Honda MotoGP rookie Alex Marquez "better than expected" in Sepang test

Lewis Duncan
Autosport
Honda: Rookie Marquez was
Honda: Rookie Marquez was

Honda boss Alberto Puig says rookie signing Alex Marquez went "better than expected" during the three-day Sepang MotoGP pre-season test.

Reigning Moto2 world champion Marquez has joined his elder brother Marc at the factory Honda team in 2020, forming the first all-brother premier class line-up in history.

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The younger Marquez made his debut on the 2019-spec RC213V at the Valencia and Jerez tests in November, but rode the 2020 version at the Sepang shakedown and in the official test this week.

He ended the Sepang test as the top rookie runner in 18th, lapping 0.693 seconds off the best on combined times.

Commenting on Marquez's progress and how he has approached MotoGP, Puig said: "On Alex, I think he did a pretty good test because yesterday [Saturday] he did a race [simulation].

"Honest opinion, he was a little bit better than we expected.

"This class is difficult and here in Sepang [the] first test is complicated. But the guy, you can feel he has a method, very structured.

"He's been very different from his brother in terms of how he approaches the bike, but the basics in terms of how he understands this job is very similar.

"They have a very similar mental programme to the way they talk, the way they analyse, the way they prepare for the test.

"It will not be easy at all for him.

"The class is going to be super tight I think like always.

"But we must give him hope and a chance and we are going to support him."

Honda: Rookie Marquez was
Honda: Rookie Marquez was

Following Sunday's running, Marquez said his overall conclusion was that the test was "really, really positive", but highlighted his pace on used tyres and extracting the maximum from a fresh set in qualifying trim as his main areas to improve.

"[I'm] feeling every day a little bit better, every day we're a little bit faster," said Alex.

"Every day [I'm] improving, it's quite important, this is the main important thing for me.

"We know that now in the pre-season we have only three days more and we have to be ready for the Qatar GP [in March], but we are closer every day.

"OK, we need to improve more, I need to learn some things, especially with used tyres.

"Still something to improve [in that area], also with new [tyre] in the time attack.

"But every day I'm learning more from the bike, feeling more from the bike.

"So, [I'm] happy for that. The general conclusion is really, really positive."

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