In the first two days of the MotoGP test, there is a lot to talk about in the paddock. From the new tyres to the performance of KTM and Aprilia, from the rider market upheavals to the track performance of the new bikes. Among all this, however, perhaps very little is being said about Marc Marquez who has not yet reached an agreement with Honda and who in these tests is trying to reach the best physical condition after shoulder surgery. Today Marc continued his work of getting to know the new bike by concluding 47 laps but also suffering a crash in turn 3.
How are you after the crash. Did it have any consequences?
“I feel good, the shoulder is also OK. The crash seemed very big, but it actually wasn’t. I wasn't pushing, I was off the line, I don't know why but I lost the front. There is no great damage to the bike, but this teaches me that I must always stay 100% focused when there are conditions like these."
Can you summarize the day?
“We worked well, I did 47 laps and tomorrow I will try to do as many or maybe even a few more. We are really working a lot on the bike. We are testing the new engine, the new electronics and also trying to understand the new tyres that change the balance of the bike a lot. The goals of this test were to do 35 laps on the first day and 45 laps on the second. I did it and tomorrow if I feel good, I'll try to do 50."
We know that you are not 100% physically fit. Is there anything you can't do at your best in this development phase?
“The Honda is a physical bike and if you are not 100% you struggle. I'm going step by step, trying to feel better on the bike. But at the moment it is a bit difficult to try something on the chassis."
At what level is the development of the bike? How far ahead are you?
“To say that the bike is okay, first I have to feel good to ride it properly. At the beginning of the day it's okay but then, gradually, my condition drops in my whole body and especially the shoulder".
How did the engine seem to you?
"The character of the engine is similar to the previous one, perhaps we have a little more acceleration and top speed. I would say it is an evolution, but at the moment I am concentrating on entering the corners because last year I suffered a lot in that area. I am improving step by step even though everything seems very similar to 2019".
What about your rivals?
“It seems that the most dangerous will be Vinales, Quartararo and Mir and Rins of Suzuki, at least at this circuit. We will see how they will go in a race weekend because it is what makes the difference. I don't know how much they have improved this winter; we will see in the first few races because last year they were doing very well in some tracks but in others our engine was superior. In any case, the grip here in Malaysia is really good, which is why everyone is going very fast and that tomorrow we will all go even faster. In my opinion we should see how everyone will go in Qatar, also because of the new tyres."
The new tyres seem to be are a hot topic of discussion in these first days of testing. What do they feel like?
"Probably they are also helping Suzuki and Yamaha a little bit. It seems that the balance of the bike changes and this also changes the electronics parameters. They certainly give us more grip on the rear, but this changes everything on the bike".
After these first two days, what can be the goals for the season?
"The goal for 2020 is to win the championship; obviously race after race I will understand how to win it, I already realize that this year it will be very difficult to finish in the best positions in each race but it was also last year".
Audio recording by Paolo Scalera