A small break in the weather at Sepang allowed Repsol Honda rider Marc Marquez to log laps during the first of a planned three-day testing session at the Malaysian circuit.
Preparations for the 2013 MotoGP season continued during the first of a planned three-day unofficial test in Malaysia, with Go & Fun Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista and Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez taking advantage of limited track time to further dial in their machines. As was the case in the previous test in Valencia, intermittent rain showers frustrated attempts to gather comprehensive information on the bikes.
Overnight rain left the Sepang circuit damp through the morning, so riders remained in the garage until just before lunch. Bautista managed 24 laps in the dry and was the only one to venture out in the wet, logging 15 laps in the afternoon. Marquez put up similar numbers in the brief window before the lunch break, posting a fastest lap just over one second behind Bautista.
“At the moment the weather is definitely not our friend,” said Marquez. “This morning the circuit was wet and we waited until 11:00 to go out on track. After only four exits it began to rain again and the day was over for us. The grip level was very low and at the beginning it was quite difficult to find any grip at all. However, I am happy because I have been able to improve my lap time each time I went out, even though I remained on the same tires. Let’s hope that the weather will be kinder tomorrow and it won’t rain.”
Bautista also commented on the lack of grip, but was intent on gaining more feel with the new Showa front fork. Though he wasn’t able to correct all the problems he’d hoped to address, Bautista was pleased with the chance to push the suspension in both the dry and wet.
Honda test riders Kousuke Akiyoshi and Takumi Takahashi were also on hand to further prepare the 2013 RC213V prototype for the upcoming season. Akiyoshi took full advantage of the break in the weather, running 32 laps while Takahashi completed 18 laps before the downpour started again.
MotoGP Sepang Unofficial Test Day 1 Results:
1. Alvaro Bautista, 2’02.19
2. Marc Marquez, 2’03.65
3. Kousuke Akiyoshi, 2’04.21
4. Takumi Takahashi, 2’09.91