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26 days ago
By motogp.com

Marquez: “We made a big step on the setup”

Reigning World Champion endures a successful Day 2 in Qatar

After struggling on Day 1 of the Qatar Test, Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) bounced back on Day 2 to finish P5 on the timesheets with a best time of 1:55.004.

“Yeah I’m happy because first of all it’s the first day I did a lot of laps, with my condition I feel quite good,” began the reigning World Champion, who completed 57 laps – the most of anybody in the top 16 – on his recovering left shoulder.

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Marquez takes a great step on day 2 of the Qatar Test

“Of course now it’s a little bit painful but this is normal, it still remains two weeks (until the race). But yeah apart from that we made a big step on the setup of the bike and on the feeling, now on the rhythm I’m closer to the top guys,” continued Marquez.

“I’m not the fastest one but we need to understand where we are, that is Qatar. At Qatar we struggle a little bit but we are getting closer and closer and this is the most important thing.”

The seven-time Champion explained how he tested “many things” on Day 2, but says it was imperative he and the team began by trying to figure out their issues with the setup that hampered their speed on the opening day at Losail.

“Today we test a lot of things. First of all we concentrated on the setup of the bike because yesterday we were out, we were far. And we did a big step there, since I found a good feeling on the bike and I was riding in a good way, then we started to try many many different things. One of the things you can see if the fairing, the aerodynamic package and yeah, we concentrated on many different areas and tomorrow I think we can still do another step.”

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What do the riders think after day 2 of the Qatar Test?

The plan for the final day is for Marquez to try and see how he fairs on a longer run with his injured shoulder. Two weeks remain until the lights go out for Round 1 of the season, so Monday will be a good indicator for everyone to see where they are in terms of race pace.

“We will see tomorrow. Of course today when I get up, the shoulder was a little bit more painful than it was yesterday but when I arrive on the bike it wasn’t a bit problem. We will see tomorrow if it is worse or better but yeah, today I did a lot of laps, five laps in a row, so tomorrow I would like to do, not the race distance but a half long run minimum.”

Keep up with the final day of the Qatar Test with Live Timing from 16:00 local time (GMT +3), and don’t forget to tune into a live After the Flag episode with Matt Birt, MotoGP™ Legend Randy Mamola and Simon Crafar at 21:30 local time.

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