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Sepang MotoGP test: Alvaro Bautista sets pace on first day

Bautista sets early pace at Sepang

Alvaro Bautista denied Aleix Espargaro the top spot on an unusual first day of the second pre-season MotoGP test at Sepang.

Few of the big names came out early on due to the dusty track conditions, with Gresini Honda rider Bautista taking up first position for much of the day.

He was briefly pipped by a 2m00.900s lap from Espargaro's Open class Forward FTR-Yamaha, before redressing the balance with a lap 0.052 seconds quicker in the closing moments.

The pace of Forward's Yamaha-based machine has already caused controversy, with Honda unhappy about its arch-rival's interpretation of the Open category regulations. Espargaro's Wednesday pace will fuel the debate further.

Both Espargaro brothers were in the top three, as Aleix's rookie brother Pol put his Tech 3 Yamaha third with a late flying lap. Andrea Dovizioso was fourth for Ducati.

The usual frontrunners kept a low profile while waiting for track conditions to improve.

Jorge Lorenzo was the best of the likely 2014 title contenders in fifth on the lead works Yamaha, ahead of Dani Pedrosa on the only factory Honda present due to Marc Marquez's injury. Pedrosa confessed to being hampered by an element of jet-lag.

Valentino Rossi, Stefan Bradl and Bradley Smith were next up, while the best of Honda's Open bikes was Nicky Hayden in 10th place for Aspar.

Pos Rider                 Team                   Time              Laps
 1. Alvaro Bautista       Gresini Honda          2m00.848s           61
 2. Aleix Espargaro       Forward FTR-Yamaha     2m00.900s  +0.052s  31
 3. Pol Espargaro         Tech 3 Yamaha          2m00.999s  +0.151s  57
 4. Andrea Dovizioso      Ducati                 2m01.029s  +0.181s  47
 5. Jorge Lorenzo         Yamaha                 2m01.158s  +0.310s  56
 6. Dani Pedrosa          Honda                  2m01.160s  +0.312s  47
 7. Valentino Rossi       Yamaha                 2m01.349s  +0.501s  65
 8. Stefan Bradl          LCR Honda              2m01.491s  +0.643s  50
 9. Bradley Smith         Tech 3 Yamaha          2m01.644s  +0.796s  54
10. Nicky Hayden          Aspar Honda            2m02.227s  +1.379s  55
11. Cal Crutchlow         Ducati                 2m02.319s  +1.471s  48
12. Andrea Iannone        Pramac Ducati          2m02.334s  +1.486s  51
13. Hiroshi Aoyama        Aspar Honda            2m02.709s  +1.861s  59
14. Colin Edwards         Forward FTR-Yamaha     2m02.743s  +1.895s  47
15. Yonny Hernandez       Pramac Ducati          2m02.823s  +1.975s  50
16. Hector Barbera        Avintia-FTR Kawasaki   2m02.975s  +2.127s  47
17. Randy de Puniet       Suzuki                 2m03.341s  +2.493s  73
18. Scott Redding         Gresini Honda          2m03.553s  +2.705s  51
19. Michele Pirro         Ducati                 2m03.991s  +3.143s  40
20. Katsuyuki Nakasuga    Yamaha                 2m04.165s  +3.317s  45
21. Mike di Meglio        Avintia-FTR Kawasaki   2m04.885s  +4.037s  59
22. Karel Abraham         Cardion Honda          2m05.638s  +4.790s  36
23. Nobuatsu Aoki         Suzuki                 2m07.302s  +6.454s  10

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