MotoGP: Marquez and Pedrosa complete 3-day HRC test

Repsol Honda pair get first taste of 2015 prototype on Wednesday, plus new development parts including thumb-actuated rear brake

motogp marquez pedrosa three day hrc test brno

As a final sendoff before the summer break, HRC and Repsol Honda conducted a private three-day test at the Brno circuit in the Czech Republic for current MotoGP World Championship leaders Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa. The purpose of the test was evaluation of new development parts for the current RC213V bike, as well as the pair’s first laps on the 2015 prototype.

A heavy rain shower at 11:30AM on the first day of the test caused a bit of disruption, which not only forced Marquez and Pedrosa to experiment with some wet bike setups, but also resulted in Marquez suffering a minor fall with no injuries. Once the track dried, the level of grip was decreased, and both riders complained that traction wasn’t very good for the rest of the day. “We were able to test out a few things on a wet track and I had a small crash,” Marquez said. “By the afternoon it had already dried out, although the grip levels weren't too good.” Pedrosa concurred about the lack of grip after the rain. “After lunch the asphalt had dried out, but the track was still really dirty and didn't offer us much grip. So unfortunately it wasn't really a day in which we could test too many things.”

motogp marquez pedrosa three day hrc test brno
Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa got their first taste of the 2015 RCV prototype at the Brno test, with both turning a good number of laps and both agreeing in the potential of the new bike.

Grip levels improved slightly on the second day despite sunny conditions, but both riders were left wanting for better traction so that they could push hard enough to really test the development parts that were part of the program. Marquez once again suffered a minor crash in Turn Five, again without injury. The pair both ran a good number of laps on the 2015 prototype (Marquez completed 20 laps, Pedrosa 16) to get an idea of its potential and to provide valuable feedback to the engineers in preparation for its next test at the end of the year.

“The second day went fairly well, although the grip level was still not as high as we would have liked in order to correctly carry out the testing that we had planned,” said Marquez. “When we wanted to go a little faster to get closer to the limit and evaluate things, it was very risky. Giving it a try this morning I had another crash at Turn 5; once again, I lost grip with the front end. During the day we were able to try out the new bike and the first impressions are fairly good. Obviously there are positive things and not-so-positive things, but the first impression is satisfactory. We put in similar times with the new bike to what we did with the current model, so we are happy.”

Thursday finally provided the grip Marquez and Pedrosa were wishing for, and both riders got down to business, although Marquez ran a larger number of laps, in addition to five additional laps on the 2015 prototype. Both riders ran their first test with a thumb-actuated rear brake, very similar in design to the setup pioneered by five-time World 500cc Grand Prix World Champion Mick Doohan in the ‘90s.

“The test has gone pretty well, especially on this final day as the track had a good level of grip,” said Marquez. “The times began to look good and we were able to try out some other things as well as confirm some feelings on the 2015 prototype. Overall, the most important thing that we take away from this test is that we were able to try this new bike and give some positive feedback. Moreover, Honda also brought us some new parts for our current RC213V machine and we were able to test with the electronics and the brakes, plus some different setups to what we have been using up to now.”

“I am happy with the three days, because we have been able to take some steps forward with the electronics; we'll see if that gives us any improvement on the bike,” Pedrosa said. “The weather was good to us and we were able to try many things, in particular some small adjustments to the bike. Some changes have been made thinking more about the future, but others can be used more immediately at the next few races. We were also able to test the new bike and put in our first kilometers with it, but we will have to keep testing it further down the line in order to continue to with development.”

During the test, HRC and team title sponsor Repsol also renewed their sponsorship contract for an additional three years.