Honda riders gear up for crucial Qatar MotoGP test
Repsol Honda riders Marc Marquez and Jorge Lorenzo have completed all preparations ahead of the final MotoGP pre-season test in Qatar.
The test will be crucial for all teams, not least the defending champions, as it marks the last opportunity for them to evaluate how their 2019 bikes are performing in real-world conditions.
For Marquez and Lorenzo, it also represents an opportunity to determine how much recovery they have made since suffering separate injuries in the last six months.
Marquez fractured his shoulders multiple times during his title-winning 2018 campaign and subsequently underwent an operation in December.
Although he will be taking part in the Qatar test that runs from February 23-25, the Spaniard earlier stated that he doesn’t expect to fully recover until the second round of the season in Argentina.
"Already we are at the last test before the season starts,” Marquez said. “I am of course excited to ride once again and continue the work we did in Malaysia.
“Since then I have continued to work on improving my shoulder and I'm confident I will be in a better physical condition than in Malaysia. The focus is again to test the most important parts for Honda so we can start the season well.”
Lorenzo, who joins Honda after two topsy-turvy seasons with Honda, suffered a dirt bike crash in January that forced him to miss a previous official test in Malaysia.
However, he is now fit enough to return at the wheel of a MotoGP bike and will duly test at the Losail International Circuit this weekend.
"I have been working a lot on improving my wrist and I’m pleased with the progress,” Lorenzo said. “Of course I would have liked to be in a better condition, but I feel we will be able to have a productive test.
“First we must understand my condition on the bike. Honda were able to make a lot of progress in Sepang and I’m looking forward to getting back on the RC213V and preparing for the season ahead.”
Both Marquez and Lorenzo took part in an official photo shoot session earlier this week as they completed the final preparations for the new season.
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