Marc Marquez and Joan Mir were reunited with their respective Repsol Honda Team RC213Vs as the first of three days of testing at the Sepang International Circuit commenced a new year of competition.
A busy day of testing started the 2023 season in earnest for the Repsol Honda Team, entering their 29th year of competition in the premier class. Classic Sepang conditions were waiting for the Repsol Honda Team as the long break over Winter officially ended. Temperatures in the high 20s persisted throughout the day despite brief spots of rain around lunchtime.
Marc Marquez continued the work started in Valencia as he spent his day riding a number of different configurations for the Honda RC213V. The day started aboard the 2022 Honda RC213V for a handful of laps as Marquez set himself a benchmark as he got back up to MotoGP speed after a winter of training. Feeling physically fit, the Repsol Honda Team rider worked from track open to track close to assess various options for Honda HRC. Completing a total of 58 laps, the #93 set the 12th fastest time of the opening day. The situation at the end of the Portimao Test remains Marquez’s main focus.
Riding the factory Honda machine for just the first time since the brief Valencia Test, Joan Mir’s primary objective was to confirm the feelings he had in Spain before beginning to work on his testing plan. Improving his speed throughout the day, Mir completed 53 laps of the 5.5-kilometre-long Sepang International Circuit before ending the day with a handful of practice starts. A 1’59.832 saw the #36 under the 2’00 barrier on his first day riding the Honda RC213V at Sepang, a solid foundation to build off over the coming days.
Action continues for the second day of testing in Malaysia, both Marquez and Mir aiming to continue preparations for the start of the respective 2023 campaigns.
“It was a really busy day, trying a lot of different things like you normally do in the pre-season. We started first on the 2022 bike just to confirm the feeling and then we jumped straight to the new bikes. We tried a few bikes and some different setups for them, getting a lot of interesting information and data from it which now the engineers and technicians need to analyse. We will see what the situation is at the end of the pre-season, it has just been a single day so it is very early to understand anything. We’re trying different things right now and working hard, it is what testing is for.”
“For sure it was a demanding day, we did a lot of laps and we tried many things. We haven’t made a huge step compared to Valencia, but we are taking some steps. The goal is to improve each day and close the gap to the top riders. I am still adapting to the bike, but I think it is going well so far. There’s a lot of information to process at the moment, from the technical side and in regards to my riding. Everything is moving and developing on all sides, we have to be satisfied with this first step but we need to keep going.”
- From Honda Racing Corporation