Alex Marquez may have been ‘a little bit destroyed’ at the close of a private MotoGP test at Jerez, but the young Spaniard said the experience has served as a ‘motivation’ to triumph in Moto2 before a promotion to the premier-class.
The former junior class world champion endured an exhaustive slog across two weeks, as he spent four days of Moto2 testing (two at Valencia, two at Jerez) before jumping aboard Marc VDS’ MotoGP RC213V for a further two days.
Marquez was standing in for the injured Thomas Luthi and although the outing was a reward from team boss Michael Bartholemy, it was a chance to prove his speed against other class rookies Franco Morbidelli and Takaaki Nakagami.
And Marquez, who won three Moto2 races in 2017, was fast. The Catalan ended Thursday afternoon 17th overall, 2.1 seconds off the best time set by pace setter Andrea Dovizioso but under one-second from former team-mate Franco Morbidelli, stepping up to MotoGP with Marc VDS next season.
“In the end it’s a motivation for me to have this experience, to try and win in Moto2 and to try and move to MotoGP in 2019,” said Marquez at the end of day two. “But now I need to focus on the winter and the first test with Moto2. I’ll have to forget a little bit this experience that was really nice.”
On the Wednesday, he had just the afternoon on track, but the second day provided further opportunity to adjust to the added horsepower of the top-flight machine.
With older brother Marc, father Julia and manager Emilio Alzamora all present to offer support, encouragement and advice, Marquez was able to make significant improvements with the feeling with a 260bhp machine.
Click below to watch Marquez testing the RC213V at Jerez…
“Today was like a more serious test. I was able to enjoy the bike, which was the important thing. We improved the problem that I had yesterday with the wheelie. I was losing the most time with this.
“I’m a little bit destroyed because after Valencia we came here directly. I did four days in a row with Moto2 and MotoGP. It’s not easy for the body but now I have to rest. Thanks to the team for this opportunity. It was really nice.
“I made progress. We worked a lot today with the mapping guy, who is also new. They need also to adapt. Everything was coming more easily today. I changed some lines, mainly in the straight. In the corners I was not so bad, but in the straight I was too straight, like Moto2. I started to make a bit like a corner on the straights, because of the wheelie. It was better.
“If you see Marc or Dani [Pedrosa], they are always trying to work during the straight to have less wheelie and have all the power through the rear tyre so I tried to do that.
“I’m happy for this experience and I think I could help the team a lot, which is the most important thing. I hope [this test means] Tom’s life will be a little bit more easy in Malaysia.”
Luthi, who missed the end of the 2017 season due to ankle injuries at Sepang, is expected to be fit for a belated Marc VDS debut during the opening 2018 test at the same circuit in late-January.
But if the Swiss needs more recovery time, Marc VDS made clear that Marquez will be unavailable due to his Moto2 preparations and that another test rider would be called upon.
“Now I need to focus on the first test of 2018 with the Moto2 bike and try and forget a little bit this nice experience,” Marquez said. “Thanks to the team for this opportunity. It was amazing.”
Marquez – who missed the Misano round due to hip injuries in practice – finished fourth in this year’s Moto2 standings, behind Morbidelli, Luthi and KTM’s Miguel Oliveira.