Reigning Moto2 World Champion Marc Márquez continues to impress in his first MotoGP pre-season, the Spaniard having recently completed a three-day test session at the Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas, and leaving the Lone Star State on top of the time sheets.
The following is a team-generated interview with Marquez.
You've been riding extremely fast in preseason so far. How do you assess what you've done so far in MotoGP?
The first test is where you learn the most, and where everything is new. Above all in Malaysia, as I put in very few laps in Valencia. In Austin I already understood the bike a little better. With no base setting, you have to work a lot more and, although it is tougher for the rider, in the end you learn more from that. The truth is that at this most recent test I picked up a lot more and understood the electronics better.
You topped the timesheets in Austin. Had you prepared for this test in a specific way?
I'd seen videos of the Formula 1 race there, some onboard footage and the like. But when you get to the track, it's completely different to that. We rode a couple of laps on the scooter, but I think that the key was taking this test with a lot of calm -especially at the beginning when looking for the best lines. We planned it all very well. I liked the track from the start, I adapted to it and this was important. I think that when the race comes round, all of the riders will have a base to build upon. These three days were a little 'fictitious' and the reality will be that everyone will be closer together.
Were you expecting to clock the fastest time at this test? What does it tell you, that you can come here as a rookie and go quickest?
Of course, this result was better than I was expecting. We have to look at the reality, and not expect to go so well -especially at a new track. In the end, all the World Championship circuits are places where everyone else has ridden for years with these bikes. They have experience and a solid foundation. For me, this will all be new. At a new circuit like this one I adapted well, and that is a boost.
What are the trickiest parts of the track, and where you gain time?
This circuit is divided into two. I think that the first part, with the chicanes, is where the difference can be made. I think that this will be the decisive part of the race as well, because physically this half of the track tires you out and requires constant strength. The final sector is tricky, above all with the three consecutive right-handers. There is a lot of time to win or lose there too.
Do you think we will see a lot of overtaking in the race?
Yes, it's a track with a lot of overtaking spots. That will be good to watch for the spectators, above all on the last lap.
Is there any circuit in particular at which you can't wait to ride in MotoGP?
Of course, the home races are the ones that you get most excited about. Any track with a home crowd is always special, and you love riding there.
You said at the beginning that the bike was riding you. Now is it you who is in charge?
Yes, little by little. I started to enjoy myself more on the bike here. I am a little looser. There are still moments in which I stiffen up, but I don't think tensing up or being looser really makes a difference between going faster or slower. Riding loose just allows me to be more consistent, and able to use my bodyweight more when the tires go off. Here, especially at the end of the second day and the entire third day, I felt very good.
What are the strengths of the Honda RC213V, now you know it better?
The strong points of the Honda are known by pretty much everybody: Acceleration and slow corners, on the brakes. I think it will be at the stop-and-go circuits that we can take more of an advantage."