Marquez second as pace heats up in Indonesia
A full day of testing at the Mandalika circuit for the Repsol Honda Team produced interesting data and learnings for Marc Marquez, second, and Pol Espargaro, eighth.
After Friday’s interrupted running due to wet weather conditions, the MotoGP paddock’s weather worries were eased as the rain stayed away from the Lombok circuit, despite dark clouds building just behind the back of the circuit. Another day of running continued to improve the track condition as riders began to dip into the 1’31s throughout the day.
Saturday was another day of steady improvements and progress for Marc Marquez on his way to second place on the time sheets. Across the course of 74 laps, the #93 set a best time of 1’31.481 – an improvement of 2.3 seconds over his previous day’s best. Like the rest of the field, his lap came in the closing stages of the day. But Marquez’s finishing position was not important to him, instead enjoying an ever-improving feeling with the bike and in turn an improved ability to produce quick laps.
Pol Espargaro was again busy as he set about his testing plan, completing 76 laps on the second day and setting a best time of 1’31.605. This time came in the closing half an hour of the day as the MotoGP grid switched into time attack mode for the first time this test. Ending the day eighth overall, Espargaro was pleased with his work on the penultimate day of testing – especially with his speed over longer runs.
Sunday in Indonesia marks the end of pre-season testing for the 2022 MotoGP World Championship, tomorrow the last day for the Repsol Honda Team to prepare ahead of the 2022 Qatar GP. Practice for the first race of the year will begin on Friday, March 04.
“I already said yesterday that I started to feel the bike and today we did another step. We finished second, but the position and the time attack doesn’t matter, what was important was our rhythm and how the lap time was coming. Even in the last run of the day we tried something different and it was another improvement. Happy, trying things and finding the way with this new bike. So far this test has allowed us to shape the bike to me, to my style and tomorrow will be another important day.” – Marc Marquez
“We had another really good day today, overall we made more progress and in a good direction. The bike is reacting better everyday and it feels like we are getting even closer to being ready for Qatar. Of course there’s still work left to do but we are in a good spot. We’ve found that feeling we were missing last year and especially our race pace today was good, maybe even the best. When it came time to do a really fast lap, there’s some improvements to be made with the front brakes but our ideal sectors were strong and a fast lap was not our focus. Thanks to my team for their work, one more day.” – Pol Espargaro