3 bike shortly before the thunderstorm.

Accota's test then ended with his first-ever wet MotoGP laps on the RC16... and another fall, this time at Turn 15, in the final minutes. Once again, timing screens reported the rider was "OK".

Acosta’s earlier 1m 58.189s, the best of the week, edged out new KTM test rider and day two leader Pol Espargaro by just 0.066s.

Johann Zarco (LCR Honda) completed the top three, a fraction ahead of countryman Fabio Quartararo (Monster Yamaha). Dani Pedrosa (KTM) was just 0.289s from Acosta in fourth, followed by Repsol Honda’s Joan Mir.

New factory Yamaha rider Alex Rins and new HRC signing Luca Marini (+0.746s) were seventh and eighth with Yamaha test rider Cal Crutchlow seen testing new bodywork, including the rear box-shape wing, on his way to ninth place - as the final rider in the 1m 58s.

Crutchlow’s former LCR team-mate Takaaki Nakagami was 0.883s from Acosta, with Michele Pirro (Ducati), Lorenzo Savadori (who rode six different Aprilias) and Stefan Bradl (Honda) completing the 13-rider line-up.

Savadori and Crutchlow joined Acosta in completing some wet laps in the final hour when Savadori suffered his second technical issue of the day.

There will now be a two-day break in the track action, during which Monster Yamaha will hold its team launch, before the official Sepang test - due to feature the full 2024 rider line-up - is held from February 6-8.

Read More