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MotoGP rookie Acosta tops Sepang shakedown test

Rookie sensation Pedro Acosta set the fastest time in MotoGP's shakedown at the Sepang circuit ahead of the official pre-season test.

Pedro Acosta, Tech3 GASGAS Factory Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Reigning Moto2 champion Acosta, who will ride a GasGas Tech3 KTM in his debut season in MotoGP, posted the quickest time of the three days of running on the final session on Saturday.

The Spaniard's 1m58.189s was 0.066s faster than KTM test rider Pol Espargaro and over two tenths quicker than Johann Zarco on the top Honda bike.

MotoGP's shakedown was usually reserved for test and rookie riders, but this year's concession rules have allowed Honda and Yamaha to use their race riders, meaning Zarco was joined on track by fellow racers Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha), Joan Mir (Honda), Alex Rins (Yamaha), Luca Marini (Honda) and Takaaki Nakagami (Honda).

Acosta, using KTM's carbon chassis on the two bikes he rode during the day, suffered a number of minor accidents on his way to the fastest time, which was seven tenths slower than last year's pole position time, set by world champion Francesco Bagnaia.

Acosta's time, however, was quicker than the fastest lap time in the Sepang race.

Luca Marini, Repsol Honda Team

Luca Marini, Repsol Honda Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Yamaha's Quartararo finished fourth fastest ahead of KTM tester Dani Pedrosa and Mir, the quickest of the two works Honda riders. Team-mate Luca Marini, who replaces Marc Marquez at the Japanese squad, wound up eighth behind the second Yamaha, ridden by Rins.

Only one rider, Lorenzo Savadori, represented Aprilia on track on Saturday, but the Italian rode six different bikes on his way to the 12th fastest time of the day.

The final day of running was cut short by around two hours as a result of a heavy storm hitting the track.

The official pre-season test kicks off at Sepang on Tuesday and runs until Thursday.

Pos. Rider Team Time/Gap Lap
1 Spain Pedro Acosta  Tech3 1'58"189 33
2 Spain Pol Espargaró  KTM test team +0"066 26
3 France Johann Zarco  LCR Honda +0"211 39
4 France Fabio Quartararo  Yamaha  +0"249 38
5 Spain Dani Pedrosa  KTM team team +0"289 32
6 Spain Joan Mir  Repsol Honda +0"328 47
7 Spain Alex Rins  Yamaha  +0"354 37
8 Italy Luca Marini  Repsol Honda +0"746 46
9 United Kingdom Cal Crutchlow  Yamaha test team +0"794 54
10 Japan Takaaki Nakagami  LCR Honda +0"883 44
11 Italy Michele Pirro  Ducati test team +1"141 37
12 Italy Lorenzo Savadori  Aprilia test team +1"811 68
13 Germany Stefan Bradl  Test team Honda +2"910 14

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