MOTOGP: Marquez Closes Valencia Test on Top; Repsol Honda Shows Preseason Speed

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VALENCIA, Spain – official team release — Repsol Honda photo —

The Repsol Honda Team finished the Valencia MotoGP 2016 preseason testing program with a flourish on Wednesday, as riders Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa were first and third on the overall time sheets.

Marquez completed a total of 42 laps and set his fastest time of 1:31.060 on lap 29, leading all riders over the course of the two-day test.

“The times and the standings at this test are not important, because we have seen that there is plenty of room for improvement,” Marquez said. “I think we all have a lot of work ahead of us with the new electronics, because it is very different to what we had before. Today we spent the whole day analyzing the new Magneti Marelli software.”

“The area we must improve the most is exiting corners, rather than engine braking and the anti-wheelie which I didn’t feel was much different – although we are still using a very basic setup. We are trying out many things and the problem is that it is a very slow process to find a good base. After each five-lap stint, you spend a lot of time in the garage waiting to go back out. We also tried the new engine, although there are still many things to set up, and we have to first focus on the electronics before studying that properly.”

Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Maverick Vinales split the Hondas by finishing second. Aleix Espargaro and reigning, as well as three-time, series champion Jorge Lorenzo completed the top five.

Marquez and Pedrosa continued the comparison between the current 2015 RC213V bike and the 2016 prototype machine with new engine. Both bikes had the new Magneti Marelli software, which is where a majority of the workload is focused around. As per 2016 regulations, they were also running the new Michelin tires.

Behind his World Champion teammate, Pedrosa finished third with his time of 1:31.180 on lap 30 of an impressive 60 laps.

“Overall, we’ve had two days that have been useful for gaining confidence with the new tires and getting a first impression with working with the new electronics,” Pedrosa added. “Since we introduced these electronics, we have realized that there are some serious problems and we have tried to understand them. Last night the entire team worked very late to [put] a better setup [underneath us] for today.”

“We also tested the new engine, but right now — with the electronics as they are — it is very difficult to evaluate it properly. We need more time in order to go to the next test with a good foundation, one that allows us to obtain better information about the new engine.”

The engineers will take all the data gathered back to Japan for analysis ahead of the Jerez test taking place Nov. 25-27. This will be the final chance to make any checks on track before the testing ban comes into effect Dec. 1-Jan. 31.

CREDIT: Repsol Honda

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