Marc concluded his Saturday in Mandalika with a second time behind Luca Marini’s Ducati. That’s no small feat for #93, not so much because of his time but for the sensations he experienced on the Honda. In fact, there’s a sense of trust and awareness on his part.
“Today I started off from the work we did yesterday,” Marc explained. “But we’ve progressed further. I ended with a second time but, right now, that doesn’t matter. I’m saying this because what counts more are the sensations I get, as well as the pace on the bike, and the fact that I can then set a time. I’m satisfied, since we also tested other things, and I’m convinced that we can progress even further.”
The progress compared to Sepang is evident according to the eight-time world champion.
“In the Sepang test, what mattered was getting back on the Honda after a long time, riding, and understanding what my feelings were. Here, in Mandalika, I’m starting to feel like it’s my bike, taking it towards my direction, and adapting it to my riding style. There’s a lot of work to do, and we’ll continue tomorrow.”
Pol Espargarò is 8th.
“It was a great day,” he said. “We managed to make progress and, after these two days, the bike is ready for Qatar. If I think about last year, I’m really happy with the pre-season we had, and the sensations in view of the first race.”
The Spanish rider looks confident.
“I was one of the best on the pace today. We had some problems with the front, but nothing in particular. This is just a test, but the work done in these conditions is important, because I struggled in the past a lot with the heat, while I managed to be competitive here.”