Bagnaia sets new lap record on final day of Malaysia MotoGP test

rugby08 February 2024 14:08
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Francesco Bagnaia Β© Gallo Images

Reigning MotoGP world champion Francesco Bagnaia fired a clear warning as the man to beat for the 2024 season after the Italian ended the final day of pre-season test on Thursday in Malaysia by setting the track's unofficial fastest lap record.

The 27-year-old racer needed less than half an hour to achieve the feat as he zipped through the 5.543 kilometre tricky Sepang circuit in 1 min 56.682 sec on his eighth lap to become the day's pacesetter.

The Ducati Lenovo star led a quarter of riders who ended the last testing day below the 1 min 57 mark, with Jorge Martin coming in second with 1 min 56.854 sec.

Wednesday's timesheets leader Enea Bastianini came in third after clocking 1 min 56.915 sec, with Alex Marquez finishing fourth.

Aleix Espargaro completed the top five as the only rider outside the 1 min 56 mark as he secured his fastest lap of 1 min 57.091 sec.

But the final day belonged to the two-time world champ Bagnaia, who showcased his ability against what could unfold as a highly competitive field ahead of the season's curtain raiser at the Qatar GP in March.

The Turin-born, who also holds the official fastest lap record on two wheels in Sepang set at last year's Malaysian GP, was modest about his blistering pace.

"I am happy obviously. It's an incredible time in my first time attack of the season. But I am a guy that doesn't think too much about a good performance in a test.

"But I feel great with my bike. We are at 80 per cent in terms of consistency. We move to Qatar in good shape," he said.

Martin, meanwhile, forecasted this season will not be another two-horse title race between him and Bagnaia.

"It is difficult to analyse as a lot of the riders had great pace. It won't be only Pecco and me, there will be others too," he said, referring to Bagnaia by his nickname. "But I feel ready for everything. I did a great lap today, going under 1 min 57 was nice".

The second phase of the MotoGP pre-season test will next move to Qatar from February 19-20.


1. Francesco Bagnaia (ITA/Ducati) 1 min 56.682 sec

2. Jorge Martin (ESP/Ducati) 1 min 56.854 sec

3. Enea Bastianini (ITA/Ducati) 1 min 56.915 sec

4. Alex Marquez (ESP/Ducati) 1 min 56.938 sec

5. Aleix Espargaro (ESP/Aprilla) 1 min 57.091 sec

6. Marc Marquez (ESP/Ducati) 1 min 57.270 sec

7. Brad Binder (RSA/KTM) 1 min 57.307 sec

8. Fabio Di Giannantonio (ITA/Ducati) 1 min 57.343 sec

9. Pedro Acosta (ESP/KTM) 1 min 57.365 sec

10. Joan Mir (ESP/Honda) 1 min 57.374 sec