Photography by Larry Lawrence

INDIANAPOLIS (Aug. 8, 2014) – Defending MotoGP Champion Marc Marquez took his initial laps on the newly reconfigured Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course Friday morning and in somewhat of a surprise the Repsol Honda rider only managed the fifth fastest time in the first MotoGP practice session. Marquez didn’t seem to be concerned about his position after the session and focused on the positives as he kicks off the second half of the 2014 MotoGP season, still undefeated.

“This morning was good after the holidays,” Marquez said. “On the bike the feeling was really good. In the beginning was some wet spots, but in the end it was completely dry. The new surface I think is quiet similar to the other one. It’s not bumpy and that is important for the rider. And the new corners, OK maybe for our bike was better the old track, but for the riders it is a little bit more normal track, a little bit easier.”

Marquez went on to say the new corners at IMS may actually favor his competition.

“The new corners looks like more Yamaha style,” he said. “More corner speed and more banking in the exit of the corner, we keep more on the gas. It’s not like before when we stop the bike, then wick it up and go. It’s a little bit more a flowing track in some parts.”

In terms of the new surface Marquez feels the grip will improve as the weekend progresses.

“At the moment the grip is really similar (to last year),” he explained. “But I think it will improve every practice, because from the beginning of practice to the end it improved quite a lot. I think it will be a better surface and of course it’s not bumpy and that’s already a big improvement.”

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