'Limit still very far' but Bezzecchi top rookie on Shakedown day 2

Marco Bezzecchi is the fastest rookie on day two of the 2022 Sepang MotoGP shakedown test.
Marco Bezzecchi Sepang MotoGP tests, 1st February 2022
Marco Bezzecchi Sepang MotoGP tests, 1st February 2022
© Gold and Goose Photography

Marco Bezzecchi sliced 1.3s from his Sepang lap time to finish as top MotoGP rookie on day two of this week's Shakedown.

The VR46 Ducati rider, who had been sixth on day one, was classified third overall, 0.9s behind Maverick Vinales (Aprilia) but only 0.17s from Michele Pirro (Ducati test rider).

Although the triple Moto2 race winner still feels "far from the limit" he is gaining confidence after what was his fourth day of riding the GP21.

"Today was a good day," Bezzecchi said. "I'm starting to feel more confident with the bike and the feeling is getting better. Still there are some things to adjust for my riding and of course I have a lot to improve because the limit is still very far."

In terms of his Tuesday workload, the Italian explained that he continued to tune his riding position and also began some exploratory setting changes.

"The bike is almost standard, like in Jerez," he said. "I'm just trying to find the position on the bike. And today we started to do something with the settings but not really much because still I am not on the limit so I don’t feel very much the changes that they make for me.

"In the end, I'm just riding and trying to understand the tyres and the electronics."

Regarding the team of engineers waiting to hear his words each time he returns, Bezzecchi added: "You have to give comments for the tyres, for the electronics for the bike, a lot of comments! But in the end the more you are sensitive on the bike, the easier it is to give comments because you feel more what the bike does.

"The problem is that in the beginning when you don’t know so much the bike it is more difficult to really understand what the bike is doing. But the crew is helping me a lot because they ask questions to be sure they really understand what I mean. Michelin and Ohlins the same.

"So they are helping me a little bit, when I don’t have so much experience. I hope to be better soon!"

Physically, the 23-year-old says he is holding up well after day two in the Malaysian heat, but admits: "I think we made a good job [training] but I can't tell you if I'm ready for the races because here I make 5-6 laps in every run, not 20."

Bezzecchi was the only Ducati rookie on track with Gresini's Fabio di Giannantonio sidelined by a stomach illness.

The Shakedown test concludes on Wednesday, after which there will be a two-day break before the Official test is held on February 5-6.

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