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The second day of testing in Malaysia was kinder to both the Repsol Honda Team and the Go & Fun Honda Gresini outfit, as dry conditions gave their riders a full day’s running to test their respective bikes.
The track was dry by 11:30 with an ambient temperature of 32 degrees Celsius and 65% humidity. And it was Repsol’s Marc Márquez who went fastest, as the Spanish youngster spent the day trying various set ups and also tested the 2013 prototype which teammate Dani Pedrosa already experienced in Valencia. He completed 60 laps with a best time of 2'01.355, which is just over a second off the pole record set this year. His time was also over two seconds faster than yesterday, showing just how much progress he has made in the space of a day.
The Spaniard commented: "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."
Go & Fun Honda Gresini’s Álvaro Bautista continued his work on the new components brought by suspension supplier Showa, posting the second fastest time on his 2012-spec satellite Honda machine with a 2’01.950. Following yesterday’s test in wet conditions, the team is also hoping to get some more wet time to evaluate the new parts further for such track conditions. Despite finding some good points, Bautista was not satisfied that the improvement was significant enough. The team will be trying new parts from brake supplier Nissin in the final day of testing tomorrow.
He said: “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 focussed. 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.”
Honda test-rider Kousuke Akiyoshi was tasked once more with evaluating the 2013 upgraded bike’s engine parts, which so far has received good feedback, whilst new test rider Takumi 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.
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