Simoncelli To Test Honda RC213V At Motegi, Marquez To Test RC213V Bike At Valencia

Two important tests for the future of Honda are to take place over the next couple of months. At Motegi, Marco Simoncelli told British weekly MCN that he would be testing the 1000cc Honda RC213V at the Japanese track on Monday, while Spanish sports daily AS.com revealed that Marc Marquez is to be given a test ride aboard Honda's 2012 MotoGP bike after the final race at Valencia.

Simoncelli's test has been made possible by the fact that the Italian finally signed a new contract with Honda earlier this week. With Simoncelli now back with HRC, signed for another season to a factory contract to race a factory RC213V for the San Carlo Gresini team, the way has been cleared for the Italian to test next year's machine. Honda has so far only allowed Dani Pedrosa and Casey Stoner to ride the 2012 bike, as both the factory Repsol Honda riders are in the first year of a two-year contract with HRC. The test will be important for both Simoncelli and for HRC, as Honda is keen to gather input from as many factory riders as possible about the direction the RC213V is taking.

Simoncelli is hoping that the added torque of the bigger engine should cancel out most of the disadvantage he believes he suffers as the heaviest rider on the grid. As traction will be even more crucial for the 1000s, Simoncelli's weight could turn into an advantage for the Italian. Fuel consumption - something that Simoncelli has complained about at many tracks, with the bikes restricted to just 21 liters of fuel - could become more of an issue, however, with the bigger engines likely to be even more thirsty than the 800s.

The more interesting test is due to take place at Valencia, however, where Marc Marquez is due to test the Honda RC213V. As Marquez has closed the gap to Stefan Bradl in the Moto2 championship - trailing the German by 82 points after the Silverstone round of Moto2, he now cedes Bradl just 6 points in the title race - speculation has intensified that Marquez may drop his original plan of staying in Moto2 for two seasons and move up to MotoGP in 2012. While Marquez had earlier stated that he was not yet thinking about MotoGP, sources close to the Spaniard have admitted privately that there is little reason for them to remain in Moto2. Even if Marquez doesn't win the championship in 2011, he has more to lose by staying in Moto2 and failing to win it in 2012 than moving up to MotoGP and spending a year learning on the 1000cc Honda. 2012 is also a far better year to make the transition than 2013: Next year, the 1000cc bikes will be new for everyone, making it a more even field that Marquez is entering. If he waits until 2013, the rest of the field will have had a year on the bike, and a headstart on the Spaniard.

Honda is rumored to have a factory RC213V standing by for Marquez, merely awaiting the decision of him and his team. Marquez would be housed in a separate "satellite" team under the banner of a major Spanish sponsor (probably still the Catalunya Caixa bank which is title sponsor of Marquez' Moto2 effort), with Repsol providing the real backing of the project, and ready to move Marquez into the factory team once he has gone through the compulsory first year in MotoGP which prevents rookies from entering a factory team directly. The test at Valencia will be decisive, with the way Marquez adapts to the bike being the final factor that forces him one way or another.

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Comments

Smart on Honda. Having Sic test will be good for data variation. Having the physically largest as well as smallest riders test their bike will give them some good info. Both also have very different riding styles.

The grooming of Marquez has ominous tones. I agree that he should dive straight into the top class. Since he will have to spend at least the first season in a satellite squad the only pressure would be to adapt and learn. Best to do that the same year everyone else is doing so on the new regulation bikes. Other than some more trophies and a title I don't see any reason he should stick around Moto2. I think he's proved his point there already.

Total votes: 122

I whole heartedly agree. Dani had better watch his back, Marquez is a quick learner. It will be interesting to c how he goes on the Honda but I was reading that he will get his first ride on a RC212V and not 213V. There will b two interesting tests in Valencia, Rossi and Marquez. 2012 will b quite interesting in they both do well.

Total votes: 136

go back then? Perhaps it would have been better had he made the jump earlier. By 2006 he would have been perfectly adapted and could have even won the title.

Hindsight...

Total votes: 124

already, so we can see who has what! True... Dani is in major trouble. Stoner immediately outpaced him on the RCV... the machine Dani developed himself. Scary stuff for Dani. Stoner was on Dani's heels back in the '05 250cc championship until Stoner had an injury. The tables turned BIG TIME this year. And with Marquez coming... no way he's staying in Moto2... Dani is about to lose his Repsol ride in 2013!

Total votes: 127

"Stoner immediately outpaced him on the RCV"

Putting aside Jerez, Pedrosa and Stoner both had a 1st and 3rd place, and had Simoncelli not brought Pedrosa down Pedrosa would have left Le Mans leading the standings, which would have put a very different complexion on the season. No question Stoner took to the Honda, but let's not get carried away.

