The final race of 2015 has begun in Valencia today with Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa finishing the first day 2nd and 3rd respectively in the combined times.
This first day was spent with the riders reacquainting themselves with the Ricardo Tormo circuit, working to find the best setup for their bikes. In the afternoon session, ambient temperatures rose from 20ºC to 26º and the track temperature jumped from 18º to 29º with the majority of riders improving with the warmer conditions. It was a closely fought first day with the top twelve riders within a second of each other.
Marc – who led this morning’s FP1 – was one of the top riders who did not improve his morning time of 1’31.250 (lap 17/20) – as he opted not to put on a fresh tyre at the end of FP2 – and he finished 2nd for the day just 0.139 off fastest man Lorenzo. Dani – 3rd fastest in FP1 – was able to improve his time this afternoon with 1’31.377 (lap 19/21), remaining 3rd in the combined times.
"I'm happy because I went out on track and got back to enjoying myself riding; it was important and something I was really looking forward to doing. It's been a positive day because we did a good job with the setup of the bike. In the second session we worked hard with Sunday's race in mind, riding with used tyres and also testing the hardest compound. We are pretty clear about how we can continue to improve tomorrow, because the track temperature increased a lot and if it stays like this, we will have to concentrate on the durability of the tyres."
"Even though we finished third for the day, it’s not been a great start to the GP. My first feeling when I went out on track this morning was that we needed a bit more grip with the rear. We spent most of the day working on this issue and we must continue to work on the bike setup tomorrow to solve this small problem and to be faster for qualifying. I’m not sure how the race will play out at the moment, I’m just focusing on improving for tomorrow."