With hot temperatures and poor visibility – caused by the haze caused by agricultural fires in Indonesia – it’s been a tough start to the Malaysian GP. However, Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez began strong this morning – Dani topping the FP1 session with his time of 2’00.412 (lap 3/16) and Marc just 0.324 seconds off him in third with his time of 2’00.736 (lap 3/17).
In this afternoon’s FP2 temperatures rose to 35ºC in the afternoon (from 30ºC) and the track temperature rose to 47ºC (from 33ºC). With the lack of any rain in recent weeks and with more rubber on the track, most riders were able to better their times. Dani finished the day second in the combined times with his time of 2’00.293 (lap 17/18) – just 0.047 off Lorenzo – and Marc finished third with his lap of 2’00.472 (lap 13/16).
“Today we had the first practice sessions in Sepang and we focused our work on tyre testing and setting up the bike. We mainly used the day to see what shape the track was in and understand if the testing we did here in the Winter would be a help to us or not, and now we need to continue analysing with the team to see which is the most suitable race tyre for Sunday.”
“It’s true that we’ve all tested here, but now it’s completely different. We are working to adapt the setup of the bike to this circuit, although we went out with the base we used in the test and it was not too bad. It seems that the grip is still not the best, as happened last year, but we are working hard and I think that we will gradually improve. The important thing is that we are close to Jorge and Dani, who are the ones with the best pace. Let’s see if tomorrow we can take that step forward and get the one tenth that I need to be up there with them.”