As for his preparations for racing, Marquez’s process for returning is an intense one with multiple hours of physiotherapy and exercise every single day and he has provisionally been included on the entry List for the 2021 Barwa Grand Prix of Qatar, the opening round on March 28.
Each day the eight-time world champion is making improvements as his right arm makes steps forward. While Marquez is eager to return to his Honda RC213V, he remains in constant contact with his doctors to know when he will be ready to return.
Meanwhile, it proved to be another productive evening for the Honda team in Qatar, both riders improving their overall speed and trying a raft of options on the RC213V machines as times continued to tighten among the top riders.
Having started well, both sides of the Repsol Honda Team garage were eager to continue their form and keep improving. With just over three hours of the test remaining, Stefan Bradl and Pol Espargaro led the timesheets in first and second as they put the 2021 RC213V through its paces.
After a positive first day adjusting to the RC213V, Espargaro was again keen to get out on track and continue to lap the 5.4km long Losail International Circuit. With a day of riding and an evening of reviewing data away from the circuit, Espargaro was able to almost immediately improve on his best time from the previous day as his knowledge of the Honda continues to grow.
Ultimately a 1’54.673 saw Espargaro finish the day in 12th, 1.2s faster than his best time from yesterday. With only 0.750s dividing the 13 fastest riders, there was nothing to choose between the top positions.
Frenchman Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha) led the day two sessions, with Australian Jack Miller (Ducati) second quickest, Spain’s Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia) third and Italian Franco Morebidelli (Yamaha) fourth.
Bradl proved his day one pace was no flash in the pan, quickly getting within a few tenths of his best time and dropping into the 1’54s soon after. As the test entered the closing stages, Bradl was in command of the time sheets and looking very comfortable on board the RC213V. Bradl was able to keep pace as the times dropped, settling on a 1’54.210 to end the day in fifth.
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Qatar Test Day Two