It was a busy first day at the Austrian GP for Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa, as they rode the RC213V at the Red Bull Ring for the first time, in ambient temperatures that only reached a chilly 15° C and a track temperature of 18° C.
Marc was sixth fastest this morning, while Dani struggled to find a good pace in the even cooler temperatures and suffered a turn 9 crash from which he thankfully escaped uninjured. This afternoon the Repsol Honda pair focused their work on the setup, choosing to ride the whole session without changing their Michelin tyres, a soft-front, hard-rear combination for Marc and a soft-soft pairing for Dani.
Tomorrow will see the second day of action at the Red Bull Ring, with weather forecasts showing much higher temperatures, and both Marc and Dani are confident they’ll improve their pace and speed as they get completely familiar with the new track.
It has basically been a day to gather data for the race and to find the reference points with a MotoGP bike for this track, which is new. It’s short but it has many braking points, and we haven’t ridden here with carbon brakes before. All in all, I’m generally happy with how it went today; we’re tenth but it’s not our real position, as we didn’t use a new and softer rear spec tyre. We’ll continue working in the same direction tomorrow, as I think it’s the right one, with the aim to be at least in the top five and to fight for the podium on Sunday.
It has been a demanding day with such low temperatures. I particularly struggled this morning and I had quite a fast crash, losing time and honestly also some confidence. Things went a bit better this afternoon, with a little warmer temperature, even if it was still difficult to put heat in the tyres. The fact that we didn’t know the track so well didn’t help either, but we’ll continue working and we look to improve tomorrow.”