Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez ended the first day of testing at the new Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas, with the fastest lap times, the MotoGP rookie impressing with his 2:04.619 – almost half a second faster than his teammate Dani Pedrosa.
“The first day in Austin went pretty well,” Marquez said. “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 also liked the new circuit.
“It is a new circuit – and a very different one at that,” Pedrosa said. “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 tires fared. The track has a lot of tight corners – above all turn one – 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.”