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Back on track: Stunning shots of the MotoGP Sepang Test

Check out this selection of stunning shots from the three-day MotoGP pre-season test in Sepang, Malaysia

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MotoGP

The high-speed superstars of MotoGP returned to the track in the first official MotoGP test in Malaysia.

The teams and riders hit the tarmac at the Sepang circuit looking to fine-tune their 2018 machinery ahead of the new season, which kicks off at the Losail circuit in Qatar on the weekend of 16-18 March.

The man to beat, once again, is Spanish flyer Marc Marquez. The 24-year-old (he’ll be 25 by the time the lights go out on raceday in Qatar) was a dominant force in last season’s championship race, but some notable missteps gave the ultra-consistent Italian Andrea Dovizioso the chance to come up on the rails and take the championship to the final round.

But the class of the field was undoubtedly Marquez, and he deservedly captured the title – his fourth MotoGP title, and sixth Grand Prix world championship overall – in front of his own fans in Valencia.

Now the race is on as the teams look to prepare their machinery – and their riders – ahead of the new season.

Factory Ducati rider and former world champion Jorge Lorenzo (main pic) had a season to forget last year, but is looking in ominously good form already in testing. He set the fastest time of the Sepang test, clocking the fastest time ever recorded around the Malaysian circuit on a MotoGP bike to lay an early marker down ahead of the coming campaign.

“I leave Sepang very satisfied with the work that we have done over the last three days, not only because of the time that I set today, but also because I’m convinced that many aspects of the bike have improved since last year,” said Lorenzo following the test.

“Now I feel it’s better adapted to my riding style and I feel more at home when I’m riding it, but we still have to understand a few things to be able to get the best out of its potential. We are only at the start of the year but the sensations are already good and now it will be important to confirm them in the next test in Thailand.”

Will Lorenzo lead the Ducati challenge and push Marquez even closer in 2018? Can Yamaha’s Maverick Vinales fulfil the great promise he showed in the early part of last season, or will the old master Valentino Rossi roll back the years and capture a 10th world title?

It’s going to be another fantastic season.


Fast Photos

Check out the best of the photos from the three-day Sepang test, as shot by MotoGP’s official photographers.

Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa (MotoGP)

Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa (Pic: MotoGP)

World championship runner-up Andrea Dovizioso (Pic: MotoGP)

World championship 2017 runner-up Andrea Dovizioso (Pic: MotoGP)

MotoGP world champion Marc Marquez (Pic: MotoGP)

MotoGP’s 2017  world champion Marc Marquez (Pic: MotoGP)

Tech 3's French superstar Johann Zarco (Pic: MotoGP)

Tech 3’s French sensation Johann Zarco will be one to watch in 2018 (Pic: MotoGP)

Pramac Ducati's Danilo Petrucci (Pic: MotoGP)

Pramac Ducati’s Danilo Petrucci in typically aggressive mode (Pic: MotoGP)

MotoGP legend Valentino Rossi (Pic: MotoGP)

MotoGP legend Valentino Rossi testing the track limits (Pic: MotoGP)

Movistar Yamaha's Maverick Vinales (Pic: MotoGP)

Movistar Yamaha’s Maverick Vinales (Pic: MotoGP)

Ducati's former world champion Jorge Lorenzo (Pic: MotoGP)

Ducati’s former world champion Jorge Lorenzo jams on the anchors (Pic: MotoGP)

British star Cal Crutchlow (Pic: MotoGP)

British star Cal Crutchlow (Pic: MotoGP)

World champion Marc Marquez (Pic: MotoGP)

World champion Marc Marquez (Pic: MotoGP)

Suzuki star Andrea Iannone (Pic: MotoGP)

Suzuki’s always-flamboyant Andrea Iannone (Pic: MotoGP)

Australian star Jack Miller (Pic: MotoGP)

Australia’s former Moto3 world champion Jack Miller is always entertaining to watch (Pic: MotoGP)

Freelance sports writer and MMA reporter with 19 years’ experience in the UK national media. News Editor: ONE Championship. UFC/MMA Reporter: BBC Three. International MMA Reporter: The Fight Nation. Contributor: MMAjunkie.

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