After winning the 125cc Championship in 2010, Márquez moved on to Moto2 racing in 2011 to win the title in 2012. In 2013, in his debut year in the premier class, he became the youngest premier class champion after taking the title for Repsol Honda. So far, the number 93 has only lost the title once, in 2015, and has been a multiple race winner every year. In 2017, he became the youngest rider in history to win four titles in the premier class. This season, the rider from Cervera is looking to defend the MotoGP crown and take premier class title number five, with Honda also defending a crown as they head into the year as reigning Manufacturers’ champions.
The final pre-season test set the tone for defending champion Repsol Honda and rivals Yamaha MotoGP and Ducati. For Repsol Honda, the test is an important schedule to finalize their preparation and make the final choices regarding bike setup before the starting lights go out for the first Grand Prix of the season at the same venue, on 18 March. During the last hour of the test’s final day on 3 March, the track will be covered in water to give riders the chance to evaluate the Losail circuit in the wet under the floodlights. “I’m happy with our pre-season so far, as we’ve started a bit better than last year, but we must remain concentrated and focused on the work ahead. Now we have to reconfirm everything in Qatar, which is a particular track, and not an easy one. We’re still working to best understand the new engine, working on the setup to adapt it as well as possible to my riding style,” said Marquez. “We already took a step forward from Sepang to Buriram, and we look forward to taking another one in Qatar. We’ve always focused our work on our race pace and consistency, and we’re generally happy with the feeling we have with the bike. We’ll try to be on the pace in Losail as well, and to get ready for the first race.”
Team mate Dani Pedrosa added, “So far we’ve tested it in two very hot places, and now we’ll need to set it up for a different situation and cooler conditions. Qatar is also dusty, and that will be another thing we’ll have to assess. Of course the goal is to arrive at the first race as prepared as possible.”
Repsol Honda and the rest of the MotoGP teams will be on track for the final pre-season test running from 1 – 3 March.