Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa have taken their Repsol Hondas to first and second on the opening day of action at Argentina’s Termas de Río Hondo circuit, with four RCV213s in the top five after an unusual day.
Struggling with a lack of grip all day long, the Honda machinery was able to make the most of their advantage – especially as their rivals struggled.
"Today was a bit of a strange day, but the feeling was good in the end and we finished first on the timesheets. I think that the conditions will change a lot during the weekend, even from the first to the second session we saw the surface improve, although not as much as we had expected.
“So far track conditions are worse than last season so it seems that the times will be a long way off those from last year, but it will be the same for everyone and we are trying to manage it in the best way possible and adapt the bike as best we can."
The biggest of the struggling machinery was reigning world champion Jorge Lorenzo, caught short at the end of the session with no new tyre and left to finish the day in 14th.
That could be a disaster for the Spaniard, too – with rain forecast for tomorrow, it could well be that he will now have to progress to qualifying through Q1 for the first time.
“The track was very dirty and in the afternoon it became better but it remained very slippery and also the temperature was very high so it was difficult to maintain the pace lap by lap. It looks like we suffered a bit with the lack of grip on the track, we slide and also the front tyre was not very good.
“We need to work, so from this moment we need to improve the setting step by step and hope the track will become better and that the weather conditions will become more cold but not wet.”