Malaysian GP: Repsol Honda Friday practice report

In MotoGP, the Repsol Honda Team riders finished the first day of free practice without any accidents, carrying out all the scheduled steps to set up their bikes. Dani Pedrosa, with a little pain on his left knee from the fall in Australia, got ...

In MotoGP, the Repsol Honda Team riders finished the first day of free practice without any accidents, carrying out all the scheduled steps to set up their bikes. Dani Pedrosa, with a little pain on his left knee from the fall in Australia, got better as the day went by. In the morning, Pedrosa ended the first free session in a diappointing 17th position but in the afternoon, with a much better pace, the Repsol rider set a better time. His teammate, the American Nicky Hayden, also spent the day preparing for the race on Sunday, setting the 6th best time in the morning and the 9th in the afternoon.

In 250cc Julian Simon had many problems on this the first day of practice for the Malaysian GP. The lack of a good set up on his KTM, and his aggressive riding style, meant that he was not able to fight for the leading positions as he has been in recent races. In the morning the Repsol rider was 9th and in the afternoon he fell back to 12th position in the first classification session.



Dani Pedrosa >> 2'03.232 secs, 42 laps, 233 Km.

"This morning we struggled because we lacked a bit of rhythm, but during the afternoon session I was able to improve both my feeling with the bike and my race pace. We worked on set-up, we tested some tyres and we have some more tyres to test tomorrow.

Tyre choice is especially crucial here, so we will concentrate on that. Then tomorrow afternoon we will try to get a good grid position, which is also very important here. I hope we have two dry sessions tomorrow so we can keep on preparing for the race. Everybody is fast at Sepang because we all test here during the winter, so everyone's got a lot of data at their disposal. This winter I only tested one day here and the package I have now is completely different to what I had then. As for the Bridgestone tyres, they are different to what I am used to here, so I have been trying to adapt my riding style."

Nicky Hayden >> 2'03.550 secs, 43 laps, 238 Km.

"Obviously I don't like to be down in ninth, but we have made a little bit of progress today. The track was quite dirty this morning, there was a lot of sand around, but it seemed to clean up all right.

This afternoon's session was quite tricky, there was a light rain pretty much the whole session, but it's so hot here that the rain is pretty much gone before it even touches the ground. The bike feels pretty decent and the tyres seem okay, so I'm confident that we can improve, that's the plan. It was quite strange this afternoon. If that had been the race it would have been interesting -- it was raining pretty heavy at one point, everybody came into the pits at one point. It's been doing that the last couple of afternoons, so maybe it'll be like that on Sunday. We haven't had a half-and-half race for a while, so maybe that would be quite cool. Now my foot's better I can switch bikes and they've got a big wide pit road here, so it might be fun, but I'd better be careful what I wish for."


Julian Simon >> 2'08.541 secs, 34 laps, 189 Km.

"This has been a complicated day. The truth is that I like this circuit a lot and I don't understand too well why today things were so hard for me. We were able to compare Aoyama" telemetrics data with mine, and we saw that on quite a few corners I was making technical errors, so tomorrow I will have to concentrate much more on the riding.

The grip is not so good either, and that complicates things a bit more. For tomorrow the overriding objective will be to improve all these aspects, and so if possible be able to catch up with the leaders. We have seen that the KTM bikes work well here, since Aoyama and Kallio are up with the leaders, so we also have to be there tomorrow. We will fight hard to improve things.


Esteve Rabat >> 2'18.334 secs, 26 laps, 144 Km.

"Today has been a very difficult day, since we did not find the right set up on the bike, neither on the chassis or the engine. And in the afternoon I fell, and we only had thirty minutes.

I got back on the bike and went to the pits where it was repaired. I went out again until the session ended riding the whole time with the same tyres. But the exhaust had hit the ground in the fall and that meant that the engine wasn't working right either. I also had some problems with the chassis. I still have to find the right line on this circuit, to find the right set up and catch up with the leaders."

Marc Marquez >> not classified

"I remember that I was riding normally. Going well, comfortably, setting the bike up without trying to get a good time.

Then a rider hit me from behind and unluckily when I was falling my left leg got caught between the chassis and the back wheel. We were very lucky since I have not broken any bones, and now we are just thinking about getting over it. Today I will return to Barcelona where we will make sure that I only have a slight injury and that there is nothing else. We will try to recover as fast as we can but without rushing things."

-credit: repsol

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers Nicky Hayden , Julian Simon , Dani Pedrosa , Marc Marquez
Teams Repsol Honda Team