Bagnaia blitzes Sepang: Reigning MotoGP champion sets record pace in pre-season triumph

Posted : 09 February 2024

In a resounding display of dominance, Francesco Bagnaia, the reigning MotoGP world champion, left an indelible mark on the final day of pre-season testing in Malaysia, signaling his intent for the upcoming 2024 season.

 

The 27-year-old maestro, astride his Ducati Lenovo machine, etched his name into the record books by setting an unofficial fastest lap record at the challenging Sepang circuit. Astonishingly, it took Bagnaia less than thirty minutes to clock an impressive 1 min 56.682 sec on his eighth lap, establishing himself as the pace-setter of the day.

 

Bagnaia led a formidable contingent of riders, with a quarter of them breaking the 1 min 57 barrier. Jorge Martin closely trailed the Italian sensation, securing the second spot with a commendable time of 1 min 56.854 sec.

 

Wednesday's chart-topper, Enea Bastianini, claimed the third position, posting a time of 1 min 56.915 sec, while Alex Marquez secured the fourth spot. Aleix Espargaro rounded off the top five, the sole rider outside the 1 min 56 mark, recording a respectable 1 min 57.091 sec.

 

The final day of testing showcased the prowess of Bagnaia, a two-time world champion, setting the stage for what promises to be a fiercely competitive season opener at the Qatar GP in March. Despite his impressive performance, the Turin-born rider remained modest, expressing satisfaction with his bike's performance and emphasizing a focus on consistency as they head to Qatar in good form.

 

Jorge Martin, acknowledging the competitive field, dispelled notions of a two-horse title race between himself and Bagnaia. He highlighted the exceptional pace exhibited by numerous riders, foreseeing a season with multiple contenders.

 

Martin, who achieved a remarkable sub-1 min 57 lap, exuded confidence, stating his readiness for the challenges ahead. The MotoGP pre-season spectacle is set to continue its second phase in Qatar from February 19-20, building anticipation for a thrilling championship ahead.

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