Qué Pasa: Márquez shines under the sun
A special blog by Madrid-based Carmen Marín Jiménez, looking at what’s going on with all your favourite Spanish riders, and what the Spanish media and Spanish fans are talking about in the world of MotoGP…
High temperatures have played a huge role in Sepang. Both Test 1 and 2 were conditioned by an extremely hot asphalt at the Malaysian track that made it difficult for the riders to fullfill their testing plans – the afternoons turned out to be almost useless as the sun reached its highest point.
Nonetheless, Marc Márquez has been the man to follow. Not only he did the best lap times, but he also set the fastest rythm, being able to link up to 19 more than decent laps. His performance shows that he’s absolutely ready for the new season, when he’ll defend his current MotoGP title and fight for the third crown in a row.
His team mate, Dani Pedrosa, was able to approach Marquez’s path at Sepang 1, but has sunken in the table during the second set of testing days. Seven tenths separate him from the leader’s best lap – 1:59.115. On the other hand, Jorge Lorenzo’s path has been stronger. Even though he finished three tenths behind Márquez, he has shown a steady rythm and said he’s feeling confident towards the new season.
Héctor Barberá, who found it difficult to set fast lap times during the first test, reduced the gap with the front guys in almost one second, finishing 8th at Sepang 2 and showing that Aprilia has improved his bike.
However, Sepang 2 has been a bit of a downside for the rest of Spanish riders. Day 1 ended with the Espargaró brothers on third and fourth place, but their feelings didn’t improve during the remaining two days, leaving Aleix, the older, on 9th position and Pol, the younger, out of the top10 – he crashed twice, during days two and three. Maverick Viñales has improved his times from test 1, but still has a lot of work left to do in order to get used to his new Suzuki. Finally, Álvaro Bautista keeps battling to push himself up in the table, which isn’t easy since he’s struggling to find the right path.