Marc Marquez did not take kindly to finishing fourth on Sunday, that much was obvious from the test. He lined up at pit lane exit at precisely 10am, waiting for the track to open.

As soon as it opened, he was away, the first rider to take to the track in a long way. When Jorge Lorenzo went fastest, Marquez seemed determined to catch him, finally leaving the test at the end of a long day at the top of the timesheets.

Testing is not really about who is fastest, though riders cannot avoid turning it into a competitive sport. It is more about carefully running through options and testing parts, selecting what works and what doesn’t, trying new bikes and parts, and testing out set up changes which are too experimental or time-consuming to try on a normal race weekend.

Riders are still trying to go fast, but they and the teams are more interested in comparing their own times, rather than the times of others.

The factory Honda and Yamaha teams had similar programs. Both had the latest version of their 2015 bikes for the riders to test, as well as minor modifications to their current set ups in search of a bit more performance for the end of the year. That Honda’s 2015 bike is working should be no surprise: Marc Marquez topped the timesheets on the new bike, praising the work done so far.

It is an improvement over the 2014 machine, and faster in the middle of the corner, though there are still a few areas that need work. It was good enough for Marquez to get under Cal Crutchlow’s pole record from 2013, however. Would he liked to use it for the rest of the season? Though the bike is faster, it would be too much of a risk using it for the rest of the season.

Marquez also spent some time testing his race setup, trying to understand what went wrong on Sunday. It appeared that like Bradley Smith, he had a suboptimal tire. Marquez was very careful not to blame the tire, saying that it was also clear that the team had struggled with setup as well. But he admitted the tire was ‘not perfect’, and was able to lap consistently in the low 1’56s on the race bike.

Marc Marquez did not just test Hondas, he also ended up testing his leathers. The Spaniard lost the front at Turn 10 – aptly named Schwantz corner – the front wheel folding completely. Arm and shoulder hit the ground, but Marquez had the presence of mind to open the throttle a little. This was just enough to lift the back back onto its wheels, and have both tires grip again.

Half-hanging off the bike, Marquez opened the throttle some more, the bike’s momentum hauling it upright, and Marquez could pull himself back into the saddle. It is an amazing save, with a fair sprinkling of luck and a massive dose of talent. A brief sequence of the crash caught by a photographer is up on Marquez’s Facebook page, and shown above.

Dani Pedrosa also liked the new bike, though he only had a short run on the bike as his run was interrupted by rain. Overall impressions of the bike were good, and an improvement over the test after the Sachsenring. Pedrosa also tested some suspension and electronics settings, which will help for the rest of the season.

At Yamaha, the reception of the 2015 bike was much more mixed. Jorge Lorenzo liked the new chassis, but didn’t notice any difference with the engine. Rossi did feel a slight improvement with the engine, giving a bit more power overall. Though the new chassis was better in braking and corner entry for both Rossi and Lorenzo, Rossi said he was losing some acceleration.

Whether that was just a matter of setup remains to be seen. Lorenzo said he would like to use the new chassis before the end of the year, but Yamaha have said it would be nearly impossible. Rossi was not so convinced, though admitted that the fact that Lorenzo had tried the bike in the morning, when conditions were better, could account for the difference in feelings.

For the satellite and open class riders, there were fewer parts to test. Both Scott Redding and Alvaro Bautista spent time testing new brakes and suspension. Nissin had brought new calipers, which gave more feeling but lacked a bit of power. Redding was impressed, but said he hoped to also get more power from the Nissins.

They also tested a new Showa fork, and this too provided an improvement. There had been talk of Redding having a chance to test Bautista’s RC213V, but the idea ended up being rejected.

Giving Redding a taste of the RC213V would be counterproductive, it was felt, as he would only end up worried about the power deficit. It would also not be good for Bautista, and with seven races still to go, preserving the harmony, and the status quo in the team, was better for the medium term, at least until the future of both riders is clear.

At Tech 3, both riders spent their time adapting to the bike. Smith confirmed that the tire he used during the race was not perfect, as he ran a lot of laps at a pace that would have seen him running in fifth place on Sunday. Smith spent nearly all day riding with a full fuel tank, as this is where the Englishman has struggled.

