Repsol Honda has officially pulled the wraps off its 2017 RC213V during a presentation in Jakarta, Indonesia. Factory riders Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa were present on the occasion. So, the 2017 title defence for Marquez starts now.
The reigning MotoGP champion said, "Now we are in a new season and the situation is the same one. We try to work hard in the pre-season and then, of course, to fight again for the title."
During the first official pre-season test at Sepang held from January 30 - February 2, Marquez was sharpening his tool to fight off the challenges from other competitors. But, the champion was not impressed with his 2017-spec RC213V.
The first day of the official test saw Ducati's Casey Stoner on top followed by Suzuki's Andrea Iannone and Yamaha's Maverick Vinales on day two and day three respectively. Marquez didn't lead any practice as he was held back by technical problems.
The 2016 season saw Honda's famous acceleration problem and trouble with the engine output. The 2017 version also retains the same problem. However, Marquez did finish the test in third overall in the aggregate timesheet, with Vinales and Iannone on top.
Marquez's team-mate and veteran rider Dani Pedrosa had a slow start to the test but eventually, he finished fifth overall behind Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso in combined times.
Pedrosa said, "The target obviously is to fight for the championship and for every race if we can; to be in front and on a good pace. Hopefully, I can stay injury-free, which is important, and be fast every time."
In 2016, with the ill-fated Honda RC213V, the duo won six races and Marquez went on to lift the title for the third time in the premier class. Towards the end of the 2016 season, Dani Pedrosa crashed badly in the Japanese Grand Prix and broke his collarbone, which let Yamaha overtake Honda in the teams' standings.