Last week’s Qatar test signalled an end to Winter testing and the Repsol Honda Team are en route back to the desert for the first round of the season.
It’s been a positive testing period for reigning World Champion, Marc Marquez. After a challenging test in Valencia at the end of 2014, the Honda Racing Corporation engineers returned to Japan and worked hard all winter, in order to arrive at the first test in Malaysia with additional chassis’ to try. Since then, progress has been steady as Marc fine tuned his Honda RC213V machine in preparation for this first round.
Marc, who took his first MotoGP podium here in 2013, will be relieved to be arriving 100% fit after last year when he was still recovering from a broken leg, suffered during a training accident. Marc took his first win here and then continued his famous 10-race winning streak that eventually set him up for back-to-back World Championships. Marc has visited the Qatar podium in all three classes, MotoGP – 1st in 2014 and 3rd in 2013, Moto2 – 1st in 2012 and 125cc – 3rd in 2010.
Marc Márquez: “I can’t wait for the season to begin! It’s been a long Winter and then testing was cut short in Qatar last week due to rain, which was very strange, but I’m confident going into this first race. This circuit isn’t one of my favourites but it’s still fun to ride and it marks the beginning of the Championship which is great. Let’s see how the conditions are after all the rain last week. As usual it will take a few sessions of the different classes on track to clear the racing line and then we will see how the grip level is. There are a lot of fast riders on fast bikes – as we saw during testing – so this first race weekend will be interesting for sure!”
This first grand prix of the season is also the only race weekend that stretches over four days, with FP1 beginning on Thursday evening, FP2 and FP3 on Friday evening, Qualifying on Saturday and the race on Sunday night at 22h00 local time.