Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez began the Portuguese weekend cautious of his lack of knowledge of the Portimao layout only to finish Friday on top of the times.
Torrential rain and treacherous conditions didn’t stop the eight-time champion from attacking the track, as he warned he might if he felt good on his RC213V. The prophecy came true as both he, and teammate Pol Espargaro locked out the combined standing shaving taken a session each.
“Happy overall, because it was a solid day,” Marquez said from Portimao on Friday evening. “Since the beginning the feeling was good on wet conditions, this is important because sometimes you go out and you don’t feel well and then you start to struggle even more and more. But I go out, I feel okay, even this afternoon with the used tyres from the morning, I go out to check the track and also feel okay again and the lap time arrive in a good way.
“Then start big rain, a lot of water in the track then I prefer to stay in the box to avoid the risk because looks like on Sunday will be dry conditions, let’s see. Tomorrow, we need to keep the same level.
“Is true that in wet conditions and you cannot take a lot of information, but it’s better to be on the top positions than far away.”
While the wet pace looks promising for the Repsol pair, Sunday’s forecast is dry. An issue for the Spaniard regarding set up at a track he’s only raced at once, and even then in less than ideal physical condition and on last season’s dramatically different Honda.
“It is difficult because then you don’t know,” he said simply. “We will see tomorrow but looks like will be wet again. So Sunday if it’s dry will be difficult to choose the correct tyres, will be difficult to choose the correct setup.
“The other riders race here just four months/five months ago but I was not there and we don’t have a lot of reference. We need to start with our base set up and we will see but first we have Saturday in front and looking forward to continue the same way.”