Maybe this Marc Marquez is for real, after all.
Marquez impressed in his first MotoGP test last week at Valencia, turning a top lap within one second of Repsol Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa on his first day on a 1000cc prototype.
Some whispers of doubt may have been heard Monday when Gresini Honda rider Alvaro Bautista was 1.5 seconds quicker than Marquez in damp conditions on the first day of a three-day test at Sepang. But Marquez turned those questions into emphatic answers with his performance Tuesday, turning a top lap 2.3 seconds quicker than his best lap Monday.
Marquez led Bautista by nearly six-tenths Tuesday with his top time of 2:01.355. That lap would have put him eighth on the grid for the Grand Prix of Malaysia in October, yet Marquez has turned only around 100 laps in his entire life on a MotoGP prototype. The retired Casey Stoner, whom Marquez replaced, turned the unofficial quickest lap ever at Sepang – 1:59.607 – during preseason testing last February.
The Kid isn’t that far away.
Critics, of course, might be hearing the crisp voice of four time world champion Eddie Lawson in their head. Lawson said frequently the real test of a GP rider wasn’t his ability to go fast initially, but to go fast after his first cloud-scraping highside—when the reality of what can go wrong is inside your psyche and won’t ever leave.