Green + Motorbikes = Kawasaki.
However, in their MotoGP absence green is creeping into other teams colour schemes more heavily.
The Aspar Team this week unveiled a new – and very green – look:
The team certainly found something under that new paint job, with Nicky Hayden moving into tenth on day one, a big improvement (Aoyama was not far behind in 13th).
Not to be outdone, the big news of the day was that BAUTISTA WAS FIRST.
His also very green Go & Fun Energy sponsored Honda (green, energy… I feel a pattern emerging…) topped the timesheets in Sepang on the first day of the second Sepang test.
The top three was filled out by the Esaprgaro brothers, with Open class Aleix’s Forward bike just ahead of his little brother Pol on the Tech3 Yamaha.
It strikes me that although it is early days in this test, more so the season, that this could (hopefully) be a precursor to a move varied season than we haven’t been treated to in a while.
O.K. So Marquez is out until Qatar (as a sidenote both the PBM Team – Laverty & Parkes – and the Iodaracing outfit – Camier and Petrucci were also missing) but where were the other big title contenders?
Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo ran into severe difficulties when it came to making their Bridgestone tyres work. This left them down in seventh and fifth respectively for Yamaha.
Dani Pedrosa waggled his accusational finger at grip issues too and quite strangely for a frequent flyer, jetlag.
Meanwhile the always jovial Bautista happily crediting his speed to the new Showa rear shock suspension in the press conference.
As no-one likes a perceived advantage you can imagine that after keeping in with Gresini by volunteering to run the Showa system over Ohlins that there could be a few defections before the start of the season if the Spaniard goes on to cement his opening performance.
In a day of surprises Andrea Dovizioso also treated us to a fast flash of red and the hope it is not all over yet this year for a challening Ducati by placing fourth.
Full final times for Sepang II Day One :
1. Alvaro Bautista Go&Fun Honda Gresini (RC213V) 2m 0.848s
2. Aleix Espargaro NGM Mobile Forward Racing (FTR-M1) 2m 0.900s | +0.052s
3. Pol Espargaro Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1) 2m 0.999s | +0.151s
4. Andrea Dovizioso Ducati Team (Desmosedici) 2m 1.029s | +0.181s
5. Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha Factory Racing (YZR-M1) 2m 1.158s | +0.310s
6. Dani Pedrosa Repsol Honda Team (RC213V) 2m 1.160s | +0.312s
7. Valentino Rossi Yamaha Factory Racing (YZR-M1) 2m 1.349s | +0.501s
8. Stefan Bradl LCR Honda MotoGP (RC213V) 2m 1.491s | +0.643s
9. Bradley Smith Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1) 2m 1.644s | +0.796s
10. Nicky Hayden Drive M7 Aspar (RCV1000R) 2m 2.227s | +1.379s (53/55)
11. Cal Crutchlow Ducati Team (Desmosedici) 2m 2.319s | +1.471s (45/48)
12. Andrea Iannone Pramac Racing (Desmosedici) 2m 2.334s | +1.486s
13. Hiroshi Aoyama Drive M7 Aspar (RCV1000R) 2m 2.709s | +1.861s
14. Colin Edwards NGM Mobile Forward Racing (FTR-M1) 2m 2.743s | +1.895s
15. Yonny Hernandez Pramac Racing (Desmosedici) 2m 2.823s | +1.975s
16. Hector Barbera Avintia Blusens (FTR-Kawasaki) 2m 2.975s | +2.127s
17. Randy De Puniet Suzuki Test Rider (XRH-1) 2m 3.341s | +2.493s
18. Scott Redding Go&Fun Honda Gresini Honda(RCV1000R) 2m 3.553s | +2.705s
19. Michele Pirro Ducati Tester (Desmosedici) 2m 3.991s | +3.143s
20. Katsuyuki Nakasuga Yamaha Tester (YZR-M1) 2m 4.165s | +3.317s
21. Mike Di Meglio Avintia Blusens (FTR-Kawasaki) 2m 4.885s | +4.037s
22. Karel Abraham Cardion AB Motoracing (RCV1000R) 2m 5.638s | +4.790s
23. Nobuatsu Aoki Suzuki Tester (XRH-1) 2m 7.302s | +6.454s