Following a Shakedown test for rookies, test riders and concession manufacturer Aprilia, the Official Sepang MotoGP test - open to all 2022 competitors - began on Saturday morning.

Aleix Espargaro, who rode on the final day of the Shakedown, leads the way with a 1m 58.371s, set on his 9th of 22 laps and close to the all-time unofficial lap record by Danilo Petrucci.

Gresini Ducati's Enea Bastianini slotted into second at midday, with Pol Espargaro splitting the Suzukis of Alex Rins and Joan Mir with the new Honda.

The test is the first time that Marc Marquez has ridden a MotoGP bike since winning at Misano last October, after which he was sidelined by a repeat of his 2011 double-vision problems triggered by an enduro training accident.

The Repsol Honda rider suffered a small crash at around 11:30 but was reported as 'OK' by the team and jumped to sixth on his return to the track.

Reigning world champion Fabio Quartararo was fourth earlier in the day before sliding to tenth, just behind Yamaha test rider Cal Crutchlow.

The Frenchman, whose main request is for more top speed from the new M1, seems to be setting a consistent maximum of 327-328km/h, similar to the Suzukis.

The overall top speed of the day so far is a 337.5km/h by Marc Marquez, with Ducati's Francesco Bagnaia next best on 336.4km/h, then Vinales on 335.4km/h for Aprilia. Mir has set 330.2km/h for Suzuki, matched by Raul Fernandez and KTM. Quartararo's peak is a 328.2km/h.

VR46's Luca Marini is having his first ride on the GP22 today.

The Sepang test – which takes place from 10am to 6pm, followed by practice starts - concludes on Sunday evening…

2022 Sepang MotoGP Test - Saturday (3pm)
Pos RiderNatTeamTime
1=Aleix EspargaroSPAAprilia Racing (RS-GP)1m 58.371s
2=Enea BastianiniITAGresini Ducati (GP)+0.267s
3=Alex RinsSPASuzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR)+0.969s
4=Pol EspargaroSPARepsol Honda (RC213V)+0.982s
5=Joan MirSPASuzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR)+1.044s
6=Marc MarquezSPARepsol Honda (RC213V)+1.051s
7=Maverick VinalesSPAAprilia Racing (RS-GP)+1.055s
8=Johann ZarcoFRAPramac Ducati (GP)+1.120s
9=Cal CrutchlowGBRYamaha Test Rider (YZR-M1)+1.187s
10=Fabio QuartararoFRAMonster Yamaha (YZR-M1)+1.296s
11=Takaaki NakagamiJPNLCR Honda (RC213V)+1.401s
12=Miguel OliveiraPORRed Bull KTM (RC16)+1.574s
13=Jorge MartinSPAPramac Ducati (GP)+1.578s
14=Francesco BagnaiaITADucati Lenovo (GP)+1.656s
15=Brad BinderRSARed Bull KTM (RC16)+1.665s
16=Alex MarquezSPALCR Honda (RC213V)+1.677s
17= Franco MorbidelliITAMonster Yamaha (YZR-M1)+1.736s
18=Marco BezzecchiITAMooney VR46 Ducati (GP)*+1.877s
19=Andrea DoviziosoITAWithU Yamaha RNF (YZR-M1)+1.971s
20=Raul FernandezSPAKTM Tech3 (RC16)*+2.176s
21=Jack MillerAUSDucati Lenovo (GP)+2.394s
22=Remy GardnerAUSKTM Tech3 (RC16)*+2.415s
23=Fabio di GiannantonioITAGresini Ducati (GP)*+2.686s
24=Darryn BinderRSAWithU Yamaha RNF (YZR-M1)*+3.034s
25=Sylvain GuintoliFRASuzuki Test Rider (GSX-RR)+3.061s
26=Luca MariniITAMooney VR46 Ducati (GP)+4.007s
27N/ALorenzo SavadoriITAAprilia Test Rider (RS-GP)+6.246s


*Rookie

Key:
^X Rider is X positions higher than previous hour.
= Rider is same position as previous hour.
˅X Rider is X positions lower than previous hour.

Fastest Shakedown Time:
Maverick Vinales SPA Aprilia 1m 58.942s

Official Sepang MotoGP records:
Best lap:
Fabio Quartararo
FRA Yamaha 1m 58.576s (2019)
Fastest race lap:
Valentino Rossi
ITA Yamaha 1m 59.661s (2019)

Unofficial Sepang MotoGP record:
Danilo Petrucci
ITA Ducati 1m 58.239s (2019 testing)
 

 

By Peter McLaren