Marc Marquez is still there at the front, just to be sure. At the end of Friday, with the second place time, his Honda is ahead of Andrea Dovizioso’s Ducati and there is foreshadowing of the umpteenth head-to-head between the two. It was a day that left the Spaniard in good spirits since everything went as planned.
“When the World Championship is at stake and you arrive at a new circuit, you try to make sure everything goes well – Marc began with a smile – In Australia we started on the right foot and the sensations with the bike are positive. Tomorrow we will need to improve in stability and on the fast corners – he advised – trying to maintain a fast pace.”
There is a certain satisfaction and confidence that comes through on number 93’s face.
“As I said yesterday, if you start the weekend on the right foot, everything gets simpler – number 93 commented – on the left-handers I was able to be competitive. I must say that I found great grip with the tyres too, despite the low temperatures.”
The best time of the day done by Aleix Espargaró certainly did not surprise him – to the contrary.
“He showed that he is competitive, but it is not the first time – he reminded – What counts at Phillip Island is working on race pace rather than focusing just on the flying lap.”
Marc stays focused on himself, but at the same time he casts a glance at Dovizioso too.
“The goal is to finish ahead of Andrea in Australia – he revealed – If the group is tight, it will certainly be a very unpredictable finale. I noticed that Ducati is working to try to do the race with the soft tyre – Marc pointed out – but a lot will depend on the track temperature. I think that Viñales could also be a contender for the win Sunday.”
Besides Dovizioso, Marc will need to reckon with another rival.
“The stress is always there, but I am racing as if the title is not on the line – he revealed – If Dovizioso keeps going like this, he could be a World Title contender in the future.”
Dani Pedrosa was forced to follow from behind, unable to do better than the ninth best time at about a half a second behind the leader.
“In the afternoon the temperature dropped – Dani admitted – I didn’t find the right setup and I struggled with the tyres, both soft and medium.”
The Spaniard has a few problems to solve.
“There is too much spinning and I don’t have confidence with the front – he pointed out – I need to improve the chassis architecture, but I also need to improve in the third sector.”