Rookie Marquez surpassed Honda's expectations at Sepang

Honda boss Alberto Puig admits rookie signing Alex Marquez went “better than expected” during the three-day Sepang MotoGP pre-season test.

Rookie Marquez surpassed Honda's expectations at Sepang

The reigning Moto2 world champion joins elder brother Marc at the factory Honda team in 2020 to form the first all-brother premier class line-up in history.

Alex made his debut on the 2019-spec RC213V at the Valencia and Jerez tests in November, but rode the 2020 version at the Sepang shakedown and official test this week.

He ended the official Sepang test as top rookie runner in 18th, just 0.693 seconds off the best pace on combined times.

Commenting on Alex’s progression and how he is approaching MotoGP, Puig said: “On Alex, I think he did a pretty good test because yesterday [Saturday] he did a race [simulation].

“Honest opinion, he was a little bit better than we expected. This class is difficult and here in Sepang [the] first test is complicated. But the guy, you can feel he has a method, very structured.

“He’s been very different from his brother in terms of how he approaches the bike, but the basics in terms of how he understands this job is very similar.

“They have a very similar mental programme to the way they talk, the way they analyse, the way they prepare for the test.

“So, yeah, it will not be easy at all for him. You saw the times yesterday, the class is going to be super tight I think like always.

“But we must give him hope and a chance and we are going to support him.”

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Following Sunday’s running, Alex Marquez said his overall conclusion was that this was a “really, really positive” test. He has highlighted used tyre pace and extracting the maximum from a fresh one in qualifying trim as his main areas to improve.

“[I’m] feeling every day a little bit better, every day we're a little bit faster,” said Marquez. “Every day [I’m] improving, it's quite important, this is the main important thing for me.

“We know that now in the pre-season we have only three days more and we have to be ready for the Qatar GP, but we are closer every day.

“Okay, we need to improve more, I need to learn some things, especially with used tyres. Still something to improve [in that area], also with new [tyre] in the time attack.

“But every day I'm learning more from the bike, feeling more from the bike. So, [I’m] happy for that. The general conclusion is really, really positive.”

Additional reporting by Oriol Puigdemont

Alex Marquez, Repsol Honda Team

Alex Marquez, Repsol Honda Team
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Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Alex Marquez, Repsol Honda Team

Alex Marquez, Repsol Honda Team
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Alex Marquez, Repsol Honda Team

Alex Marquez, Repsol Honda Team
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Alex Marquez, Repsol Honda Team

Alex Marquez, Repsol Honda Team
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Alex Marquez, Repsol Honda Team

Alex Marquez, Repsol Honda Team
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Alex Marquez, Repsol Honda Team, Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team

Alex Marquez, Repsol Honda Team, Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team
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Alex Marquez, Repsol Honda Team

Alex Marquez, Repsol Honda Team
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Alex Marquez, Repsol Honda Team

Alex Marquez, Repsol Honda Team
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Photo by: Repsol Media

Alex Marquez, Repsol Honda Team

Alex Marquez, Repsol Honda Team
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Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Alex Marquez, Repsol Honda Team

Alex Marquez, Repsol Honda Team
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