Sepang MotoGP test: Alvaro Bautista sets pace on first day

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

Sepang MotoGP test: Alvaro Bautista sets pace on first day

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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