To those who think Honda are at the limits of their patience with Pedrosa, you should look at Nakamoto's Track Reports -- the tone of which makes clear Nakamoto appreciates what Pedrosa has done in this and previous seasons, and seems almost personally fond of the rider.

The only way Marquez will seamlessly replace Pedrosa in 2013 is if Pedrosa gets a big injury in 2012 and if Marquez has an outstanding debut. As it stands, Marquez has a lot of potential, but it's only potential. You only have to look at Elias to see Moto2 success is guarantee of nothing in MotoGP.

Total votes: 125

I would be willing to bet money Marquez moves to MotoGP next year. It was a given after the race at Aragon. With Casey and Lorenzo making a procession of the premier class, Marquez is without a doubt the hottest ticket in MotoGP. Dorna wants him to come in and crash the alien party because no matter what race the kid is in, it's a barn burner. Marquez has turned Moto2 into not only the main event, but the most exciting championship of ANY sport in 2011. He did the same thing in the 125 class. I'm sure his handlers have had a keen eye on their reserved spot in MotoGP since Sachsenring but in order to keep Marquez fully focused on the Moto2 title, they've told him that he was staying in Moto2 for another season. I expect him to make his announcement after the race in Valencia and I cannot wait to see this kid in the premier class. As I have been saying since Qatar, Marc Marquez 2011 Moto2 World Champion!!

Total votes: 135

...but I genuinely see Marquez as the next dominant force in MotoGP after the Rossi era.

I would be really excited for him to move up to MotoGP... I wouldn't be surprised if he was a real contender by 2013. I think he just has it all.

Total votes: 108

After several boring years of MotoGP, seeing Marquez and Simoncelli going at it would be a real treat - now if some of the other manufacturers can develop some talent and if Dorna stops messing with the rules, it might save the series from a fate worse than F1 - thankfully there's always Moto2 to watch.

Total votes: 133

Personally I expect much more than 1 podium in 2 seasons (or even 1 season if you discount Sic rookie year on a satellite bike) and 8th in the championship from Marquez.
I doubt the Italian would see more than Marquez rear wheel after the first half of the season.

Total votes: 130

Marquez moving to motogp is good idea, as the class should more off a level playing field being the first with the 1000's. As for the rookie rule, well i'm sure they will work around that, but i would expect his bike won't be satellite spec.
Marquez is Repsol/spain's next big star.

Total votes: 128

So if a team has the same bikes as the factory team, which presumably obliges the presence of factory technicians to look after some of their more sensitive bits, what makes it not a factory team? Just that the factory says so?

Total votes: 126

While Marquez is a rising star indeed and I'm becoming a fan of his mature sensible demeanor and insane riding ability I don't see a repeat of the dominance he's been showing in the underclass. MotoGP is where the buck stops and his budding talent will find plenty of various prodigies, legends, and world champions scrapping it out. The ascent will probably slow but I would see him of the same class as those in that class.

Total votes: 131

Spies is a good example of this. I can imagine him also wiping the floor with the rest of the field in Moto2, but he's up against it in MotoGP.

Total votes: 121

That little man has been on Repsol's mind for quite some time now. Had not had the pleasure of watching him race until this year. He has a focused mind for one so young. The beginning of the year did not start off well. But to come back like he has, going from, well he has talent but keeps crashing, to, "He might just take the championship." , in one year is astounding.

Pedrosa I think has lost support and killed the confidence they once had in him at Honda. He is a veteran now, but keeps crashing out like a rookie when he gets on a roll winning, or looking strong. Every single year since 2007 is the same. Casey has come in and made the bike look downright simple to ride. In the process, made Dani look like he may not be focused on his own riding, but more on problems with the bike......but we all know Stoner is just something special, but it HAS undercut confidence in Pedrosa and his ability to be as fast. Coming further and further back in the championship each year is not helping.

Marquez on the other hand. Has come out and started to show he is willing to do whatever it takes to win. Changing style, self analysis, focused. He seems to be the future, and Repsol, even Honda, seem to be looking at Pedrosa as the past. Past mistake. Hopefully Marquez does move up. Because he has shown himself to be the absolute class of the Moto2 field. Good luck to Pedrosa, hopefully he can stop wrecking at key moments and let his own momentum he builds turn into something close to a championship.

Total votes: 141

seem`s to take a very practical approach to racing, work out what it takes to ride the bike properly, then win all the race`s. (almost) Only problem MotoGP bike`s bite hard when you crash them during the learning process.

Total votes: 126