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Marquez 'consistent and strong' as Sepang test ends

28 November 2012

Rain again influenced Honda's private MotoGP test at Sepang on Wednesday, with star rookie Marc Marquez forced to cut short a planned long run on the third and final day.

Sharing the track with Gresini's Alvaro Bautista and factory test riders Kousuke Akiyoshi and Takumi Takahashi, Marquez - who got his first full day on a MotoGP bike, and tried the 2013 prototype, on Tuesday - racked up a further 41 laps.

But the planned long run was halted after ten laps, half race distance, due to the weather. Nevertheless the Spanish teenager was happy with his performance.

The Moto2 champion was slightly slower in terms of outright lap time, setting a 2m 1.560s compared with a 2m 1.355s on Tuesday (good enough for eighth on the grid in October's GP) but he once again outpaced double 2012 podium finisher Bautista by 0.6s on Wednesday.

Bautista spent the test working on the latest Showa suspension developments.

“At the beginning of the day the track was slightly wet from last night's rain, the same as yesterday morning, so we didn't go on track until 11.45am,” said reigning Moto2 champion Marquez.

“We tested many things today, we knew that some wouldn't work but it gives us an idea and direction for the testing here in February next year. In the end I am very happy because my lap time was pretty constant and I feel a good rhythm on the bike now.

“We planned a long run at the end of the day but then the rain arrived again around 4.30pm.

“Physically, I'm happy - for sure I need to do some work now in the winter to arrive at the next test stronger and fitter but in general I feel good, even on the longer run of 10 laps today, the lap time was consistent and I felt strong.

“It's been a good test and I feel we have improved each day, now we must wait a few months until we are back here with everyone else!"

Sepang was Marquez's second MotoGP test, having completed just 28 laps - the best of which was one-second from the top - on his debut at Valencia, when track time was also shortened due to bad weather.

The official Sepang race lap record is a 2m 2.108s, by Casey Stoner on a Ducati in 2007, with Jorge Lorenzo putting his Yamaha on pole with a 2m 0.334s in October's grand prix. This year's race was wet.

The fastest unofficial Sepang lap is a 1m 59.607s, set by newly retired champion Stoner on a Repsol Honda during testing in February.

With the MotoGP test ban starting on December 1, Marquez and Bautista will next be on track - alongside all their main MotoGP rivals - at the first official test of 2013, at Sepang in early February.

While the Honda test was concluding, Ducati and Avintia Blusens began their final test of 2012 at Jerez, Spain on Wednesday.


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