Repsol Honda on top after Day 1 in Austin

Marquez ended the first day of private testing fastest

The Repsol Honda Team have finished day one of testing at Austin’s Circuit of the America’s on top. Also present at the private test is LCR factory supported Honda rider Stefan Bradl and Yamaha’s MotoGP team of Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi. All riders spent the first day of the test learning the circuit, which MotoGP will race at for the first time on 21 April.

New boy Marc Marquez ended the day first on the time sheets, nearly half a second faster than team mate Dani Pedrosa and over half a second faster than 2012 champion Lorenzo. “The first day in Austin went pretty well. It is a fun circuit, because there’s not a single bump on the track. There was no grip at the start and we were sliding around a lot, but gradually the lines were cleaned up and we could tackle it better. In the first part of the track, where the flowing chicanes are all linked up, it is a very tricky section. It is a physically demanding part of the circuit where you have to use a lot of strength to change direction quickly. It is definitely a key point of the track. There are three right-handers later on, all linked together, making it hard to find the ideal line. We are finding our way steadily though. Today was all about learning those lines, rather than trying out too many things with the bike. Tomorrow we will start to adapt the gearing and the electronics, as we have a lot of work ahead of us”

Pedrosa, who finished on top of both official pre-season tests in Sepang, continued from where he left off around 2 tenths ahead of rival Lorenzo. However, the Spaniard is keen to emphasise that the first day was all about learning the circuit. “It is a new circuit – and a very different one at that. This makes it important to put in plenty of laps, to get your reference points established: braking markers, gear changes, finding out whether you are best off in second or third gear – things like that. It was good to ride a lot of laps today, and also to see how the tyres faired. The track has a lot of tight corners – above all Turn 1 – but there are also flowing chicanes and some long straights. The pace and direction changes from section to section, which is a little strange at first. However, after so many laps, you get the hang of the track. Even if the grip levels aren’t especially good, the overall feeling is positive”

The test continues tomorrow, times after the jump.

1 Marc Marquez 2’04.619 SPA HONDA Repsol Honda Team
2 Dani Pedrosa 2’05.047 SPA HONDA Repsol Honda Team
3 Jorge Lorenzo 2’05.291 SPA YAMAHA Yamaha Factory Racing
4 Stefan Bradl 2’06.053 GER HONDA LCR Honda MotoGP
5 Valentino Rossi 2’06.507 ITA YAMAHA Yamaha Factory Racing

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