Round 1Marc's marvelous debut race, and Hope for Austin

Marquez achieved a brilliant podium and the fastest lap in his first race in MotoGP at Losail. Did you expect this result?

Marc has done a very good job. It was not easy for him as the expectations were high after good winter tests, but he was able to manage the situation and to remain focused and calm. The fastest lap show the potential of bike and rider, he will need more experience to be more constant.

Dani had a difficult weekend, but overcame the problems on Saturday to take the third spot on the grid. Why do you think he missed the podium on Sunday?

Dani has been struggling with lack of rear grip the whole week end. In qualifying he did a great job and also in the warm up he was getting closer. Unfortunately during the race the problem of rear grip increased lap after lap and at the end he was not able to keep the second position.

Were you surprised by Lorenzo’s display in the first race of the season? What about Rossi?

I am not surprised by Jorge as we know he is very strong and he already won on this track last year. Valentino did a also a very good job, so as we knew already, the batte for the Title will be very difficult this season!

Everybody seems to like the new qualifying system. What’s your opinion about it?

Overall I think it is a positive new. On Friday, in FP3, there is a kind of “qualifying preview”, as everybody try in the last minute to get the top 10 to be directly in QP2. Then on Saturday the QP1 is good show on TVs for the second part of the grid teams, and this is good for their sponsors. The QP2 is something special then, 15 minutes of pure adrenaline with no time for mistake. I like it!

Does the new qualifying system require a different working plan during practice sessions?

The main goal remain to find the best balance for the race, as this is the most important for the result, so basically no changes a part the timing.

Both Repsol Honda bikes reached the highest top speed in Losail, with 344,7 kms/h. by Marquez and 344,4 kms/h. by Pedrosa but couldn’t keep Lorenzo’s pace on the race. Which improvements can be made for the next race?

In Losail we were good in term of top speed, but the lack of rear grip was the main problem, and it was big enough to not allow our riders to keep the pace of Jorge since the beginning of the race. The best lap of the race made by Marc on lap 3 shows the potential of the package when grip is good. We need to check data and understand how to increase the set up.

Marquez was the fastest rider in the pre season private test at Austin. Looking at his performance in Losail, does it make him favorite to win the American race?

For sure the Austin test has been positive for both Marc and Dani, and we go there positive. Anyway, our competitors are very strong and we have to work hard to recover the point we have lost in round 1!

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