HRC Sepang Private Test Day 2: Marquez Up To Speed

The weather that had threatened to disrupt the HRC test at Sepang held off on Tuesday, allowing Alvaro Bautista, Marc Marquez, and Honda test riders Kousuki Akiyoshi and Takumi Takahashi to put in some serious testing at the Malaysian track. Though wet early on, the track had dried up enough by the end of the morning for times to start to improve. 

Marc Marquez ended the day as the fastest man, the young Spaniard continuing his rapid adaptation to riding a Honda MotoGP bike. Despite having a total of just 115 laps on a MotoGP bike, his time of 2:01.355 is already fast enough to have put him in 8th during qualifying for the race at Sepang back in October, and that was against riders with almost a whole season of racing behind them at that point. Marquez also tested the 2013 version of the RC213V, though his main focus was working on his riding style and learning to go fast on a MotoGP bike. So far, he is on course to do that.

Alvaro Bautista continued to work with new suspension parts from Showa, making some progress, but not too much from yesterday. The Gresini Honda man ended nearly six tenths slower than Marquez, though Bautista had other priorities and a different focus. The two Honda test men also continued on with their work, Akiyoshi developing the 2013 Honda MotoGP machine, and Takahashi learning his way around a MotoGP bike and the spec Bridgestone tires.

Testing concludes for Honda tomorrow, with the weather looking set to turn against the Honda men. Testing for Ducati's MotoGP riders starts on Wednesday, though at Jerez in southern Spain, where they join a group of World Superbike riders out testing.

Times, courtesy of

Pos Rider Time Diff Previous
1 Marc Marquez 2:01.355    
2 Alvaro Bautista 2:01.950 0.595 0.595
3 Kousuke Akiyoshi 2:03.820 2.465 1.870
4 Takumi Takahashi 2:07.360 6.005 3.540

Pole record: 2:00.334 - Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha, 2012)
Lap record: 2:02.108 - Casey Stoner (Ducati, 2007)

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I was hoping he'd be take a few races to get up to speed.
Dangling the carrot of a podium or possible? win in front of MM will only encourage him to ride over his head. Swami Sez he'll hurt someone next year. I only hope he doesn't wipe out a title contender.