Today has been the premiere of the MotoGP category in the circuit of Austin, Texas, also known as Circuit of the Americas (COTA). There the two strongest teams have come together, the Repsol Honda Team with Dani Pedrosa and Marc Márquez and the Yamaha Factory Racing, with Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi. Also Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda MotoGP) and local CRT drivers Blake Young (Attack Performance) and Michael Barnes (GPTech) took the opportunity to make their first contact.
Marc Márquez has shown that although the circuit is new, it is able to adapt quickly to the new environment, even despite the reduced grip of the asphalt. His best record of 2’04.619 (the only driver to fall from 2’05) was achieved after a session of 55 laps and was ahead in four tenths of a second to Dani Pedrosa (2’05.047). Again the Honda riders have taken the first two positions.
Third in the time table was the World Champion Jorge Lorenzo, two tenths slower than Dani Pedrosa and six of Marc Márquez. The Mallorcan stopped the clock in 2’05.291. On the back we did not find Valentino Rossi but Stefan Bradl, although already rolling above the 2’06.
The Italian has taken things slowly and despite being the pilot who completed more laps (68) his best record has been far, more than two seconds behind the Spanish driver. On the other hand, the CRT of Blake Young has been the only one that has publicly registered its times, around 2’15. Both he and Michael Barnes will be in the three races on American soil: Texas, Laguna Seca and Indianapolis.
Austin MotoGP Test – Day 1:
Marc Márquez (Repsol Honda Team) – 55 laps – 2’04,619
Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) – 59 laps – 2’05.047
Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing) – 54 laps – 2’05.291
Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda MotoGP) – 50 laps – 2’06.053
Valentino Rossi (Yamaha Factory Racing) – 68 laps – 2’06.507
Blake Young (Attack Performance) 27 laps – 2’15.102 – (CRT)
Michael Barnes (GPTech) – Unregistered Times – (CRT)
Statements by Marc Márquez:
The first day in Austin has gone quite well, it is a fun circuit because there is no bump in the asphalt. At first there was no grip on the track, I skated a lot, but little by little it has been cleaned up and we have been getting better. The first part of the circuit, where all the chicanes are intertwined, I think it’s a very difficult area because it demands a lot physically and you have to make a lot of strength to change direction quickly. Without a doubt it is a key point of the circuit.
Then there are also the three right curves, which are all linked and it is difficult to take the ideal line, but little by little we have been improving. It has been a day to know the lines of the circuit and not try many things. Tomorrow we will begin to adapt more the change of gears and the electronics, since we have a lot of work ahead