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Marquez: Qatar level clearer at Austin and Jerez
5 March 2013
MotoGP rookie Marc Marquez, second fastest on the final day at Sepang, believes forthcoming tests at Austin and Jerez will provide a clearer idea of his 'level' for the opening race.
The reigning Moto2 champion, joining Repsol Honda in place of retired double champion Casey Stoner, felt it was difficult to draw conclusions from his Sepang form due to the extended amount of time he had spent at the Malaysian circuit.
Marquez took part in a private three-day test at Sepang last November, before riding alongside his 2013 rivals during the two official tests in February.
The Spaniard set the fourth best overall lap time at Sepang I (+0.536s) then improved to third overall at Sepang II (+0.361s).
The exciting 20-year-old will now head for a private Honda and Yamaha test at the new Austin circuit in Texas, before the third and final official pre-season test at Jerez in late March. MotoGP 2013 then begins for real under the floodlights in Qatar on April 7.
"I will see more clearly [my level] for the first race during the tests at Austin and Jerez," explained Marquez. "After three tests here at Sepang, nine days in total, we did many laps and had a lot of time to find a good base.
"It will be interesting to see our level. Austin will be a completely new circuit, but especially Jerez where we will be alongside everybody again on a circuit very different from Sepang, more tight and small."
While his one lap pace is already close to the very best, Marquez feels he needs to accurately evaluate set-up changes more swiftly and improve his consistency on used tyres.
"I still need to improve in many areas," he said. "Try to understand a little bit quicker when we change something on the bike.
"Still I don't have that feeling, like in Moto2, where we would try something and immediately from the first lap I would know the direction of the bike and what was the problem.
"Here when I try something I'm not decided and this we need to improve.
"Also I need to be more constant with used tyres. Try to get a little more feeling in the entry of the corner, but the exit of the corner, one of the most important areas in this category, I feel good."
Marquez is also pleased with his physical condition.
"At the last test I was quite tired but this time I feel very good. Before Austin I will continue training in the same way. With physical condition it is better to have more than you need."
Asked what his training entails, Marquez replied; "Some mountain bike, gym work, running, skiing, many things. Also some motocross, because you need to enjoy training."
The Austin test, held at the same circuit that will host round two of the 2013 world championship, will take place from March 12-14.