Marquez surprised by new Honda MotoGP team-mate Lorenzo's pace

Reigning MotoGP champion Marc Marquez admitted he was surprised by new Honda team-mate Jorge Lorenzo's speed during Qatar Grand Prix Friday practice

Marquez surprised by new Honda MotoGP team-mate Lorenzo's pace

Lorenzo was second in the daytime opening practice session at Losail, trailing only Yamaha's Valentino Rossi.

Although Lorenzo then slumped to 11th in the evening practice two session, Marquez named the three-time champion as the rider who surprised him most during Friday's action - although he did concede he had not studied other riders' lap times closely.

"He started really good, he started [fast] in FP1 already, so what that means is he feels the bike," Marquez said when asked who had surprised him on Friday.

"When you start in FP1 already [up] there, that means you feel the bike, you work in a good way, so he will be very fast."

When Marquez's comments were put to him, Lorenzo said: "I was also surprised about my lap time, or the facility to make this lap time at the beginning."

Despite dropping out of the top 10 in the combined classification after practice two - which means he is likely to have to fight through the opening segment of qualifying on Saturday because practice three is likely to be slower - Lorenzo was very satisfied with his Friday performance.

"I am very happy today. Very confident and very comfortable with the bike," he said.

"I feel that we have very big potential but still we are not close to that potential that I believe that we can arrive at, so this is a good sign.

"In colder conditions probably we didn't have the best set-up possible for those conditions. Much better during the day than in the night.

"We need to understand, to improve the bike in those conditions, to be able to be more competitive, but I have the feeling we can be very, very competitive if we find the right setting."

Both Marquez and Lorenzo are still nursing injuries heading into the season opener, but neither was particularly concerned about the impact their fitness levels could have on Sunday.

Marquez, who set the new Qatar lap record in the evening and led nearest rival Maverick Vinales by almost half a second, said he "already forgot" his injury.

"I feel well on the bike, I feel even better than in the test," he said.

"In the test still in some areas the power [from the shoulder] was not enough but now I felt better.

"Still even in some areas I need to improve a little bit but now it's not any problem to ride like I want."

Marquez did admit that his race pace in Qatar still needed work.

"We need to keep working and pushing on the race distance," he said.

"If you see FP2, I started really good then on second run I am struggling a little bit but we were trying a completely different bike and then we came back to our standard bike that I felt better [with].

"Still, we need to improve there in a few areas to try to be more consistent and faster because our target is try to fight for the podium and victory on Sunday."

shares
comments
Silverstone to be resurfaced again before 2019 F1 and MotoGP races
Previous article

Silverstone to be resurfaced again before 2019 F1 and MotoGP races

Next article

MotoGP Qatar: Rossi baffled by 'strange' lack of night time pace

MotoGP Qatar: Rossi baffled by 'strange' lack of night time pace
Load comments
How Ducati has drawn first blood in the 2022 MotoGP title race Plus

How Ducati has drawn first blood in the 2022 MotoGP title race

The 2021 MotoGP season may have only just ended but preparations for 2022 are well underway following a two-day test at Jerez this week. Ducati has hit the ground running while a lack of progress dominated Yamaha’s and world champion Fabio Quartararo’s test. While no battle lines have been drawn yet for 2022, it appears Ducati has already drawn first blood...

MotoGP
Nov 20, 2021
Why Suzuki's quest for a new MotoGP boss may be too late Plus

Why Suzuki's quest for a new MotoGP boss may be too late

Suzuki is on the search for a new team manager after its decision not to replace Davide Brivio at the start of 2021 was backed up by its unsuccessful bid to help Joan Mir defend his 2020 MotoGP world title. But whoever Shinichi Sahara appoints next, it may have already come too late to convince Mir to stick with the project

MotoGP
Nov 19, 2021
How Rossi got the perfect send-off to his MotoGP career Plus

How Rossi got the perfect send-off to his MotoGP career

The greatest chapter in MotoGP history came to a close at the Valencia Grand Prix as Valentino Rossi bid farewell after 26 seasons of grand prix racing. While his run to a strong 10th was a pleasing end to his time in MotoGP, it was what happened at the front of the grid that capped the Italian's ideal send-off

MotoGP
Nov 15, 2021
Why MotoGP's under-fire graduate has a point to prove Plus

Why MotoGP's under-fire graduate has a point to prove

OPINION: MotoGP-bound Darryn Binder was already under the microscope as his jump from Moto3 to join RNF's new top-class team was announced. But his crash with title hopeful Dennis Foggia caused significant consternation among the ranks - with many current riders suggesting the top level should be harder to break into as a result

MotoGP
Nov 9, 2021
How Portugal exposed the biggest threat to Quartararo’s MotoGP title defence Plus

How Portugal exposed the biggest threat to Quartararo’s MotoGP title defence

Fabio Quartararo’s first DNF of his title-winning 2021 MotoGP season couldn’t have come at a better time. But the events of the Yamaha rider’s Algarve Grand Prix exposed the M1’s well-known major weakness, which could threaten his championship defence given the increasingly Ducati-heavy makeup of the grid heading into 2022

MotoGP
Nov 8, 2021
The financial implications fuelling junior bike racing's dangerous aggression Plus

The financial implications fuelling junior bike racing's dangerous aggression

The pressure shouldered by young riders is at the root of the increased on-track aggression seen in lower categories of late, which motorcycling's governing bodies want to curb with new rules. But will stopping under-18s from racing in the world championship and capping grid sizes prevent the often desperate acts of youths pursuing their MotoGP dreams?

MotoGP
Nov 2, 2021
The three factors that crowned MotoGP’s newest champion at Misano Plus

The three factors that crowned MotoGP’s newest champion at Misano

The prospect of Fabio Quartararo clinching the 2021 MotoGP world championship title at Misano appeared small after struggling to 15th in qualifying, while main rival Francesco Bagnaia took pole. Here's how the Yamaha rider turned it around, with help from an ill-fated Bagnaia tyre choice, to secure the crown with two races to spare

MotoGP
Oct 25, 2021
Marco Simoncelli: Remembering MotoGP's ultimate maverick 10 years on Plus

Marco Simoncelli: Remembering MotoGP's ultimate maverick 10 years on

Saturday 23 October marks the 10th anniversary of Marco Simoncelli's death. The one-time 250cc world champion and double MotoGP podium finisher was the ultimate maverick character with big hair, a big personality and an even bigger talent. Autosport pays tribute to a much-missed figure, a decade on

MotoGP
Oct 23, 2021