Repsol Honda's MotoGP rookie Marc Marquez delivered another impressive performance on day two of 2013 testing at Sepang.
The reigning Moto2 champion thrilled onlookers with some huge mid-corner lean angles - scuffing the elbow of his leathers in the process - as he again held a close third place behind title favourites Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo.
Marquez, just 0.044s behind team-mate Pedrosa during day one, improved by 0.4s in Wednesday's rain-shortened track activities to finish 0.254s from his fellow RCV rider.
“We didn't make many laps because of the rain, but the most important thing is that from the first exit I was in the same lap time as yesterday,” said Marquez, speaking in the Sepang paddock.
“Then we started to play with the electronics, just to try something different, to try to understand and I was happy because when you learn new things you enjoy it. Every time I go out I learn something. But maybe the most important thing was that I was more constant with the lap times today.”
The Spanish teenager stated that achieving the level of consistency shown by Lorenzo, Pedrosa and also fourth fastest Valentino Rossi is perhaps his toughest challenge.
“It's good to be up there, but for example Jorge, Dani and Valentino are at another level because they are so constant. This is maybe the most difficult thing about MotoGP,” he said.
Marquez has been ahead of seven time champion Rossi on both days of testing.
“It's strange, even a surprise,” commented Marquez. “But this is just the pre-season so the most important is the feeling with the bike. Sure, if you are fast it means something, but it is only the first test.”
Asked about the extreme lean angles, Marquez said that his riding style is constantly evolving.
“When I compare the videos with the November test, already I have changed a lot and I saw that even today I had changed from yesterday,” he revealed. “Sure, in the middle of the corner you need to use that [big] lean angle, but in the exit it is not important.
“Step by step I just try to improve. For sure I need to change the riding style a little bit compared with Moto2. But there is not such a big difference to Dani when we look at the data.
“The bike has very good potential, but at the moment I'm just concentrating on my riding style. I haven't arrived at the limit of the bike.”
Among those impressed by Marquez's style is Ducati's Nicky Hayden, the 2006 world champion for Repsol Honda:
"Marquez is going to be exciting this year. It's definitely good for the series to have some good young talent with a new style - and really extreme lean angle."