The Repsol Honda team completed three days of test races at the Qatar international circuit. These races mark the end of preseason, with just over two weeks before the start of the World Championship. The last of the three days of training started for Marc Márquez as soon as the sun set, around six in the evening. His Repsol Honda teammate followed him half an hour later.
In his second round, Márquez was able to break the 1 minute and 56 second barrier, just before taking a fall without any consequences in the final turn of the Qatar course. When he returned to the action, the Repsol Honda rider immediately regained his pace and completed a round with 14 consecutive laps and a fast, consistent pace. Márquez recorded the fastest time of 1 minute, 55 seconds, and 402 milliseconds on the last of the 52 laps he completed.
On the other side of the box, Dani Pedrosa tested several changes to his bike, but he wasn't able to increase his pace from the first and second days of training. He finished the day with a time of 1 minute, 56 seconds, and 142 milliseconds on lap 27 of the 30 he completed.
After the day was over, the Repsol Honda team had concluded their preseason feeling very positive. The start of the MotoGP World Championship, which will take place in the same location, will be held between the 17th and 20th of March.
Marc Marquez 4th - 1:55.402, 52 laps, 280 km
"Honestly, I'm very happy today, because we have seen the light at the end of the tunnel. I went back to having a good feeling on the bike, and even though I crashed I know why it happened. We have improved a lot and I want to thank my team for the great work they have done, because they are working very hard; yesterday they finished at 3am, and they were back here at the circuit for 10am today. I am very happy because we have taken a step forward at a track where I have struggled before. We have made some big changes that have allowed me to start gaining confidence, riding at a good pace both behind Jorge [Lorenzo] and alone, even despite the dew on track at the end. It is still not enough, and we need to improve more, but after today I have much more confidence for the race. Yesterday I was worried about our level, because I had no pace or confidence, and today we have taken a big step forward, so I'm happy with the final result of the last preseason test. We have found out a lot of things that have allowed me to ride at a fairly good level."
Dani Pedrosa 10th - 1:55.857, 30 laps, 161 km
"We had not many tyres left so we couldn’t do much testing today and I finish more early than usual. Unfortunately the conclusions are not entirely satisfactory. Over the three days we have tried to test a lot of things, but there are still some ideas that we want to apply the next time we are on track. With the data obtained in the last few tests, the technicians in Japan will work to try to make some changes ahead of the first Grand Prix. We'll see if they are favourable, and if we can get better performance for the race."