The Repsol Honda team did not have a great deal of luck during their private test at Jerez. The test, scheduled for two days, was meant to help Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa make a final decision on which engine to use in their Honda RC213V for the rest of the season.
With engines due to be sealed at Qatar, the Jerez test was crucial. The tight nature of the Andalusian circuit brings out the worst in the characteristics of the Honda engine, so testing there would provide the best data on whether the new engine was an improvement or not.
The elements were far from cooperative, however. The first day of the scheduled two-day test was rained off, leaving Marquez and Pedrosa stuck in their garages. However, as they did not turn a wheel all day, it did not cost them a test day against their allowance of five days of private testing.
The weather was better for the second day of the test, though conditions were far from ideal during the morning. Marquez and Pedrosa got in a full day of testing, putting the 2017 bike through its paces. In a press release (reproduced below), the riders expressed their satisfaction with the test, but did not reveal anything on the testing of the new engine.
The test was not entirely successful, however. In the afternoon, Marc Marquez fell at Turn 7, the first left hander after the back straight. He dislocated his right shoulder in the fall, bringing the test to an end for the reigning World Champion. An inspection at the circuit revealed no damage, which was confirmed by another examination on Monday at the Dexeus Institute in Barcelona. Marquez has been told to rest his shoulder, and is expected to be back at full fitness for the final official test at Qatar from 10-12th March.
Marquez is making a habit of dislocating his shoulder. Though the Repsol Honda works very hard on flexibility, precisely to try and avoid these problems, he has a long history of shoulder dislocations. He has dislocated his left shoulder three times in recent years, at Silverstone in 2013, at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg last year, and in a training crash at Rufea, while riding dirt track.
With the left shoulder popping out more easily, Marquez is considering having surgery to tighten up the ligaments. This, however, is serious enough to require a layoff of many weeks, if not months. At the moment, Marquez is minded to wait for a more serious condition to arise.
Though Marquez' crash was unfortunate, the fact that he dislocated his right shoulder, rather than his left, meant no further damage to his left shoulder.
The press release from the Repsol Honda team after the test is shown below:
Marquez and Pedrosa complete a one-day private test at Jerez
One week after a positive showing at the official test in Australia, Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa were back on track in Jerez, Spain, for a private test. The schedule initially foresaw two days of work, but recent rain made for less-than-ideal track conditions on Friday, prompting the team to cancel the first day.
Although the skies remained cloudy today, the track conditions were improved, allowing the Repsol Honda men to continue working on HRC’s intense pre-season testing programme.
In the afternoon, Marc suffered a crash at turn 7 and briefly dislocated his right shoulder. A check at the circuit’s medical centre showed no further damage. Despite the crash, Marc was able to complete most of his testing programme as was Dani.
Back in Japan, the HRC engineers will analyse the collected data and prepare for the final winter test, due to take place at Losail, Qatar, 10-12 March.
“Today was a productive day, as we were able to do many laps and to work on our bike well. We did most of the work we had planned, which is good. I crashed in the afternoon and dislocated my shoulder, but luckily it was nothing serious. Now I’ll have some rest back at home and get ready for the next test, in Qatar.”
“After missing yesterday, luckily today we were able to fully exploit the time available, even though the track conditions in the morning were not ideal and we had to concentrate all our testing schedule in one day. We worked really hard but we’re satisfied with what we’ve done here. Now we must keep focused and try and continue in the same way in Qatar in two weeks’ time.”