Marc Marquez is continuing preparations for his rookie MotoGP season in 2013 by heading to a Japanese wind tunnel for aerodynamic testing this week before testing on track Nov. 26-28 at Sepang.
Marquez lapped within one second of Repsol Honda teammate and pace setter Dani Pedrosa during testing Nov. 19-20 at Valencia. The session was Marquez's first on a 1000cc prototype.
Pedrosa will not participate in the Sepang test next week, off the bike until the first official MotoGP test of 2013, on Feb. 5-7 at Sepang.
The trip to the wind tunnel has led to speculation by the Italian media that HRC will build a custom, smaller version of its RC213V for Marquez.
On the surface, that could make sense as HRC is trying everything it can to ensure success for golden boy and Repsol-sponsored Marquez in his first season in the premier class. Marquez is 5-foot-6, 130 pounds and indicated after his first test that he needs to increase his upper-body strength to cope with the demands of riding a bigger, more powerful machine.
But teammate Pedrosa is a lilliputian 5-2, 112 and handles the RC213V just fine. How much smaller can HRC build the bike?
In reality what will probably develop is an RC213 with slight mods that will enable Marquez to duck behind the fairing better, keep his feet tight to the chassis and a molded tail for uninterrupted flow from the Spanish rider's back to the rear of the bike.