For Pol Espargaro, he concentrated on his riding style, on riding as smoothly as possible. On Sunday, he had said that once he found himself among the leaders, he had got overexcited and tried to push aggressively to match their pace.

Riding aggressively is not the way to ride the Yamaha, however, and he found himself making mistake after mistake and losing ground. Monday was all about focusing on that and improving his smoothness.

Leon Camier also had another chance to improve his understanding of the Open class Honda RCV1000R. The Englishman has been impressive so far in his role as replacement to Nicky Hayden, but felt he really needed time on the bike.

His test day started badly, crashing on the exit of Turn 1. It was a strange crash, which the team could only understand by looking at the data. He had been sliding the rear around Turn 1, and hit a bump he had been hitting all weekend. This must have caused him to just touch the throttle, which threw him off.

Overall it was successful, however. He was faster than his teammate Hiroshi Aoyama, he lapped consistently in the low 1’58s, and he was just half a second off the pace of Scott Redding, rather than the second or more he had been in the race.

Camier had spent his time trying to be smoother with the tires, to preserve their grip over full race distance. That, he explained, was the key to being able to push consistently for a race. He said that he had not yet been told he was to replace Hayden at Silverstone, but earlier in the weekend, a team representative told me that it was unlikely that Hayden would come back before Misano at the earliest.

They did not want to make the mistake of bringing Hayden back too early, before he had recovered fully after major surgery. Hayden had three bones in his wrist removed, and though his recovery is progressing well, it will still take some time.

Photo: Marc Marquez (Facebook)

This article was originally published on MotoMatters, and is republished here on Asphalt & Rubber with permission by the author.

  • crshnbrn

    What, no lean angle telemetry?

  • Best sport ever!

    How is that even possible?! The rear tire is basically at the very limit of edge grip in the first picture and the front is completely sliding and tucking at 65+ degrees of lean angle, so then his instincts kick in and he throws the entire right side of his body to the ground whilst giving it a handful of throttle to leverage the bike up? Naturally. Props to the bridgestone engineers for the massive grip in these tires, props to the Honda ECU/traction control engineer/s for the awesome calibration, props to the photographer for the amazing photos, and of course props to Marc for his incredible talent.

    So, can I get just one set of those bridgestones? Can you throw in a front wheel that will fit them? Pretty please…with a cherry on top?

  • Brandon

    Even with the pictures I’m having a hard time believing that happened.

  • L2C

    Video or it didn’t happen. :-p

  • smiler

    Honda’s PR machine in action.

    What actually happened…low side.

    This however was impressive.

  • proudAmerican

    Marquez’s train of thought:

    Hmmm….I’ve tucked the front and I’m sliding on my shoulder.

    Interesting–this is going to slow me down.

    Well, no biggie…I’ll just give some gas, climb back into the seat, and straighten the front tire to ride ‘er back upright.

    Yep, there we go.

    Damn, that cost me .5 seconds!!

    And I scuffed my new leathers–dad’s gonna kill me!!

  • Kaw4Life

    Isn’t that the move the went horribly wrong for Marco?

  • Highside Specialist

    Sadly, it is similar to SuperSic’s crash. if you watch the video that Smiler posted above, you can see how it happened. Saving the slide on his knee (elbow, shoulder), caused the bike to rotate right and cut across the track. Just like Sic. Only difference is, Sic did it in traffic.

    SS58 Forever.

  • JoeD

    When all traction is used up, applying just touch of throttle allows weight to be taken off the front and some traction to be regained. That’s the Law of the Universe. Hmmm. So hows about we get as close as possible to a black hole singularity and test physics there? These guys have something other than brass in their shorts.

