Marc Marquez insisted his advantage was not as big as it seemed, but conceded he can count on a “very good pace” after he placed second and first in both of Friday’s MotoGP sessions at the Red Bull Ring.

Austria’s picturesque Alpine venue is the only track on the current calendar around which the reigning world champion has not triumphed. His approach on day one gave the impression he was aggrieved by this statistic.

For much of FP2 Marquez’s advantage over the rest exceeded four tenths of a second, and all while he continued back-to-back testing two chassis and a new aerodynamic fairing that HRC brought to Brno.

“It was a very good and solid day,” began the 26-year old. “Sometimes you try different things and different tyres and always you have some gap but today all the team was working in a very good way and with all the things we tried it was quite clear which one was working better or worse.

“We tried again the 2 different chassis and new aerodynamic things that we tried in Brno test. Apart from that, we worked in the same way, used tyres, keep the tyre for all the session and try to find the best setup.

“About the gap towards the end of FP2: I think that half second was not real, because I started with new tyres and with a soft rear in FP2 and most of the riders started with the hard rear, Dovi [Andrea Dovizioso] started with a used soft from the morning but put new in the end.

“I was with new, for that reason there was that big of an advantage. But then I kept the tyres until the end and it’s true that the other riders put new in the end and even like this they were not able to improve the lap time. But very close, so the real advantage is not half a second. But we are in a very good pace.”

Commenting on the new chassis he tested throughout Friday, Marquez continued: “Of course I will not say in detail but looks like we are trying to find this extra confidence in the front, we are trying to find some more grip on the rear.

“When you gain some things you lose some other things and normally when you gain grip you lose stability. In Brno for example, I was not sure and for that reason I came back to the standard chassis but in this track the new one has good potential.

“Now we need to analyse all the things to see which one we choose for tomorrow because tomorrow I want to have the same bike.”

Along with his ability to lead races from the front in 2019, another feature of Marquez’s showings throughout this season has been his much improved starts.

This has, he explained, come from particular work throughout the 2017/’18 preseason. “Already last year we work in the pre season on the starts because it was one of my weak points in 2014, 2015 and since 2017 it was not bad but especially 2018 and looks like this year we are very consistent.

“We worked on electronics and I work myself to find the correct position. The starts are important because when you start in the front row you need to start well. If you are in the top 3 positions, it’s much easier to control the race.”

 

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