Marquez off race pace at test
Repsol Honda men Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa might have made a considerable jump up the time sheets on the final day of testing at Sepang, finishing third and fifth overall, but the issues with Honda’s new and updated engine continued for the factory squad.
Masked by the fast times set by wonder kid Marquez and Sepang specialist Pedrosa, the pair are still a long way off deciding what specification of their new ‘big bang’ engine they’ll use. And even champion Marquez admitted the situation was far from ideal.
He said: “One of the things we tried on the final day is a step forward. We need to work on electronics and on some other big problems that we have in other areas. It’ll be important to fix those big problems in Australia, and then work on the smaller ones circuit-by-circuit and try to understand them.”
Running a new specification of the engine first tried – and liked – by not only Marquez and Pedrosa but also Cal Crutchlow and Jack Miller at the end of 2016, the more powerful engine appears to now be creating many of the same issues on corner exit and acceleration as it did in 2015 and 2016.
Despite the uphill battle ahead, the Spaniard says that he’s less worried than he was 12 months ago; before he went on to win the title!
“We are closer than last year and we know where the problems are. It’s about torque delivery, how to manage the exit of the corners, the power delivery during wheelies. We made a big improvement at Sepang though and were able to point out the biggest issues – now Japan have a lot of work to do.”
Corner exit is still an issue for Honda