Marquez the main man in Texas MotoGP test

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MotoGP rookie dominates first ever MotoGP test at Circuit of the Americas

Marc Marquez came away from a private MotoGP test session at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas on top of the timing sheets ahead of his Repsol Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa with Yamaha Factory Racing teammates Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi also partaking in the test, as did LCR Honda rider Stefan Bradl. While the test was scheduled for three days, Lorenzo and Rossi both opted out of partaking in today’s final session leaving the three Honda riders the sole riders on the new circuit in the United States.

This final day has been good for me.

Marc Marquez

The first day saw the riders taking some time to find their way around the circuit with the surface very slippery but it didn’t take much time before the lap times began to fall with Marquez and Pedrosa leading the way. The technical and fast Austin circuit certainly challenged the riders and its physically demanding corners gave the riders plenty to test ahead of the race later in the year. By the end of the first day Marquez had set a best lap of 2m 4.619s with Pedrosa less than half a second slower. Lorenzo made steady progress with his first day on the Texan asphalt while Bradl finished ahead of Rossi.

Day two presented higher temperatures and with the rubber laid down from the first day of testing, the riders were able to get into the groove much earlier on and they took full advantage to log as many laps as possible in the ideal conditions. Marquez continued his stellar form to stay at the top of the timing sheets and reducing his laptime down to 2m 3.853s with Pedrosa just one tenth of a second off. Lorenzo continued to shadow both Honda riders while Rossi and Bradl swapped fourth and fifth positions throughout the day.

The final day saw the Repsol riders right back where they left of with Marquez leading the way while Pedrosa decided not to test as much today with a neck pain affecting the rider. Marquez tested more electronic settings during the day and he continued to set fast lap times while Pedrosa didn’t gather much useful data with his neck preventing any more progress. Bradl continued to improve throughout the day while Marquez set the top time of 2m 3.281s to that of Pedrosa’s best of 2m 3.898s and Bradl finishing with his best lap of 2m 4.225s.

Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda Team
Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda Team

Photo by: Hazrin Yeob Men Shah

Marquez was please with the three-day test and spoke of his happiness at gaining useful information on the new track. "This final day has been good for me,” said Marquez who continued, “From the beginning I had the same feeling as yesterday and especially this morning we started to try some technical settings for the first time and we found some big improvements. After lunch we were considering a race simulation but in the end we spent the time working with the electronics. It's been important to come and test here, as we will be here for the second race. It's quite a physical track - especially the first sector - but in the end, we now know the track a little and we have a good base for when we come here for the GP.”

Pedrosa was content with his performance but also frustrated with his neck ailment preventing further progress. He said, “After the first exit this morning I had a pain in my neck, I'm not sure what caused it but it affected my riding so I decided not to do so many laps today. Everything has gone well though in general, we had three positive days and I'm happy we came here, because we were able to put in many laps of this circuit, which is very tricky and difficult.

There are some heavy braking points and some blind corners, so it was important to test here to find the references. We weren't able to try much in terms of settings, because we didn't know the track and the surface wasn't 100% with so few riders here, but we've been improving. We only tried the soft compound tire, but in general the feeling is positive. I'd like to thank Honda for making the effort to come here, it has been valuable and I am very grateful!” Pedrosa added.

Jorge Lorenzo, Yamaha Factory Racing
Jorge Lorenzo, Yamaha Factory Racing

Photo by: Yamaha MotoGP

Speaking before heading back to Europe Lorenzo said he was happy with how the test went. “I feel better today, especially in the last run before the lunch break, we changed the set up of the bike and we improved some tenths so we are closer to the fastest riders, but not as much as we would like. We were too soft in the suspension to start with, we made it harder and in this track it works. These two days that we are here I think is enough to get a good idea of set up and riding style. The fans will like MotoGP here, it is going to be a great show.

We have been trying different set ups of the bike, no new parts, just playing with the set up, changing the suspension and forks and in the last run I improved half a second with set up changes. We still don't have enough grip on the rear so we can’t lean over with confidence, which is why we are further behind than in Sepang. I am adapting my riding style every lap a little for the track. In the main straight we are at 340kmh/h which is an amazing speed; when you have to brake and put your helmet up the wind is very strong so it’s difficult to be stable,” Lorenzo added.

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About this article
Series MOTOGP
Article type Testing report
Tags bradl, featured, hatch, honda, lorenzo, marquez, pedrosa, repsol, rossi, yamaha