Márquez fastest as MotoGP™ debuts in Texas

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

2013 rookie Marc Márquez has topped the timesheets on the opening day of a private test in Austin, Texas, as a handful of MotoGP™ riders took to Circuit of the Americas (COTA) for the first time. The Spaniard led teammate Dani Pedrosa and world champion Jorge Lorenzo.

Despite temperatures verging on freezing point during the night, readings in the mid-20s made for comfortable team viewing as the riders set to work today. The first of three days provided an added boost for those in attendance, as well as for sole tyre manufacturer Bridgestone, as the venue will be hosting the second round of the season next month.

His top finishing position signals the first time Márquez has led a session since joining the top tier of the sport as reigning Moto2™ champion, having finishing third overall in the official test at Sepang in Malaysia last time out. On this occasion the 20-year-old posted a best lap time of 2’04.619, some four tenths of a second up on his teammate. However comparisons cannot be drawn from lap times, as riders continued to adapt to the new anti-clockwise track, packed full with elevation changes and notably dusty off-line.

Pedrosa’s position confirmed a one-two result for Repsol Honda Team, as LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl managed fourth place to split the Yamaha Factory Racing duo of Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi, both extremely enthralled with the facility which was finished in 2012. It was a particularly busy start for the Italian, who completed the most tours prior to the mid-day interval before going on to end proceedings with 68 laps to his name.

With so few bikes in action, cleaning up the surface proved a long and arduous task, not least as the track temperature remained relatively low until after the lunch break. Two CRT riders were present, with Blake Young and Michael Barnes racking up mileage for Attack Performance and GPTech, respectively. Both men will run as wildcard riders in the Texas race, as well as at Laguna Seca and Indianapolis later in the campaign.

In the paddock, Bridgestone continued its evaluations; after this week’s test, the Japanese company will determine which tyre compound will be used for Round 2 of the season. Early indications suggest a tyre of symmetrical design will be used to cope with the coarse surface.

 

Circuit of the Americas – Private test – Day 1 results:

1. Marc Márquez – Repsol Honda Team – 55 laps – 2’04.619

2. Dani Pedrosa – Repsol Honda Team – 59 laps – 2’05.047

3. Jorge Lorenzo – Yamaha Factory Racing – 54 laps – 2’05.291

4. Stefan Bradl – LCR Honda MotoGP – 50 laps – 2’06.053

5. Valentino Rossi – Yamaha Factory Racing – 68 laps – 2’06.507

6. Blake Young – Attack Performance – 27 laps – 2’15.102 - (CRT class)

7. Michael Barnes – GPTech – No time registered – (CRT class)

 

The private test will resume at COTA on Wednesday.

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