Honda MotoGP Sepang Testing
Honda continued testing its satellite and factory RC213V MotoGP prototypes Tuesday at Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia.
Unlike Monday’s conditions, the second day of three got underway under dry conditions that remained for the entire day of testing.
Out on the circuit once again were Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez, Go & Fun Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista, and Honda test riders Kousuke Akiyoshi and Takumi Takahashi.
And taking the top time was the Spaniard Marquez, who posted a best time of 2:01.355, just over a second off the pole record set in 2012 (Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo, 2:00.334)
The 2012 Moto2 Champion completed 60 laps while testing various setups on the 2013 prototype that teammate Dani Pedrosa (not present in Malaysian tests) used during the 2012 MotoGP Finale at Valencia (Pedrosa finished second behind Lorenzo).
Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda RC213V MotoGP) says: “Today we finally had dry conditions for the whole day! In the morning the track was a little wet still from yesterday but it dried up pretty quickly and we were able to go out on track at around 11.30am and make use of the entire day.
“In the first exit we improved our time from yesterday, which is definitely a positive. Then we tried some new set ups and I started to understand the bike better and my confidence began to grow. I also tried the 2013 prototype today, which felt good, but it’s more important that I take my time to learn the MotoGP bike and adapt my riding style to suit these bigger machines. It’s been a great day and I hope the weather remains dry for tomorrow so we can cover more laps and continue to learn.”
Marquez’s fellow countryman Bautista continued working with new Showa suspension components, posting a best time of 2:01.950 aboard the satellite, 2012-spec RC213V. But Bautista, who was quickest Monday during the testing, reported being unsatisfied with the new suspension components. On Wednesday during the final day of testing, Bautista will experiment with new Nissin brake components.
Alvaro Bautista (San Carlo Honda Gresini RC213V MotoGP) says: “It has been a long and busy day because we had a lot of stuff from Showa to test. It was hard, because every time I exited on track was with a new fork or new rear shock, so it was not easy to stay focused. The small positive we found yesterday is the only positive we had today.
“We tested different suspensions but we didn’t find any better settings than yesterday. It has been hard, but in the end we could test everything. It was not what we expected, but this is reality. We have to speak with HRC and together we have to take a decision [about which suspension to use next year].
“This is not easy, as I’m here to try and improve the Showa suspension by request from HRC, but after two busy days of work we didn’t find big improvements, so we have to talk to HRC and take a decision together.”
Test rider Akiyoshi was tasked once more with evaluating the 2013 upgraded bike’s engine parts, which so far has received good feedback, while new test rider Takahashi continued his “training” with the team. Takahashi suffered a crash around mid-day, but walked away unhurt. Akiyoshi put in a total of 48 laps to post the third fastest time with a 2’03.820, while Takahashi recorded a 2’07.360 from 57 laps.