English Racer Leads the Pack with Lightning Fast Lap Time in Rain-Hit Test Session
The second day of the Shakedown in Malaysia was a day filled with high-speed action as the drying track produced an electrifying final hour of testing. Yamaha test rider Cal Crutchlow once again displayed his dominance on the circuit, setting the fastest time of the day with a time of 2 minutes 2.079 seconds. Crutchlow, who was the only Yamaha test rider on the track, had the opportunity to swap between three different Yamaha bikes (T1, T2, and T3) and make use of their various capabilities.
Ducati’s Michele Pirro came in second place with a time of 2 minutes 2.579 seconds, half a second behind Crutchlow. GASGAS rookie Augusto Fernandez, who was the only full-time MotoGP rider eligible for the Shakedown, finished in third place with a time of 2 minutes 2.637 seconds.
One of the most intriguing moments of the day was the sudden appearance of KTM’s Dani Pedrosa, who had spent much of the day without his transponder turned on and was therefore not listed on the official timing. However, in the final hour of testing, Pedrosa suddenly appeared on the timing screens and quickly moved to the top of the leaderboard with a time of 2 minutes 2.807 seconds, recorded on slicks. But just as quickly as he appeared, he vanished from the screens once again.
The second day of the Shakedown got off to a slow start due to persistent light rain, but as the drizzle cleared, the track slowly began to dry, and the riders took to the circuit to record their best times. Aprilia test rider Lorenzo Savadori was the first rider on the track, with only Pirro and Crutchlow recording early lap times. Crutchlow was the fastest rider as of 11 am, with Honda’s Stefan Bradl taking over during his opening 6-lap stint. Fernandez then put his GASGAS-branded KTM on top just before midday and improved his time to remain the quickest rider for the majority of the day.
As the early afternoon progressed, most riders remained in the pits, with the last of the wet-tyre Monday laps recorded by Pirro, who went fastest just before 4:30 pm on a patchy half-dry/half-damp surface. Savadori then became the rider to try slicks, just before 5 pm, moving to the top and prompting others to rush out and cram in as much slick tyre work as possible during the last hour. Pedrosa returned to do more slick laps in the last half-hour, and although he could have gone faster, his transponder remained off.
The Shakedown, which takes place from February 5-7, is a crucial event for the teams and riders as they gear up for the upcoming racing season. It is mainly used to make sure the new machines are running correctly before they are handed over to the race riders and provides an opportunity for the teams to develop new parts, especially aerodynamics. Cal Crutchlow was officially the fastest rider in the Shakedown, setting a time of 2 minutes 1.146 seconds on day one, 0.185 seconds ahead of reigning Moto2 champion Augusto Fernandez.
In conclusion, the second day of the Shakedown in Malaysia was a thrilling and action-packed event that provided valuable information for the teams and riders as they prepare for the upcoming racing season. Cal Crutchlow once again proved to be the fastest rider, setting the best time of the day, while Dani Pedrosa’s sudden appearance and disappearance added a touch of mystery to the proceedings. The Shakedown provided a crucial test for the teams and riders, and they will undoubtedly.