This week, teams have been preparing for the upcoming 2017 MotoGP season at Phillip Island. On the Honda MotoGP team, they have initiated official testing on their vehicles despite the hot and sunny conditions. Do the official team members and their bikes have what it takes to win this year?
Considered as the fastest riders in the Honda MotoGP team, drivers Dani Pedrosa, Marc Marquez, and Cal Crutchlow joined the five-driver lineup for this year's season. They went out for Sepang tests to measure the abundance of the speed of their Repsol Honda RC213V vehicles, reported Honda World. Although earlier this month, the drivers already tested their bikes during near-perfect weather, the track temperatures were found to increase every afternoon. Therefore, the second round of testing was conducted.
During testing at Phillip Island, Marquez finished second which proved his bike had excellent speed and impressive consistency. In fact, he is expected to race in Qatar this coming March 26 wherein the driver feels his ride has what it takes to win the series. In fact, he was able to complete 107 laps on the second day of testing and had two long and fast runs. Furthermore, he also practiced on 96 more laps last Friday where he gained 1m 28sec to 1m 29sec per run.
Additionally, Pedrosa finished third during testing. He was only 0.19sec slower than Marquez and managed to improve his ride despite having a throat infection during testing. Although he was not able to complete a long run like Marquez, he too, was content with his bike's performance.
Finally, Crutchlow finished in 5th, with 1m 29sec on the clock. When asked about the drive, Crutchlow claimed that they experienced small issues during the morning and missed a window to set a fast lap time. He then concluded that the electronics remained an issue during the drive but will eventually adjust by the time they race in Qatar next month.
In other news, Motor Sport reported that the Honda MotoGP team was supposed to ride two additional days during testing in Sepang. However, they made last-minute changes due to concerns over Sepang's surface and the time it took to dry after heavy rainfall. According to the team's boss, Livio Suppo, they have yet to make a decision on what they wish to uphold by Jerez. However, they have already rented the circuit.
The Honda MotoGP will include Marquez and Pedrosa who have raced in Jerez since last year. Will the changes made during testing jeopardize the team's chances at winning this year?