MotoGP: Marquez leads Rossi on first day at Phillip Island
Marc Marquez has topped the first day of MotoGP’s three-day outing at Phillip Island, finishing the second official test of 2017 well clear of Valentino Rossi as the field got the chance to take to the Australian circuit in almost-perfect conditions.
Marquez set his time in the afternoon and finished the day pleased with his progress despite admitting that they still had a lot of work to do as they continue to modify the electronics of his Repsol Honda to suit both circuit and radically new 2017-spec big bang engine.
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“We had a quite a busy day because we worked a lot on the engine, which of course is different from the one we used here at Phillip Island last year. That meant we had to readjust everything during the morning and spend a lot of time in the box. In the afternoon we found a base for the electronics, but we still need to work harder in this area. I’m fast, but like in Malaysia we want to double-check how it’s working in some areas. We also worked on the setup, and overall it has been a positive day. The weather was good, which is always important, so hopefully it will stay the same for the next two days.”
Rossi was second with a late fast lap, finishing only 0.186 behind Marquez and well clear of Andrea Iannone in third, with teammate Maverick Viñales fourth as the pair worked through a series of back-to-back tests on both their new and old specification Movistar Yamaha machines.
Cal Crutchlow was a strong fifth as he continues to help the factory Honda duo develop the new engine on his LCR machine, with Danilo Petrucci, Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso rounding out the top ten.
Sam Lowes headed the fallers with two crashes, admitting that inexperience combined with gusting winds caught him out during the first crash, falling at the same time as Scott Redding and Alvaro Bautista, with Hector Barbera and Pol Espargaró also fallers.