The Japanese marque dominated Day 1, with Pedrosa top in FP1 and Marquez fastest on Friday
Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) led the way by some margin on Day 1 at Termas de Rio Hondo, and the reigning Champion was chased by both Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) and FP1’s fastest Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) as Honda reigned supreme on Friday.
All have been on the podium at the venue, and Marquez is a previous winner – making the form book another positive read. So after the first two sessions, what do the three men think of their Friday?
“Today was a good day for us, I mean, we started in a good way,” begins Marquez. “We did, I think, a good plan for the practice. We even tried a few setups, we tried a few tyres, more or less I like it but the tyres are still some gap because both tyres are working quite well. Anyway, we are working in a good way. Today it’s a slippery track and when it’s slippery it’s my place. I mean, when it’s slippery I feel so comfortable and maybe the others are struggling more…but tomorrow will improve the grip even more on Sunday so everything will be closer and closer.”
Pedrosa agrees on the slippery – and was another who was positive given the weather.
“The track is always quite slippery here on the first day, which makes the first practice a bit tougher,” says Pedrosa, despite going quickest in FP1.”The parts that had been resurfaced seem better in terms of the bumps, but the asphalt was too dirty to really understand what the grip was like. This morning we worked on the tyres, trying to make the best of the dry conditions as the weather forecasts for the weekend aren’t good. We’ll see how the weather is tomorrow, and we’ll keep working for Sunday.”
Crutchlow, meanwhile – and despite taking the top three in both sessions – says there are a few specifics to work on for him, mainly with the wind, which picked up in the afternoon.
Crutchlow: “It looked and felt wet, the track is like ice” 06/04/2018
The British racer talks us through the difficult conditions after a positive first day in Argentina
“We still have some small issues that we want to look into because the wind was so strong this afternoon, explains the LCR rider. “It didn’t feel strong when we were here or anything like that but as soon as we got onto the track it was horrendous and we need to make the bike turn a little bit better in that kind of situation because it could be the same on Sunday, we don’t know. But overall we are happy enough. I think we could have been faster, I know we could have been faster but we are happy with today. The main thing was to be in the top ten in case it rains in the night.”
If the rain comes in for FP3 and Q2 graduation is already set, Honda are in the hot seat. Watch FP3 on Saturday morning from 10:55am (GMT -3) to see who makes it through.