Thursday, 6 February 2014 | MYT 10:07 PM
Signs point to exciting MotoGP season ahead with Marquez, Rossi
Marc Marquez (right) sits inside his team garage during the MotoGP pre-season testing session at the Sepang circuit on Feb 6, 2014 — AFP Photo
SEPANG: If the final day results of the MotoGP testing at the Sepang International Circuit (SIC) are an indication of how the season would be, then fans can expect an exciting time this year.
The factory teams undoubtedly posted the best times as most went for race simulation on Thursday. Reigning world champion Marc Marquez underlined his desire to defend the title by again topping the timesheet astride his Honda in 1:59.533.
Nine-time world champion Valentino Rossi, meanwhile, got a hot lap on his Yamaha in the morning to sit in second place with 1:59.727.
Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo was third fastest (1:59.866).
But it was interesting to note that Open class rider Aleix Espargaro of Spain also dipped under the 2:00 barrier to clock 1:59.998. Another Open class rider, Germany’s Stefan Bradl, clocked 2:00.112.
“It was a great test over the three days because we got a lot of information to better prepare for the second test here (Feb 26-28),” said Marquez.
“I can feel a little pressure for this season because I’m the defending champion but normally I work well under pressure.”
Rossi, who last year said that he felt like a new man after the first test at Sepang, is again a happy customer after on Thursdays’s final test.
“I’m very happy with the results here ... we improved a lot during the three days. It has been a positive test,” said Rossi.
“I was very fast today and, in fact, it was my best timing at this circuit. But we still have a lot of areas that we can improve on before the second test.
“I think Marquez is impressive but the difference is very close. But if we want to fight with him, we have to improve.”