MotoGP – rain hampers first day’s testing at Phillip Island

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Day one of the test at Phillip Island was affected by poor weather conditions, with intermittent light rainfall and strong winds, and maximum air and track temperatures of 23° C and 30° C, respectively.

Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa was the first rider to take to the track this morning, just over an hour into the session, with his teammate Marc Marquez—who celebrates his 23rd birthday today—following immediately afterward. Both riders were aiming to test the Michelin wet and intermediate spec tyres, which they had not tested before, and their electronics’ rain settings.

The day allowed a few laps in full-wet conditions, during which the riders received some positive feedback, both from the bike settings and the rain tyres. Marc managed to make one lap on the intermediates spec tyre, with which he set his best time. The track improved slightly toward the end of the session, but there were only few minutes with almost totally dry track and both Repsol Honda riders decided not to go out.

Pedrosa was happy with the wet conditions, but struggled as the track began drying out in places. He ssaid: “Today it rained almost all day—especially in the morning—and when I saw that the track was completely wet I decided to go out, because at this track you usually don’t have these conditions, due to the strong wind that always dries the asphalt quickly. The feeling was good and it was a positive run, because I did a few laps in these different conditions to test the bike, electronics and tyres at the same time. Everything was different from what we had before, so we have to go step-by-step. I would have liked to put in more laps in the wet, but eventually part of the circuit dried out and the track was neither fully dry nor fully wet. Some riders went out on slicks, but it was still raining a little and the conditions weren’t easy, so we preferred to stay in the garage. Instead, we’ll go back out again tomorrow to check everything if the weather improves.”

The Repsol Honda riders’ best efforts for the day were 1’35.354 on lap 18 of 20 for Marc on intermediate tyres, and 1’40.138 on lap 15 of 15 for Dani on wet tyres. Testing will continue for two more days.

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