Only one rider recorded more sub-2min 2sec laps than Ben Spies at Sepang on Wednesday, and that was fastest man Casey Stoner.

And even then it was close.

New Repsol Honda rider Stoner clocked 26 laps below that mark, while new Factory Yamaha signing Spies - who finished the day fourth overall - set 25.

Admittedly, Stoner rode for 42 laps compared with 54 for Spies, and other factors such as tyre choice and testing schedules also influence the lap times.

But for comparison, Spies' team-mate and reigning MotoGP world champion Jorge Lorenzo - who spent some time on the Yamaha test bike today, trying old parts - only recorded 16 of his 45 laps under 2min 2sec.

The fastest lap in last October's grand prix was a 2min 2.117sec by race winner Valentino Rossi.

Spies was denied the chance to try and break Wednesday's Repsol Honda 1-2-3 when he fell in the final hour, leaving him 0.653sec from Stoner, but that didn't overshadow an otherwise very positive day.

"I just pushed a little bit soon with a new front tyre," said Spies of the fall. "But no big deal. The bike wasn't tore up too much and I'm completely fine. I think we had a really successful day.

"We tried a different chassis set-up to improve the rear grip and we definitely succeeded in that. We did a lot of race simulation type runs, where we were quite fast with the hot track and many laps on the tyres.

"It was really good actually. It's a pity I made the small mistake at the end, but I think we gained a lot, looking at the race stuff and rear grip.

"Today around lunchtime the temperature was very similar to how it usually is for the race. Every time we went out we were not at the top of the timesheets, but in terms of consistency and race pace we were one of the quickest.

"We got a lot out of today for sure."

Thursday will be the sixth and final day of winter testing at Sepang, with only the Qatar test then remaining before the start of the new MotoGP season.

"Tomorrow we've got a few different set-up options - some electronics and chassis stuff - to test and, if we have good weather, we'd like to see what the actual speed of the bike is," revealed Spies.

"We've been looking at eight or ten lap runs and really haven't focussed on putting one lap together.

"Tomorrow, if everything aligns right, we'll work on that. It's not a race weekend, we're not in qualifying or anything here, but there's only one more test after this and it's important to start finding out what the limits of the bike are."

Lorenzo was fifth fastest, just over one tenth behind Spies.



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