Motorcycling - Marquez plays down rapid start

Marc Marquez has played down the significance of his strong showing in MotoGP testing at Sepang, despite finishing the day delighted with his progress.

The Moto2 champion, making his MotoGP debut this year with the Honda team, finished the first day of testing in Malaysia third quickest, less than half a tenth of a second behind team-mate and pacesetter Dani Pedrosa.

Marquez, who had not ridden the bike since the end of last year, insisted he still has a long way to go despite his promising pace.

"I'm very happy with how the first day went, because you always have a few nerves after a couple of months out," said Marquez.

"I thought that I would take a little longer to get back 'on it', but right from the opening laps I felt very comfortable on the bike.

"We picked up confidence from the start, although obviously we can still improve.

"I don't think the result today should be used as a reference point, because we are all trying out new things. I focused on simply finding a good set-up and getting comfortable on the bike.

"I tried to put in a good time so that the day's testing had a purpose."