Marc Marquez and Joan Mir put in their strongest performance of the year as both roared directly into Q2 with the fourth and tenth fastest times of the day respectively.
First impressions of the Buddh International Circuit were all positive for the Repsol Honda Team as both Marc Marquez and Joan Mir set competitive times from the off. Turn 1 proved tricky for all the riders with a number of crashes and moments there. Fortunately, neither Repsol Honda Team rider fell during either of the sessions and were able to go about learning and adapting to MotoGP’s newest circuit.
Ending the first session in second, Marc Marquez showed he is as adaptable as ever as the MotoGP field got their first taste of the new 5.01-kilometer-long track just outside of New Delhi. Dealing with the bumps of the track was the initial main area of focus for Marquez and his team, the eight-time World Champion impressed with the level of grip provided by the circuit even early in the weekend. Improving by a full second between sessions, Marquez would end the day as the fourth fastest rider. A best time of 1’45.117 saw the #93 finish within 0.335s of the fastest rider and move directly into Q2 once again.
Joan Mir spent the entirety of the day inside the top ten, able to steadily improve his pace and push for a fast lap time when it was needed. The 2020 MotoGP World Champion was left beaming at the end of the day after securing direct passage into Q2, meaning both Repsol Honda Team riders move directly from Friday to Q2 for the first time this year. Gains made in the test as well as a positive early feeling with the Honda RC213V combined to provide a welcome boost to rider and team.
Saturday will see India enjoy their first ever MotoGP race as lights are scheduled to go out at 15:30 Local Time for 12 laps around the technical Buddh International Circuit.
“When we arrive at a new track it’s true that I am able to quickly find the limit of the track. From FP1 I was there and in FP2 we were able to stay there even if we lost a little bit of margin as the overall grip came up. But finally, we were able to get a spot in Q2, which is the target, but I think many riders will make a step tomorrow. The front three rows of the grid and the objective for tomorrow and then let’s see what happens in the Sprint. The heat here is different to at other tracks but I don’t think it will be a big issue for tomorrow, for the long race on Sunday we will have to see.”
“In terms of result it’s my best Friday of the season, so we have to be happy! In terms of feeling it was even better and I felt good from the morning session which makes everything a bit easier. We spent the day working on details like the gear ratio today, the normal things when you come to a new track. Then in Free Practice we made another step forward to keep pace with other riders. I am really happy to go directly to Q2 because the lap we did was not perfect, so for tomorrow we have some margin to improve in qualifying.”
- From Repsol Honda / HRC