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Marquez shakes up Sepang, shrugs off fall

8 February 2013

Rookie Marc Marquez held his own against MotoGP stars Dani Pedrosa, Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi during this week's Sepang test.

The Moto2 champion was able to benefit from a private Honda test at the circuit last November, but Tuesday still marked just his fifth day on an RC213V.

Marquez finished that opening day just 0.044s behind team-mate Pedrosa, with reigning title holder Lorenzo sandwiched between the Repsol Honda riders.

The teenager, delighting photographers with his extreme lean angles, repeated his third place on day two (+0.254s) but suffered his first premier-class fall shortly before noon on the final day.

“I lost the front in the last corner, but we know why we crashed. The bike got a bit nervous under braking, but I still tried to turn in and it was not possible!” said Marquez. “I was lucky because it was a small crash and not high speed.”

Marquez responded by returning to the track and setting his best lap of the week, although it wasn't enough to prevent Rossi bumping him to fourth on the final timesheets (+0.546s from Pedrosa).

But perhaps the most significant part of Marquez's final day was an end-of-test race simulation, where he completed a full 20 lap grand prix distance (19 consecutive fast laps).

Although not at the level of world champion Jorge Lorenzo's race pace (see separate story), all of Marquez's long-run laps were under the 2m 2.108s official lap record and varied by less than one second.

“This afternoon we did a long run, a race simulation, 20 laps and the rhythm was quite good. I'm very happy,” said Marquez.

“It was quite interesting. I wanted to check my physical condition and I'm happy because on my last lap I did a 2m 1.6s and I was quite consistent.”

Marquez added that the simulation also taught him that any set-up issues get magnified the longer you ride, since you have less strength to fight with the bike.

“MotoGP is quite difficult. Okay one lap maybe you can do, but the most difficult is to be constant,” he confirmed.

So far, Marquez has been trying to adapt himself to the bike, but may move on to more technical changes when MotoGP returns for the second Sepang test at the end of this month.

“At the moment I am riding the standard 2013 bike, like November and I'm just trying to adapt my riding style to the bike,” he said. “At the next test we will maybe try to adapt the bike to my riding style.

“I'm very happy because every day I feel better with the bike and this is most important. Every day I am more consistent and every day I try some new things and the information I give to the team they tell me is correct.

“Step-by-step I'm starting to understand MotoGP but there are still a lot of days left in the pre-season so I hope to continue learning like this.”

Marquez had finished one-second from the top during his previous official test, at Valencia last November.

Marquez race simulation:
2:02.040
2:01.294
2:01.417
2:01.252
2:01.165
2:01.432
2:01.479
2:01.313
2:01.208
2:01.395
2:01.318
2:01.590
2:01.688
2:01.848
2:01.837
2:01.858
2:01.655
2:01.591
2:01.615


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