MotoGP: Honda's Marc Marquez fastest on first day of testing in Malaysia
MotoGP world champion Marc Marquez was fastest on the first of three days of testing at Malaysia's Sepang circuit.
Last Updated: 04/02/14 2:43pm
Honda's Marquez clocked two minutes 0.286 seconds in sizzling temperatures for the day's top time, with Yamaha's nine-time Italian world champion Valentino Rossi just 0.518 seconds behind.
Marquez's teammate Dani Pedrosa was third-fastest, 0.620 seconds off the pace, with former world champion Jorge Lorenzo of Yamaha next.
Marquez and Rossi traded top times through the day as they blazed around a Sepang circuit that is notoriously tricky due in part to Malaysia's tropical moisture and frequent rains.
On Tuesday the track was hot and dry, yielding fast times but leaving riders drained after the two-month layoff since last season.
Marquez was in fine form, pushing his Honda to get the most out of the conditions.
"The grip (tyre traction) was quite good. Last year during testing here I was nervous but now I feel more relaxed," he said.
"Frankly my lap time was quite fast. I was surprised that many riders were also fast."
'Not as smooth'
Marquez said he hoped to work on the bike's braking and rear stability while exiting the sharp corners at Sepang.
The 20-year-old Spaniard clinched the 2013 MotoGP title in his first season in the category, becoming the youngest-ever world champion.
Lorenzo, who has dismissed reports that he would move to Ducati in 2015, said 47 laps on the hot track was a challenge.
"Physically it was tough. I could not make many laps. The bike is not so smooth as before," he said.
The testing wraps up Thursday, but the riders will return to Sepang for another three-day session from 26 February.
They will have a further session at Phillip Island in Australia and at the Losail circuit in Qatar, before the new season officially kicks off at Losail on 23 March.
Malaysia will host the championship in October.