Much of the spotlight on day one of testing at Valencia fell on Alex Marquez. Marc's younger brother had chance to make his MotoGP debut at Ricardo Tormo, building confidence with the 2019 Honda, with the support of Lucio Cecchinello's team. Not until Jerez will he enter the HRC garage, alongside his brother and the team headed up by Ramon Aurin who, until last Sunday, followed Jorge Lorenzo.
It wasn't an easy start for Alex at Cheste, the Spaniard suffering as a crash just few minutes into the session. This setback caused Marquez jr to lost a lot of time in the garage, before returning to the track in the afternoon.
“I think I've had a positive first day – begins Alex – a pity about the crash, a rookie mistake. I tried to improve lap after lap and am positive ahead of Wednesday. The crash changed our plans, but as I've said overall my day proved quite positive. I have a lot to learn of course, especially in terms of the tyres, though I'm quite pleased with my pace, as I was able to improve my competitiveness through certain turns”.
Alex looks ahead to Wednesday.
“I'll try to complete more laps, and try to be quicker. With respect to the Moto2, the MotoGP is more powerful and there's the big difference of the carbon brakes. The second aspect has definitely struck me most. I need to continue to work, and also try to remain focused on the new bike”.
There is another key aspect that the Spaniard highlights.
“The electronics used in Moto2 have definitely helped me to be more prepared for this category".
The Marquez brothers rarely came across each other on track on day one.
“I haven't had chance to talk to Marc yet, but we will of course. He's a professional and is focused on his work. If I ask him one thing, it will be how he sees me on the bike (he smiles). I got on well with the Honda and that's the most important thing anyway”.
There is some regret regarding the morning's crash.
“Puig told me not to worry, but I'm sorry I lost so much time. The important thing is to grow as a rider and know the bike's limit. I hope to understand everything for Qatar and be ready for the Jerez test, where I may be in the garage with my brother already. This was my first day in MotoGP and I completed only a few laps, so for now it all seems great”.
Yet Alex already had chance to ride the Honda two years ago, standing in for Luthi during a test at Jerez.
“That's true but the bike is very different and it's hard to draw a comparison”
The Spaniard is aware of what awaits him.
“This is a great opportunity to learn and grow, on a great team like Honda, where my aim is to improve as arider. I'll try to do my best, together with the team, the same guys that worked with Lorenzo”.
Audio recorded by Paolo Scalera