Fabio Quartararo continued to dominate MotoGP’s opening pre-season test on the final day, ending three days of action at Sepang fastest overall.
Only a mere 0.082 seconds ahead of runner-up Cal Crutchlow, Petronas Yamaha rider Quartararo headed one of the closest-ever pre-season fields – with a second separating the top 18 after three days of action.
Quartararo spent the whole of the final day on his 2020 factory-spec Yamaha M1, adapting rapidly to the new bike despite running with an older engine than fellow works-bike riders Maverick Vinales and Valentino Rossi.
Vinales finished the test back in 18th after forgoing a time attack on Sunday afternoon to instead concentrate on a race simulation, lapping at an impressive pace that has many of his rivals concerned about the developments Yamaha has made over the winter break.
Rossi ended up in an impressive fifth place, finding an improved pace and one-lap speed of his own, while Franco Morbidelli, riding a bike closer to the 2019 machine he’s intimately familiar with, was 13th for Petronas SRT.
LCR Honda rider Crutchlow was second despite continuing to shoulder the majority of testing duties for the manufacturer as Marc Marquez recovers from surgery.
Setting his time early in the day before continuing to work through his development programme, Crutchlow gave an important marker of how he’s still able to set fast times despite being concerned about the handling of Honda’s 2020 bike.
Marquez ended the test back in 12th. Team boss Alberto Puig admitted his star rider was only operating at 70% as he continues to recover from extensive shoulder reconstruction. Little brother Alex, continuing to learn his way in the premier class, was 16th.
Alex Rins continued Suzuki’s impressive performance at Sepang in third, backing up his one-lap pace with a consistent performance on used tyres.
Team-mate Joan Mir was also fast on race pace, just losing out on his flying lap to finish up in 10th.
Pecco Bagnaia was top Ducati in fourth, repeating his 2019 testing performance as a rookie at Sepang – but considerably behind on race pace.
Danilo Petrucci was next Ducati and best of the factory bikes in sixth, finally making headway after admitting that Michelin’s new tyre threw a spanner into his and team-mate Andrea Dovizioso’s plans. Dovizioso ended the test 14th.
Bagnaia’s Pramac team-mate Jack Miller, Saturday’s second-fastest man, was eighth.
Pol Espargaro continued his impressive form for KTM in seventh, building off strong work from test rider Dani Pedrosa on Saturday to ensure he never finished a day outside the top 10. His brother Aleix replicated that feat on the Aprilia, ending the final day in ninth.
MotoGP testing moves on to the Middle East now, with the next three-day outing taking place from 22-24 February at Qatar’s Losail International Circuit.
Leading Sunday times
1 Fabio Quartararo (Petronas SRT Yamaha) 1m58.349s
2 Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) +0.082s
3 Alex Rins (Suzuki) +0.101s
4 Francesco Bagnaia (Pramac Ducati) +0.153s
5 Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) +0.192s
6 Danilo Petrucci (Ducati) +0.257s
7 Pol Espargaro (KTM) +0.261s
8 Jack Miller (Pramac Ducati) +0.267s
9 Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia) +0.345s
10 Joan Mir (Suzuki) +0.387s