  • Damn

    it now the 2nd rider honda try to make a legend in a year! first it was casey now marc. Casey came and won and he was so fast so amazing so incredible next year he got beaten easy by JL.
    Now its mm, he’s winning becaus the yam was just S#!T. and now that mm had a problem we can see how easy it is to win when the bike(or whatever) isnt up to the task.
    mm got talent? sure just like vr/jl.
    Honda wants another VR so bad it seems and they want it in 1 year!
    Edwards did this a few years ago to and i could remeber the headlights `Massive talented edwards saved it`

  • Frank

    @ Damn… huh? Perspective is needed on so many points in your argument there. Diminishing Marc’s abilities after one race is silly. Did you also write Jorge off after 2 awful races to start the season? Jorge beat Stoner in 2012 after Stoner was injured. Dani could have and nearly did beat him after his monster second half in 2012. NONE of this is EASY as Marc has said. But consider this… Marc still has a 77 point lead in the championship. He could sit out 3 races and Dani could win them all and he would still be in the championship lead. That is why he was smiling still during the post-race interviews. We have not seen a talent like this since Rossi and even Rossi has conceded that Marc might be better. He certainly has a lot more racing to do and I can’t to his max potential because he hasn’t reached it yet. Got talent? YES. Like VR/JL? DEFINITELY. Is he better? Right now – YES.

  • Frank

    @smiler – that youtube link is a link posted in July from the previous Brno check. This internet myth has already been debunked. He did save it.

    From David Emmett of

    Save photos and crash video are from different tests new

    Submitted by David Emmett on Tue, 2014-08-19 18:27.

    The crash video is from the test which Marquez and Pedrosa did in July. The photo sequence is from Monday. I was lucky enough to see the full sequence on the photographer’s computer. Several of us journalists gathered around his computer open-mouthed watching as he flicked through the photos.

  • Frank

    My take on the video vs. photo thing: (also posted on

    It would be a pretty sweet PR fib for HRC and the instance in the video and the pics is very similar.

    The indicators I looked for were the background markers. The photographer may have missed the green wall (in the video) because it was over his horizon from track level. From his viewpoint, it may have been out of view. The fence poles seem to match but in the photos, the marker I look at in the three shots is the orange stripe on the silver rail just above the tarmac. The rail leads into the crash barriers to the top right of the pics. At first I thought that the first two shots were of a crash and the third was a shot taken later on from a ‘moment’ that MM had at the same corner. But after really investigating the sequence of images, the orange marker is consistent and makes sense in the space of each image of Marc going though the corner. Reference where Marc is relative to the orange marker and the edge of the inside rumble strip of the corner -barely out of view to the right of the first frame. Then notice that where there should be the silver rail in the video- there is only the green wall. Those visual cues lead me to believe that these were two separate incidents.

  • L2C

    Here’s a link to the full sequence of shots for the conspiracy theorists:–MotoGP, Marquez oltre la fisica: la sequenza completa

  • spamtasticus

    now be honest Smiler, did Marc M. take your marbles when you were both in kindergarden? Did he steal your girlfriend in junior high? Did he piss in your cheerioos at at the roadside motel by the GP you attended to and you found out? What did MM do to you, dont worry, nobody here a will tell anyone else…

  • Dustin

    Smiler is so dumb he can’t even differentiate between July and August. What a goon

  • @crshnbrn: What, no lean angle telemetry?

    MM93’s Twitter feed said 68 degrees.

    @smiler: What actually happened…low side.

    “Published on Jul 16, 2014” – Uhm, yeah. As in well before the Brno test this week. FAIL.

    @Kawa4Life: Isn’t that the move the went horribly wrong for Marco?

    Yeah, that caught my attention, too. The similarity was striking. Where it went all wrong for Sic was he had a sudden change in trajectory. MM was able to maintain a stable arc through the corner. It’s such a fine line. :-\

  • H.L.

    Another day at the office for the young buck. I remember Nicky Hayden making a save like this last year. Sorry, I can’t remember the track right now.

  • Bicho

    Edwards made a similar save.I think it was on a tech3 yamaha….cant remember when & where.I guess all the top riders could do this in the right circumstances……….& alil bit oluck :) Now what he neds(MM)are massive sliders on the whole sides of the leathers,so he can consistently ride on 68 degrees! The future of the sport?Just lay down on the asphalt on max lean,curving thru the apex,every turn of a race.Can you Imagine that?

  • Renn

    He was trying the latest craze… Shoulder Down.

    So bloody amazing… just awesome talent.

    Shame it didn’t work for Super Sic.