Sepang is a circuit that Honda struggle at considerably although Marquez is bound to push his bike to the ultimate limit. On Friday, it was a combination of rain and rain and rain and hot temperatures which were forcing the riders to adapt in rapidly changing conditions. Marquez wanted more from his bike and it was clear he was losing time out to Andrea Dovizioso onboard the Ducati which is strong in Malaysia. The Repsol Honda rider finished up in the top of the time sheets although felt his performance could have been better. “Friday was maybe not one of the best days with the bike but for us we started in dry conditions with the base that we had in the pre-season because we believe in that. We already saw that it was not so perfect and then we started to think and the second bike worked well with the base set up we have used this year. So, Saturday we need to try that. In wet conditions, I was ok but still missing some feeling. At the moment we need to work hard because this race track is one of the tracks that is more difficult for me and for Honda.”

In comparison, there were a lot of Ducati’s at the top of the time sheet results and this is important to the Italian manufacturer as they compete directly with Honda and Yamaha. “Here Ducati has been very fast in the pre-season and they will be very fast this weekend especially Dovi. It is something that we need to understand well and give our 100%. Push in the limit but the main target is to finish the race and this will be how I approach on Sunday race. At the moment I try to give my 100%. We will see on Sunday the weather”. Right now, the weather in Malaysia is very up and down. Dovi was top on Friday and then Valentino Rossi in the morning on Saturday and in the fourth practice, Marquez was fastest whilst Dovi not far off. The journey to winning the title is very intense at this present moment. Marquez has also been studying Dovi. “I am looking at Dovi, Vinales, Rossi and all of the top guys to understand what they are doing different and yes especially Dovi is very fast on T1 and it is something where I can improve both in riding style and set up but basically I need to understand which points we are losing and where I can improve. It is the same strategy every weekend”.

In amongst the practice sessions, the Michelin tyres for each manufacturer were being analysed step by step. Marquez after FP4 was demonstrating to his engineers the importance of his data and was very emotive in his body language regarding the session. It is clear that Marquez wants to be ahead in order to charge for the win or podium on Sunday.

Credit: Deborah Wedes, Myanna Wedes & Sienna Wedes

Credit: Deborah Wedes, Myanna Wedes & Sienna Wedes

Credit: Deborah Wedes, Myanna Wedes & Sienna Wedes

About The Author

Myanna Wedes

Myanna has an incredible grasp and knowledge of the sport in detail and continues to secure lead stories every week. She is in constant contact with team and rider media management. She is an admitted lawyer with two degrees and is currently writing a biography on Alan Jones MBE 1980 F1 World Champion. She is a fond lover of two wheel motorsport, predominantly MotoGP, Moto2 and Moto3.