During the morning he had to bow down to the power of the Ducatis but come the afternoon Marc Marquez was able to fight back, finshing on top of the pile in the wet. A result that shouldn't be underestimated, although the forecast looks dry for Sunday.
“Let's say we've had a positive day - comments #93– this morning in the dry I had the right confidence, despite a small problem during the session which forced me to change my plans. I proved I had the right pace anyway, safeguarding the new tyre and continuing with the medium. We worked on the set-up and were able to make some improvement”.
In the afternoon he led the way.
“We focused on set-up and electronics, all of which proved useful in the wet. On Sunday the track should be dry and so I expect Ducati to be competitive, this morning three GP18s were out front”.
The Honda-Ducati battle takes centre stage this weekend.
“The Honda has improved but right now the Ducati has something extra, they have better acceleration while we're still struggling too much with corner exit. That's where we need to concentrate on Saturday”.
Marc continues with his analysis.
“Along the straight the Ducatis are about 5km/h quicker than us. This isn't so much down to engine torque, but more about how the bike stays glued to the asphalt, without wheelieing. To reduce the gap we need to improve through the mixed section, where Honda has something more”.
Marquez will be hard to beat come Sunday.
“As I've said, my aim is to win, on the other hand I am aware of Dovizioso's potential. he was the quickest this morning and it won't be easy”.
As for the rain...?
“In wet conditions turn 1 is the most dangerous, it's a critical point because you brake really hard and so that sector can be risky”.
To conclude, attention returns to the track drawings riders came up with during the press conference. Lorenzo came up with a very twisty track as his ideal layout for 2019.
“I saw Jorge's design, a flowing track, I think the Honda could adapt well to it, exploiting its strengths. I told him that the best bike through the corners is still the Yamaha, as it's not so easy to be fast through the turns with the Honda (he smiles)”