After coming sixth in the first session, Marquez recovers from nearly crashing on Turn 13 to finish the session leading the field.
Today wasn’t an easy day, especially in the morning when we started and the feeling wasn’t so good. Then for the afternoon we changed and we made some changes in the electronics and the setup and it was working slightly better. We still have to improve. Ok, we were first and have the fastest time but with the used tyre we must improve a lot. It looks like both Yamaha riders are strong here, which is what we already expected – and we’ll see if we can improve our rhythm because especially Iannone on the Ducati is fast, too.
Marquez places third in Friday Free Practice at Assen, for the Netherlands GP.
The 2014 chassis is the one that last year I came back to in this race and still I’m using this one. It gives me a lot of confidence with the front tyre. Confidence and warning, which is important. For example, when I tried the new chassis in Montmelo [test] it was in some parts better, but in other parts – like corner entry – it was worse. So we are trying to find the best compromise to adjust the back of the new chassis to this 2014 chassis, because I think it can be a good solution.
Marquez places first in Warm Up, 0.204s ahead of Valentino Rossi.
Marquez takes third place on the grid at Jerez, behind Jorge Lorenzo, and Valentino Rossi, who takes pole.
I’m satisfied because before the qualifying session, we knew it would be difficult to get pole position, and the goal was to achieve a place on the front row. I think we did a great job; I rode well and I felt comfortable on the bike. Thanks to the work of the whole team, we tested three different setups that ultimately allowed me to be consistent in qualifying, which isn’t usually something I’m able to do. All I can say is that today Jorge [Lorenzo] and Valentino [Rossi] were faster than me. We’ll see if we can stay with them during the race tomorrow, because it seems that they have a very good pace.
Marquez is fifth in the first free practice session for the Spanish GP, 0.568 seconds behind leader, Jorge Lorenzo. The session is marred when Marquez’s bike cuts out during a practice start and forces him to return to the pits on the scooter. In the second session, Marquez, with winglets fitted, completes the circuit in 1’39.900 to set the first sub 1’40 lap. However, he ends the day 0.345s, in second place, behind leader Lorenzo. Marquez drops almost a full second off his time between sessions.
Marquez claims his 60th pole of his career and takes the pole position in the Americas GP for the fourth year in a row. His time of 2’03.188, is 0.069s faster than Jorge Lorenzo. Valentino Rossi places third.
After qualifying, Marquez takes pole position, with a time of 1h39.411. He is unable to improve on his fastest lap time due to a late crash at Turn 1, a heavy fall resulting in no serious injuries. Due to a failure on Scott Redding’s tire, Michelin has decided to withdraw both rear tyres on safety grounds, and introduce the extra “special” rear compound brought for such an occasion. Each rider will have four of these rear tyres for Sunday.
I’m happy with how the bike is going and with the pace we have. We know what my crashes today were due to; the first was down to changing the setup but the second was because we pushed too hard. That is what happens in the qualifying session. Tomorrow we’ll give everything we have in the race…After this decision from Michelin, I think that tomorrow will be a bit of an unknown because everyone will have a different tyre spec from what we’ve used for the whole weekend. We’ll wait and see how it works. We’ll have two warm-up sessions, one of 30 minutes and the other 20, to gather information, and we’ll have to see if everything goes well. Let’s hope there won’t be too many differences from the tyres we’ve been using so far.
Marquez is fastest in Friday Practice a the Termas de Rio Hondo Circuit in Argentina.
Today was a bit of a strange day, but the feeling was good in the end and we finished first on the timesheets. I think that the conditions will change a lot during the weekend, even from the first to the second session we saw the surface improve, although not as much as we had expected. So far track conditions are worse than last season so it seems that the times will be a long way off those from last year, but it will be the same for everyone and we are trying to manage it in the best way possible and adapt the bike as best we can.
After having problems with his Honda’s electronics, Marquez achieves second place in Qatar qualifying, behind Jorge Lorenzo. Marquez is actually faster than Lorenzo, but started his 1m54.2s lap one second after the chequered flag is shown.
If you said to me this two weeks ago, I would say you are crazy. Still we are not 100 per cent everything on all tyres, but we are working well and we have made a step. The feeling is coming back, which is important, and tomorrow for the race I think we can improve our level. I feel ready to fight for the podium and even if it is possible for the victory…Still we are losing on the acceleration, so for that reason I have to push a lot on the brake points. I know that maybe it’s not the safest way to ride the bike, but I must ride like this if I want to stay on the level of Jorge, [Maverick] Vinales, Valentino [Rossi] and the Ducati riders.
Over 15 laps Marquez sets a best time of 1’56.258, ending the session in eighth place and 0.818s back from Jorge Lorenzo.
Today the 2016 season started for real. It was not the easiest FP1 I’ve ridden in, but we tried to improve gradually. The feeling was not very good, but we worked hard and we tried a lot of things out, so now we have to see what has changed between the test and today. We know that in Qatar the track conditions change a lot, so we will try to continue to evolve and get close to the top riders.
On the third and final day of Qatar testing Marquez falls at the final corner, but is not injured and returns to the test after a short delay. He then Marquez performs a 14 lap run with a solid pace in the mid to low 1’56s with four 1’55 laps. On his 52nd and final lap of the day he achieves 1’55.402, coming fourth overall and 0.592s behind Jorge Lorenzo’s best time.
Honestly, I’m very happy today, because we have seen the light at the end of the tunnel. I went back to having a good feeling on the bike, and even though I crashed I know why it happened. We have improved a lot and I want to thank my team for the great work they have done, because they are working very hard; yesterday they finished at 3am, and they were back here at the circuit for 10am today…Yesterday I was worried about our level, because I had no pace or confidence, and today we have taken a big step forward, so I’m happy with the final result of the last preseason test. We have found out a lot of things that have allowed me to ride at a fairly good level.
After coming tenth in testing at in Qatar, Marquez says he lost confidence as he struggled to adapt to the Losail circuit’s characteristics.
I already said in Phillip Island that here was really good but now we go to Qatar, a track that we are normally struggling. Definitely we struggle, today quite a lot. We are trying to work on some aspects of the bike to improve. The positive thing is that still two days remain. Also, we are in the circuit where we struggled most during the season. We must look forward and try to improve these areas. The main problem is mid-corner turning and exit…in Malaysia we were struggling with the electronics but there you can use our potential that is the braking point. You can brake late. Here you can’t because all the corners are quite big and you must float on the bike on the track. We are trying to improve this area.
Marquez comes ninth in the second day of Qatar training. On his first run, he improves on the previous day’s time by nearly half a second before crashing without consequences at Turn 1. He re-joins the action and tries various chassis settings on his RC213V. With approximately one hour remaining, he tires a new aerodynamic solution, using a new fairing with winglets. He runs 42 laps with a quickest time of 1’56.046 (Lap 4), 0.610s off the pace of Maverick Viñales.
We have improved the feeling when cornering – the bike turns in a little more – and that has allowed us to lower our times slightly, but we still have some problems exiting corners. The pace we have is good although we are still finding it difficult to get rear grip…In the last run we tested some small winglets and we will have to analyse them well, because we only used them for one four-lap stint, so there will be further research and development. It is only the first prototype.