Jorge Lorenzo broke Dani Pedrosa's monopoly atop the time sheets during preseason testing Wednesday, leading the second day at Sepang by .369 of a second over Pedrosa.
Reigning World Champion Lorenzo stopped the clocks at 2:00.282 on his Yamaha M1, his quickest lap so far in five days of preseason testing in Malaysia this month. Lorenzo sent a loud, clear message by ripping off a mid-2:00 time on his first hot lap. He also turned lap after lap at that rapid rate, showing the kind of steamroller pace he displayed during preseason testing last year.
The ability to click off laps like John Henry swinging his mighty hammer impressed - and probably scared - the hell out of nearly all of Lorenzo's rivals. Especially the guy on the other side of the Yamaha garage, Valentino Rossi, whose best lap was 2:01.065.
"I have to say that today has been really very strong Lorenzo, has marked differences from the rest because apart from that has been first with a good lead, always lapped very strong, so today has been quite impressive," Valentino Rossi said. "Of others, I'm not so away, are all there. My distance from Lorenzo is a bit larger, seven-tenths.
"The difference today was Lorenzo, especially his pace: 00s, 00, 00, 00, 00 ... F*ck!"
Rossi's time was fifth-quickest overall. He was troubled again with an electrical issue on his M1, and he claimed a setup error exacerbated the effects of low tire grip during race simulation runs.
The challenge in front of Rossi is becoming more ominous and clear by the day. If Lorenzo was a handful for him during their first tenure together in 2008-10, then the Spaniard's pace could create mental torture for Rossi for the next two seasons.