Franco Morbidelli continued his familiarisation with the Honda RC213V he'll race in MotoGP next season, during the first of two days of testing at the Jerez circuit in southern Spain.
Morbidelli started today on a similar set up to that used at last week's Valencia test, which didn't work as expected around the 4.4km Jerez circuit. The Italian made changes to the balance of the bike over the course of the first day, in a bid to improve speed mid-corner, which is where he felt he was losing the most time.
The Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider will focus on the same issue tomorrow, his final day on track before the annual testing ban comes into effect on 1st December.
Morbidelli was joined today by his Moto2 teammate Álex Márquez, who was standing in for the injured Tom Lüthi aboard the Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Honda RC213V.
Márquez completed 30 laps this afternoon, after taking over testing duties from HRC test rider Takumi Takahashi. The 21-year-old used this time to fine tune his riding position and adapt his Moto2 riding style to the very different demands of the MotoGP machine under the watchful eye of the reigning MotoGP World Champion, and older brother, Marc.
Márquez will return for a full day aboard the Honda RC213V tomorrow, as he works to prepare the bike for Lüthi's return to action during the first test of the 2018 season, which takes place at the Sepang International Circuit at the end of January.
"We've had a good day, even if we struggled a little more than we did last week in Valencia. I think the reason is that I need a bit more help from the bike here at Jerez and we need to find a set up to suit me. We are working towards this step-by-step because I'm missing some corner speed at the moment. We made some changes to the balance of the bike, which brought some improvement, but there is still some work to do tomorrow. Luckily we can focus on this area and not worry too much about the electronics, as the package we have from HRC is working really well here. The new track surface has made a big difference; it's as flat as a pool table and has lots of grip, although now it's also cooler now than when we were here for the race."
"Today was only a half day for me and I only completed 30 laps, but it was good to get a first impression of the bike before doing a full day tomorrow. I really enjoyed it and it was a good experience. It was very different to riding the Moto2 bike, for a start there's the power, which is incredible, but also the front wheel never seemed to touch the ground! This is something I need to work on tomorrow when I have more time on the bike. It's good to have Marc here at the track. He was out watching me on track today and he will be a big help tomorrow when we start working to set-up the bike ready for Tom to test in Malaysia in January."
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