Alex Marquez described his first whole afternoon on a MotoGP machine as “a great experience” after posting 30 laps on Marc VDS’ Honda RC213V at the Jerez test on Wednesday.

The Moto2 race winner shared testing duties with HRC test rider Takumi Takahashi at the Andalusian track in the wake of Thomas Luthi’s absence through injury, with team boss Michael Bartholemy issuing instructions for the former Moto3 world champion to focus principally on enjoyment.

In the limited time available, Marquez the younger posted the 25th fastest time as he adapted to the added power. Continuing with that on Thursday, when he will be on track all day, is the main aim, as well as working on correcting his braking points, which were, he admitted, some way off where they should be.

“Basically it was only half a day but to have the first impression, the first 30 laps with this bike was really nice and was a great experience,” said Marquez, whose older brother Marc is present at the track to ease his transition. “I’m happy to be here and to have tomorrow one full day with the MotoGP bike.

“It’s quite different; mainly the front wheel never touches the ground so this is the main problem for me now. With only 30 laps it’s a little bit difficult to understand. The first impression is really good. I feel really comfortable with the bike. It’s a little bit small but I’m quite happy.

“I’m not focussed on the time. Only for me, as my boss Michael says, it’s only to enjoy. I’m trying to help also the new technicians that we’ve got to have a base for Tom [Luthi] for [the] Malaysia [test in '18]. I’m trying to help with that so I’m here trying to help the team.”

This was Marquez's third experience on a MotoGP machine, after running in tandem with brother Marc for several demo laps at the '14 Valencia test, and then at Misano last year, when overnight rain meant factory bosses were unwilling to use up a precious testing day with their full-time riders. Thus Marquez the younger was tasked with lapping with Honda's '17 bike on a damp track. 

On the biggest change from the Moto2 machine he recently tested here and Valencia, Marquez was in little doubt: “The power,” he exclaimed. “But everybody knows this. Also the brake points. I braked too late because I have the Moto2 reference and I go in too far. I need to improve this for tomorrow. I need to enjoy a little more on the bike to have everything under control.”

And what advice could the recently crowned MotoGP champion offer to his younger brother? “He’s here to help me,” explained Alex, who also has father Julia and manager Emilio Alzamora at the test.

“Also it’s really positive for the engineers to have Marc here because it’s helping him a little bit also. He’s always in some corner trying to help me, making some videos. He’s helping for sure. It’s nice to have my brother here and for sure he will help me a lot tomorrow.”


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