MotoGP Phillip Island Test: Marc Marquez Tops Day One

The reigning world champ leads the way in Australia, but says there's still a lot of work

Marc Marquez 2017
Marc Marquez sets the fastest time in Phillip Island but says there's more work to do.Photo Courtesy of MotoGP

“Today we had quite a busy day, because we worked a lot with the engine – which is different to the one we used here last year,” Marquez said. “That’s to say that we’ve had to readjust everything and during the morning we spent a lot of time in the box. In the afternoon we found a base setting with the electronics, but we still have work to do on that. I’m fast but like in Malaysia, we want to investigate well how it works. We also worked on the setup and in general it’s been a positive day. The weather has also been good – always important – and we hope it stays the same for the next two days.”

Although the day started out rough for Movistar Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi, the nine-time World Champion redeemed himself and shot up to second on the timesheets.

“It was a good day, I’m quite satisfied,” Rossi said. “We started in a difficult way this morning. Before the break I wasn’t strong enough and because I couldn’t push at the maximum I didn‘t have a lot of feeling. We worked well during the break and in the afternoon the situation changed, I was a bit better. At the end, with the new tire, I was able to do a good lap and second position is positive for the first day. For sure, we still have a lot to do, especially on the long distance and we hope to have good weather also in the next few days.”

Valentino Rossi 2017
Valentino Rossi found his groove in the afternoon, posting the second fastest time on the first day of MotoGP testing at Phillip Island.Photo Courtesy of MotoGP

Rossi’s compatriot Andrea Iannone also had a rough morning, but once again the Team Suzuki Ecstar rider impressed, ending the day third and .492 of a second behind Marquez.

“This morning was very difficult for us,” Iannone said. “The team couldn’t find the proper setting to feel confident. I struggled a lot. But then in the afternoon, we changed some settings and improved step by step. At the final stage I was happy because the machine improved, as well as the feeling of the bike and the pace. This is a very positive outcome, because it means we have the capability to overcome very hard situations and turn them into a positive. As of tomorrow, we have the chance to work on pace as well as single lap performance, and also introduce some more improvements. We are on a good path. My crew chief is as new as I am with the GSX-RR and it’s very important for us to learn and get to know it at its best.”

Rossi’s teammate Maverick Vinales was unable to repeat his top form at Sepang and got shuffled back to fourth. But the newest member of the Movistar Yamaha squad was still able to take away positives from the first day at Phillip Island.

Andrea Iannone 2017
Andrea Iannone continues his top form on the Suzuki.Photo Courtesy of MotoGP

“About today, I think I can be happy in one area,” Vinales started.” On the race pace and basic set-up we made a good step, I feel comfortable. We didn’t set a fast lap time at the end of the session, in the last ten minutes we went back in the box. We still have time until Qatar to be fast and try to improve the bike and I think our objective here is to be consistent and really fast.”

LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow was the fastest independent rider in fifth followed by Octo Pramac Yakhnich Ducati’s Danilo Petrucci. Marquez’ teammate got shuffled back to seventh as the times started dropping like flies late in the day.

Ducati’s Andrea Iannone was eighth, followed by Australian Miller on the Team EG 0,0 Marc VDS Honda. Rounding out the top 10 was rookie Jonas Folger on the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 machine.

Maverick Vinales 2017
Even though he didn't top the timesheets, Maverick Vinales was happy with the progress he made on race pace and set up.Photo Courtesy of MotoGP

2017 MotoGP Phillip Island Test Day One Results:
1. Marc Marquez (SPA) Repsol Honda 1:29.497
2. Valentino Rossi (ITA) Movistar Yamaha 1:29.683
3. Andrea Iannone (ITA) Team Suzuki Ecstar 1:29.926
4. Maverick Vinales (SPA) Movistar Yamaha 1:29.989
5. Cal Crutchlow (GBR) LCR Honda 1:30.065
6. Danilo Petrucci (ITA) Octo Pramac Yakhnich Ducati 1:30.262
7. Dani Pedrosa (SPA) Repsol Honda 1:30.281
8. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA) Ducati Team 1:30.410
9. Jack Miller (AUS) Team EG 0,0 Marc VDS Honda 1:30.426
10. Jonas Folger (SUI) Monster Yamaha Tech 3 1:30.578
11. Jorge Lorenzo (SPA) Ducati Team 1:30.631
12. Alvaro Bautista (SPA) Pull & Bear Aspar Team Ducati 1:30.770
13. Hector Barbera (SPA) Avintia Racing Ducati 1:30.771 14. Aleix Espargaro (SPA) Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 1:30.802
15. Johann Zarco (FRA) Monster Yamaha Tech 3 1:30.867
16. Karel Abraham (CZE) Pull & Bear Aspar Team Ducati 1:31.179
17. Pol Espargaro (SPA) Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 1:31.200
18. Loris Baz (FRA) Avintia Racing Ducati 1:31.249
19. Alex Rins (SPA) Team Suzuki Ecstar 1:31.432
20. Scott Redding (GBR) Octo Pramac Yakhnich Ducati 1:31.755
21. Sam Lowes (GBR) Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 1:32.307
22. Bradley Smith (GBR) Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 1:32.690