Honda Repsol duo Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa got off to a solid start during day one of the final pre-season test in Qatar.
Both riders left it late waited to take to the 5.4km track to replicate race conditions, with Marquez finishing the day in third with his time of 1’55.554 on lap 23 of 44 and Pedrosa finishing in fifth – just 0.259 off Marc – with his time of 1’55.813 on lap 31 of 33.
Marquez said: “I am happy with how today went. In Qatar you always have to be careful on the opening day, because the track is more slippery than normal, but today it was fairly good and you could go fast – although tomorrow we are definitely expecting it to improve further. Today we worked on a few small things such as the clutch and brakes, in order to draw conclusions. Now we have two days ahead in which to focus on our setup.”
Pedrosa was confident he would be even quicker on a cleaner track. He said: “In Qatar the first day is always difficult due to the conditions of the track. As more rubber is laid down, the grip improves and it becomes cleaner and more comfortable to ride. Hopefully tomorrow the track surface will already be better so we are able to test more things on the bike.”