Marquez: ‘One lap speed is not there but it is not a big surprise’

Marc Marquez has both positives and negatives to say about Repsol Honda’s opening day of the Malaysian MotoGP.
Marc Marquez, Honda MotoGP Sepang 2023
Marc Marquez, Honda MotoGP Sepang 2023

The eight-time world champion spent the early part of second practice in the top three positions, as he lit up the timingsheets alongside brother Alex.

However, when it came to time attack performance he and the remaining three Hondas had no answers for their rivals.

Marquez did admit the race pace from his RC213V was strong, but the Spaniard will have to go through Q1 after finishing Friday’s running in 15th.

“At some tracks we have the one lap speed and not the pace, but here it is the opposite, and our pace is quite good, but the one lap speed is not there,” began Marquez. 

“It was a day that we were expecting, so it is not a big surprise. I started both sessions well but couldn’t find that extra bit when we switched to the time attack. 

“Qualifying will be very important, with two races starts this year, so I will keep giving my 100% to see what’s possible in Q1.”

Team-mate Joan Mir was one place back in 16th as he finished just over a tenth down on Marquez. 

Struggling with the same problems as previous rounds, Mir said: “It’s a pretty similar Friday to what we have had throughout the year honestly. 

“It’s difficult to make big steps here, the grip changed a lot here over the course of the day and I felt pretty good with the second and third tyres we used in the afternoon. 

“Tomorrow we will keep trying to improve and giving our all, hopefully we can be close to the spots moving into Q2. 

“It will be important to see what the weather does as well.”

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